Patterico's Pontifications

1/1/2008

Democrats Seek to Impeach Cheney Based on Lies — That Is, the *Democrats’* Lies

Filed under: General,Scum — Patterico @ 12:01 am

Via Instapundit, three lying Congressman (Robert Wexler, Luis Gutierrez, and Tammy Baldwin) are seeking Dick Cheney’s impeachment. One of their misleading arguments falsely suggests that Cheney deliberately misled Scott McClellan regarding the Plame leak:

Now that former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has indicated that the vice president and his staff purposely gave him false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson as a covert agent to report to the American people, it is even more important for Congress to investigate what may have been an intentional obstruction of justice.

Did Scott McClellan really say that? Well, there was a brief media firestorm when McClellan’s publisher printed a brief and ambiguous excerpt from his upcoming book that, without any context, could be read as supporting the Congresspeople’s accusation:

The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

There was one problem. It was not true.

I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President’s chief of staff, and the President himself.

If that excerpt were all we had to go on, these Congesscritters would be able to argue that there is a basis for their assertion.

But it’s not all we have to go on. And their assertion is a lie.

McClellan’s publisher quickly made it clear that McClellan was not claiming that Bush had deliberately lied to him:

McClellan doesn’t suggest that Bush deliberately lied to him about Libby’s and Rove’s involvement in the leak, said Peter Osnos, founder and editor-in-chief of Public Affairs Books, which is publishing McClellan’s memoir next year.

“He told him something that wasn’t true, but the president didn’t know it wasn’t true,” Osnos said in a telephone interview. “The president told him what he thought to be the case.”

In an interview with CNN in March, McClellan said he had said what he “believed to be true at the time” and “it was also what the president believed to be true at the time, based on assurances that we were both given.”

He said he spoke directly with Rove and Libby. Referring to press briefings he gave in 2003 denying Rove and Libby’s involvement, McClellan told CNN: “Knowing what I know today, I would have never said that back then.”

There is no basis to say that Cheney deliberately misled McClellan, any more than there is to say that Bush did.

Wexler, Gutierrez, and Baldwin have absolutely no basis to argue that, according to McClellan, “the vice president and his staff purposely gave [McClellan] false information about the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson.” That’s a shameful lie. McClellan has said no such thing. As a basis for Cheney’s impeachment, this is nothing more than dishonest political theater.

If you fall for it, you’re a sucker.

P.S. Michelle Malkin has been doing a great job keeping an eye on this lunacy — see, for example, here.

31 Responses to “Democrats Seek to Impeach Cheney Based on Lies — That Is, the *Democrats’* Lies”

  1. Three possibilities:

    1. Assholes — three liars, as you assert.
    2. Stupid — they don’t know any different.
    3. Lazy — couldn’t be bothered to read beyond the brief excerpt.

    There are no other possibilities (although I don’t see anything above which is mutually exclusive).

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  2. If you fall for it, you’re a sucker.

    That would include about 90% of the Democrat Party and 100% of LAT editors.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  3. I don’t think the house will pass a resolution permitting an inquiry. Many of the “blue dog dems” would probably balk.
    More importantly I doubt the Democratic leadership is going to allow something like that to go on as the presidential campaign goes into full gear. They have a good chance of regaining the white house and aren’t likely to risk that. Republicans won’t have the satisfaction of seeing it publicly fought out but lots of behind the scenes maneuvering will inevitably take place.

    voiceofreason (d52499)

  4. The lefty blogs are all excited about alleged Bush admin people indicted. Over at TPM muckraker (When you rake muck, it is best to then get rid of it, not smear it all over yourself), they have a list of purported officials including many only “accused” who resigned or are “under investigation.” those appear to be their standards. Kevin Drum’s blog is positively giddy about all these scandals. Amazing how their vision improved after the Clintons left town. Note under comments, the devatating rejoiner to my comment (assuming they haven’t deleted it by the time you look) about this. The usual obscenities constitute debating points to those folks.

    Mike K (36bc84)

  5. The fact that the “proof” that President Bush is such a liar is perennially based on lying about what he said or did seems to be an irony they miss.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  6. Lying about McClellan’s lies — a Republican’s gotta do what a Republican’s gotta do!

    David Ehrenstein (da3648)

  7. “If you fall for it, you’re a sucker.”

    Deep Throat told Woodweird, ‘If you aim too high and miss, everyone feels safer’.

    Until someone has the nuts to flip and start talking, it is Theater and no more.

    Semanticleo (9307d6)

  8. I’d love to watch the three of them go verbal mano-a-mano with Cheney on national TV. Do you think their three IQs added together exceed his? (Not that that would matter.)

    They’d fall over from getting dizzy at trying to watch the circles he’d run around them.

    Dan S (fa2b51)

  9. Cherry blossoms sift
    to pink the long reflections.
    Thunder on the Hill.

    Dan S (fa2b51)

  10. Who will be the new John Dean of this White House?

    Semanticleo (9307d6)

  11. I can only assume that the moonbats keep sharing their impeachment wetdreams with us because it plays well with their base. But, really, they should give it up. Ain’t gonna happen.

    tired (463566)

  12. I have to think it will hurt them in the middle, which is fine with me.

    And watching Cheney respond should be interesting. Assuming he can be bothered. He probably won’t be.

    Dan S (fa2b51)

  13. Semanticleo, no one will be the “new John Dean”. That’s because contrary to false claims by you and others, this really has been the cleanest presidential administration that our nation has seen in nearly a century.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  14. this really has been the cleanest presidential administration that our nation has seen in nearly a century.

    Are we counting cronies appointed or number of forced resignations?

    Hard to imagine Eisenhower commuting the sentence of a former top White House aide before he served a single day.

    steve (3936a0)

  15. The Democrats have neither the votes nor the stones to impeach anyone. There is no point to evoking a Phantom Menace, Patterico.

    David Ehrenstein (da3648)

  16. “Are we counting cronies appointed or number of forced resignations?”

    They will crow ‘only Libby has been convicted’, thereby conferring innocence on the survivors.

    BTW; The insulation around Alphonse Capone was enough to force the Feds to settle for income tax evasion. Therefore, Capone was innocent of murder and racketeering.

    Semanticleo (9307d6)

  17. Substituting a failure of imagination for an actual knowledge of history is amusingly ironic.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  18. The demacraps are getting deserate now that they are shoing poor ratings themselves LETS IMPEACH ALL KENNEDYS

    krazy kagu (6b296a)

  19. They’re just showing a good prosecutor’s mentality. Patterico, you’re sounding like a defense lawyer here.

    Of course there’s no direct evidence of lying and coverup – how could there be with SO MUCH COVERUP? Nobody knows what goes on in the white house, or in Cheney’s massive staff of insiders.

    What I do know is if these guys were anywhere but the U.S. executive branch, their tactics would stick worse than the mob. Endless deception, endless cronyism, pulling their own out of jail, declaring war on everything, etc …

    And it’s all so predictable. Let me refer to the Onion article published the month Bush was first sworn in. Astoundingly accurate. But is it prophetic? No, it’s just that Bush (and all the neocon war lovers) are so predictable

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28784

    Phil (aa9cba)

  20. Someone, anyone, please tell me phil’s joking, and isn’t really that whacked-out…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  21. Of course there’s no direct evidence of lying and coverup – how could there be with SO MUCH COVERUP?

    Let me get this straight: there’s so much cover-up that there’s absolutely no evidence of cover-up?

    Do words mean anything on your planet, Phil?

    Steverino (af57bc)

  22. What I do know is if these guys were anywhere but the U.S. executive branch, their tactics would stick worse than the mob. Endless deception,

    Perjury and suborning perjury, subpoenaed documents that magically appear after the subpoena has run out, not remembering anything under direct examination, testimony that contradicts their own diaries. Sounds like the 90s, huh?

    endless cronyism,

    Any Clinton supporter who could accuse the Bush administration of that with a straight face either has no memory or is a pathological liar.

    pulling their own out of jail,

    Like Roger Clinton, Marc Rich, all the pardons Anthony Rodham arranged…

    declaring war on everything,

    I didn’t realize Afghanistan and Iraq were everything. At least Bush didn’t lob a bunch of cruise missiles at worthless targets without declaring war.

    Steverino (af57bc)

  23. Don’t forget those ‘signing statements’.

    Semanticleo (9307d6)

  24. Republicans voted AGAINST tabling House Resolution 333, accusing Cheney of several specific Impeachable Offenses.

    Ernest Jones (723c53)

  25. I don’t need an impeachment to remember Bush or Cheney as corrupt fucking morons.

    Leviticus (d6cfa5)

  26. Republicans voted AGAINST tabling House Resolution 333, accusing Cheney of several specific Impeachable Offenses.

    In order to force the Dems to publicly flash their asses yet again. When your adversary is humiliating himself, it’s best to assist him. Should it come up again, I hope they do that same. It would make for a great floor debate.

    Pablo (99243e)

  27. Dan S – “I have to think it will hurt them in the middle, which is fine with me.”

    You’re right with this middle minded independent. I’m no fan of Dick Cheney, but the Democrats simply have been an embarrassment and a joke since they took over Congress.

    Dubium (0a6237)

  28. Christoph…
    “Three Possibilities…”

    and, the correct answer is: YES!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  29. The fact that the “proof” that President Bush is such a liar is perennially based on lying about what he said or did seems to be an irony they miss.

    Impervious to irony, and logic, they are.

    JD (bad43f)

  30. Don’t forget those ’signing statements’.

    How could I? Would that the Dems were dumb enough to craft an impeachment around that. “We hereby declare that the Vice President is guilty of a high crime and misdemeanor because the President actually had the nerve to say stuff while signing bills.”

    Xrlq (b65a72)

  31. XRLQ – That was hysterical. Thanks.

    JD (bad43f)


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