Monday, October 17, 2005

No Matt, No

This article by Matt Yglesias is the sort of thing that will drive me crazy. The bit that got me is this, in response to the possibility that Joseph and Valerie Wilson might sue George Bush.
If this happens, I think it would behoove liberals to recall that we were right the first time on this issue and that if it comes to it, the Supreme Court ought to reverse their obviously mistaken ruling in the Jones case. It would be emotionally satisfying, of course, to see the GOP taste some of its own medicine on this point, but the Court's contention that the lawsuit wouldn't interfere with the president's official responsibilities was clearly wrong and the judicial system shouldn't be encouraged to compound the error for the sake of consistency. Generally speaking, if complicity in illegal Plame-related conduct extends all the way up to Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, that's a matter properly left to Congress or else until 2009 when they're out of office.

The strictest sense I agree that the Supreme Court decision that Clinton vs Jones would go forward was a bad decision. However, it seems sometimes that liberals insist on going into a street brawl and then trying to fight by Marquis of Queensbury rules. The SC decision was a 9-0, rather overwhelming and leaving very little room for it being overturned. Which three justices would join Meirs and Roberts to change the outcome? This gives we on the left rather a lot of room to just accept defeat in the court and let Joe Wilson go ahead, with our blessing. It would be absurd for us now to support a reversal just to let Bush and Cheney off the hook. For God's sake, if we put up with that, the SC would just reverse itself again the next time a Democrat was in office. No, that cannot be tolerated.

Now if Matt wanted to get the Republican Congress to pass legislation or start a constitutional amendment process to reverse the decision, I might be more sympathetic. But, please, if the country does change course on letting civil suits against sitting presidents go forward then we Democrats need to force the Republicans to admit, public ally, that they were wrong when Clinton was in office.

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