The U.S. Attorneys Fight: It’s Gonna Go Nuclearby Doug Mataconis
The White House and the Democrats who run Congress both see political advantage in the ongoing fight for public testimony by presidential advisers about the controversial firing of eight U.S. attorneys. And both have settled on what they believe will be durable messages for a potentially protracted confrontation, although one that is likely to stop short of a historic conflagration at the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Republican mantra on Capitol Hill can be summed up this way: â€œDemocrats canâ€™t legislate, so they want to investigate.â€ The gist of the Democratic talking points is: â€œRepublicans want to hide from the truth.â€
For Democrats, the brouhaha is a chance to revel in their new power, an ability to spotlight an embarrassing issue for an administration obsessed with secrecy.
So, it’s just like a lot of Washington “scandals.” Everyone agrees that nothing illegal happened, but both sides are willing to fight because they see advantage to it.
One Republican official said the presidentâ€™s supporters are thrilled to see him on the offensive. â€œOur base is excited again,â€ the official said. â€œWeâ€™re back on our toes and off our heels. Everybody agrees we handled it wrong, but so what? So youâ€™re going to make this a constitutional crisis?â€
At the moment, that would appear to be the case.