FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Americans are fed up with Congress. Why wouldn't they be? A new Gallup poll shows Congress' approval rating at 14%, the lowest in 30 years.
One of the reasons has got to be the legislative branch's refusal to exercise any sort of oversight on the executive branch of government, something they are specifically charged in our Constitution with doing.
In fact, President Bush has learned he can simply thumb his nose at Congress, because they won't do anything about it. So he does… over and over and over again.
Yesterday President Bush claimed executive privilege – yet again – in refusing to hand over the transcript of the FBI interview with Vice President Dick Cheney about the CIA leak case. Congressman Henry Waxman stomped his feet and said he'll move forward with a contempt citation against Attorney General Michael Mukasey. But, so what? Haven't we been here before?
Multiple White House staffers have ignored subpoenas in the last several years, including Karl Rove, former counsel Harriet Miers, Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. And nothing was done to any of them.
Meanwhile, Congress bowed to King George's demands and passed that new FISA surveillance bill, without ever doing anything about the breaking of the law with the old one. They continue to approve more money for the war in Iraq – most recently another $162 billion, no strings attached – despite promising to cut off funding for the war back in 2006.
A new book titled "The Dark Side" by New Yorker writer Jane Mayer suggests top administration officials including President Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others may be guilty of war crimes, but Congress has chosen to simply look the other way. A good lawyer might be able to make the case Congress has been criminally negligent.
Here’s my question to you: Why does Congress continue to allow President Bush to get away with so much?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Michael from Leander, Texas writes:
You've got me, Jack. I've been screaming about this until I turned blue in the face. The mounds of evidence are right there, the claims of executive privilege are b.s., the American people are screaming for impeachment, but I don't for the life of me understand why Pelosi won't let the gloves come off. If Bush is given a free pass, this sets the bar so low for future presidents, that we might as well abolish Congress and give the president a crown.
A combination of reality and politics. In reality, we have a Bush toady for an Attorney General, an overload of conservatives throughout the Justice Department because of unfair hiring practices, and a conservative, Republican appointed Supreme Court there to uphold any unfair decisions. Politically, the Dems are about to win back the White House - there's no way they want to make waves now. I think it's the right move. There will be plenty of time for accountability once John Edwards is President Obama's AG.
Nuwan from Houston, Texas writes:
What you have in the Congress, regardless of their party, are not leaders… they are merely politicians. Politicians put their own self-interest before the country. That is what they are whether we like it or not. So why would we expect them to do anything different? We the American people lose every time we trust their election promises.
Ron from Springdale, Arkansas writes:
Jack, I think Congress is much like the rest of us in thinking by re-electing this Bozo as our leader, we are as much to blame as anybody for his actions. The goal now is merely to keep him contained and hope he doesn’t do anymore damage until we can rid the White House of him.
I bet the president is wondering the same thing.