Today the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted to impeach the US Attorney General for Contempt of Congress. The vote fell strictly along party lines with 17 Democrats opposing and 23 Republicans approving the measure. Now it moves to the House floor where only a simple majority is required to pass it.
Of course there is the usual air of contention, partisan bickering as the Democrats denounce the measure; but there is a certain oily tang to it, a redolent stench of ancient sins, modern corruption and the ever present hypocrisy of Washington politics.
From the Hill:
The Congressional Tri-Caucus, meanwhile, condemned the move as “politics at its worst.” The caucus consists of nearly 80, mostly Democratic members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.What about the cause for truth? The cause for the unvarnished truth that would establish the circumstances surrounding a disastrous operation that has caused the death of at least one federal agent and hundreds of Mexican citizens? Since when has civility superseded truth? How did we miss the memo? This is Satan in action as he destroys the legal fabric of our society.
“This is an extremely low moment in our body politic,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Ill.), the chairman of the CBC. “The cause for civility has been met by an unnecessary and unfortunate partisanship.” [emphasis mine ~sig94]
And I say ancient sin because this type of brigandry is as old as mankind itself. I am reminded of how honest men react to this type of abuse and how their outrage is reflected through the ages. Sample this oration of Cicero (the first of four) against Cataline in 63 BC.
When, O Catiline, do you mean to cease abusing our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end of that unbridled audacity of yours, swaggering about as it does now? Do not the nightly guards placed on the Palatine Hill—do not the watches posted throughout the city—does not the alarm of the people, and the union of all good men—does not the precaution taken of assembling the senate in this most defensible place—do not the looks and countenances of this venerable body here present, have any effect upon you? Do you not feel that your plans are detected? Do you not see that your conspiracy is already arrested and rendered powerless by the knowledge which every one here possesses of it? What is there that you did last night, what the night before— where is it that you were—who was there that you summoned to meet you—what design was there which was adopted by you, with which you think that any one of us is unacquainted?Lucius Sergius Catilina was part of a plot to assassinate the consul (Cicero) and take over the Roman government. These were the Catilinian Conspiracies that arose in part due to the tremendous debt foisted upon the Roman Republic by a series of wars. The economy of Roman was in shambles and many farmers lost their homes and moved to Rome; there they swelled the ranks of the unemployed and volatile poor which included many veterans. It was from these ranks that Catiline sought to build another army and conquer Rome. Catiline was killed in battle with his make shift army in 62 BC.
Shame on the age and on its principles! The senate is aware of these things; the consul sees them; and yet this man lives. Lives! aye, he comes even into the senate. He takes a part in the public deliberations; he is watching and marking down and checking off for slaughter every individual among us. And we, gallant men that we are, think that we are doing our duty to the republic if we keep out of the way of his frenzied attacks.
You ought, O Catiline, long ago to have been led to execution by command of the consul. That destruction which you have been long plotting against us ought to have already fallen on your own head.