Gate-crashing, Race & Executive Privilege

One could have expected that it would only be a matter of time before some high-profile black would turn the recent party-crashing event at the White House dinner into a racial incident. Enter Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, who had this to say: “The symbolism with this being the first African American president is huge, and along with that comes concern for his safety. What did he get? Must have been 96% of the African American vote.”

It defies all logic that a long-term congressman would make a statement that so lacks any reasonable rationale. In the first place, all the presidents who have ever been assassinated or upon whom assassinations have been attempted were white, and the perpetrators of the acts were also white. Using Thompson’s logic on the basis of history, any would-be assassin of President Obama could be expected to be black, but it’s doubtful that he would ever accede to such a possibility – a slam upon his own race, never mind that more than 35% of men in prison in this country are black, while they represent less than 14% of the male population.

What in the world does the percentage of blacks who voted for Obama have to do with the party-crashing event? Absolutely nothing! In fact, Obama was elected by the white vote. So, Thompson’s totally inane remark makes one wonder if someone who can be that silly can actually head a committee, especially one as strategic as Homeland Security. Would assassination have been okay if Obama had received only 51% or less of the black vote? Egad!

But, the good congressman has ordered up hearings to discover how such a dastardly deed as gate-crashing could have happened. Naturally, he has invited the crashers, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, to join in the fun, with the predictable result that they took a pass, whereupon he threatened to put out a subpoena for their appearance, which, predictably, would likely never be executed. The reason is obvious. Thompson made the horrific error of also inviting folks from the White House to appear, whereupon the appearance of at least one lady was foreclosed by – GET THIS – executive privilege, meaning the president is protecting his Kiddy Korps at all costs. naturally thinks back to the executive privilege exercised when the Biden-Leahy gang of the Senate Judiciary Committee wanted to keelhaul Cheney, Miers and others over mostly anything, but especially the so-called federal-prosecutor firings, notwithstanding that Bill Clinton fired all prosecutors on virtually his first day in office in one fell swoop without giving any reason whatsoever. This is not to mention that Attorney General Holder is in the process of keelhauling the same folks over whatever he can dream up, mostly torture. Now, however, he’s staring executive privilege in the face by his own president, the one who apparently told him to go after anybody in the Bush administration after promising back in April not to do any such awful thing.

Well...what’s a president to do? Officially, the Secret Service seems to have fallen on its sword in this affair, meaning that nobody in the administration would be faulted. Problem: nobody with walking-around-sense believes that for a second. Late flash: The White House is accepting blame, but still using executive privilege. The Sahalis insist that they were, by whom? Certainly not the Secret Service! Their names didn’t appear on the invitation list, but there they were, shaking hands and having a terrific smile-contest with the president (who actually forgot to genuflect, probably too smitten by the attractive lady).

So far, the administration through executive privilege has disinvited at least one staffer from the hearings. As usual, and to the great delight of the American Bar Association, lawyers have been hired all around. A lady in the Pentagon is also involved. In fact, one lawyer has already hired another lawyer to protect his total innocence in the matter. In anatomical terms, the Washington-scene incest has never been more obvious, and the president and wife are, if anything, social animals, which may or may not satisfy Congressman Thompson and that 96% of blacks who no doubt are outraged that the Sahalis got the chance to perhaps shoot a poison dart into the president or maybe spike his cocktail with hemlock.

It seems obvious enough that this was an inside job, with the Secret Service (probably about as popular in this administration as “stupid” policemen, as the prez might put it) made the scapegoat, at least intitially. However, some good may accrue to the whole mess, namely, that Holder can start doing his job instead of attempting to crucify anyone in the Bush administration for everything from perpetrating Muslim hangnails to firing people who work at the pleasure of the chief executive.