You are hereTruthout: The Bush Legacy Strikes Out American Justice

Truthout: The Bush Legacy Strikes Out American Justice

January 29, 2011- The Detroit Tigers are retiring the great baseball manager Sparky Anderson's number 11 this season. "It's a wonderful gesture," Detroit Free Press columnist Michael Rosenberg wrote. "I just wish Sparky could see it."

Anderson won three World Series - one managing the Tigers, two with the Cincinnati Reds - and passed away this past November. Rosenberg said, "Retiring his number now is the baseball version of waiting until a relative dies to say thank you."
That's because it comes sixteen years after Anderson left the Tigers in a bitter feud with owner Mike Ilitch. Yet, as Sparky once said, "I've got my faults, but living in the past is not one of them. There's no future in it."

I wish I could say the same, let bygones be bygones and the rest, but when it comes to two other baseball devotees, the presidents Bush, it's tough. Father and, especially, son left behind a heap of wreckage.

I hear some of you say, forget it, time to move on. Maybe, but theirs is not a legacy that simply fades into the distance and leaves us in peace. What they did continues to impact our lives in deleterious ways, notably when it comes to the full speed, head-on collision of partisan politics with American justice.

Just this week, the US Office of Special Counsel (OSC) released a long overdue, 118-page report concluding that George Jr.'s White House used government agencies for Republican pep rallies and sent officials off on electioneering trips using taxpayer money, especially in the lead-up to the 2006 midterm elections. These reported activities are violations of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan political activities in the workplace and forbids the use of tax revenues for political purposes.

According to the OSC's findings, the abuses were "a systemic misuse of federal resources." As the web site Talking Points Memo reported, "The Office of Political Affairs (OPA) in Bush's White House, overseen by Karl Rove, dispatched cabinet officials to campaign for Republican candidates on the federal dime and forced federal political appointees to attend political meetings during work time."

One memo at the US Department of Health and Human Services read, "This meeting is mandatory. It will essentially be the same large meeting that we had last year about this time. So, please clear your schedule, put your pom-poms on, and let's go!!!"

There won't be any punishment for the cheerleaders - unless you count Democrats taking back the House and Senate in 2006, despite Rove and the GOP pulling out all the stops with their White House boiler room operation. No request has been made asking the Justice Department to file charges; Rove and any other miscreants fled the scene of the crime before Inauguration Day 2009 and can no longer be prosecuted. The Obama White House, however, has moved its OPA to Democratic National Committee headquarters and the presidential re-election effort to Chicago. What could possibly go wrong in Chicago?




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