The bigger scandal, however, almost surely involves prosecutors still in office. The Gonzales Eight were fired because they wouldn't go along with the Bush administration's politicization of justice. But statistical evidence suggests that many other prosecutors decided to protect their jobs or further their careers by doing what the administration wanted them to do: harass Democrats while turning a blind eye to Republican malfeasance.
And let's not forget that Karl Rove's candidates have a history of benefiting from conveniently timed federal investigations. Last year Molly Ivins reminded her readers of a curious pattern during Mr. Rove's time in Texas: "In election years, there always seemed to be an F.B.I. investigation of some sitting Democrat either announced or leaked to the press. After the election was over, the allegations often vanished."
Fortunately, Mr. Rove's smear-and-fear tactics fell short last November. I say fortunately, because without Democrats in control of Congress, able to hold hearings and issue subpoenas, the prosecutor purge would probably have become yet another suppressed Bush-era scandal - a huge abuse of power that somehow never became front-page news.
Before the midterm election, I wrote that what the election was really about could be summed up in two words: subpoena power. Well, the Democrats now have that power, and the hearings on the prosecutor purge look like the shape of things to come.
In the months ahead, we'll hear a lot about what's really been going on these past six years. And I predict that we'll learn about abuses of power that would have made Richard Nixon green with envy.
Gee, ya think?
When I read stuff like this, and I do nearly every day, I'm damn glad the Democrats are finally in control, thank you again electorate. They've got the subpœna power that may yet turn these administration abuses into jail sentences.
I wish the process would move faster, but reality dictates it will take the time it takes. As long as it proceeds in the right direction I guess I'm happy.