Saturday, June 18, 2011

Obama's Lawyers

There are two kinds of lawyers in Washington DC. The careerists come with the bureaucracy. Their legal opinions are based on twenty years of interpreting the law and Constitution for numerous presidents. Then there are the political hacks who come to town to serve one specific president and leave when he does.

Neither is the brightest tool in the shed, the good lawyers are making millions in the private sector. The careerists are civil servants, can't be fired on a whim, and do a pretty good job at telling the truth without fear or favor. The hacks are political appointees and can be canned because the president's hemorrhoids are acting up. Their best skill is eating toads and contorting the law to fit what the president wants to hear.
White House Counsel Robert Bauer
The careerists work at their jobs and retire to a moderate government pension. The hacks generally go to academia where they hide their legal ineptitude by surrounding themselves with snot-nosed law students. A notorious example is John Yoo.

All this is the long way to explain how it is that, while all the experienced career lawyers advised President Obama that the War Powers Act applied to the Libyan Adventure, the President was still able to find a handful of lawyers willing to tell him that firing missiles from drones in support of one side of a civil war is in no way a "hostile" act.

There was no "robust process" nor "healthy" disagreement. The careerists interpreted the law in a straightforward manner while the hacks twisted the facts into a surreal art form. President Obama preferred the warped view to reality.

Art is Salvador Dali's "Visage of War."

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