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Bunning's Hold in the Senate: Will it Work?

chicago dyke's picture

So just one Republican is enough to hold up a bill to restore sanity to "sensitive" presidential records.

The executive order, which Mr. Gonzales drafted, made it significantly harder for historians and the public to gain access to a former president’s official records, and it provided an early glimpse of two Bush White House themes: a mania for secrecy and a dangerously inflated view of presidential authority to override existing law.
Six years and one Congressional power shift later, there is ample support in the House and Senate for repealing the executive order’s cumbersome rules, which give presidents, former presidents and even their heirs power to withhold sensitive documents well beyond the standard 12-year waiting period. A bipartisan measure reversing the presumption of nondisclosure and reasonably limiting executive privilege claims passed the House in March by a veto-proof majority. In June, it cleared Senate committee review.

Yet approval by the full Senate is in doubt because of a single Republican senator, Jim Bunning of Kentucky. Mr. Bunning has declined to detail his reasons for exercising his senatorial prerogative to hold up consideration of the bill beyond telling The Dallas Morning News that the “president ought to have the right to withhold any records he chooses.” His colleagues and all Americans are owed a fuller explanation of why he believes a politician’s desire to hide embarrassing information for no legitimate reason of national security should trump the public’s right to know.

Without going into a lengthy diatribe on the absurdity that a free democratic society needs so many secrets, I have two questions:

1. Why is it in question that Reid may or may not do the right thing in this case?

2. Why is it very clear that he's unhappy about Dodd's procedural threats re telco immunity and the AG nomination process?

Whatever Reid decides to do, contrasts like these are a big reason why I'm so very, very low on enthusiasm when it comes to "working hard for a bigger Democratic majority."

...and you gotta love the way in which Bunning confuses the office of President with that of King. Republicans aren't even trying to pretend anymore; they lurv their Lil Monarch and can't wait for the next one.

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Submitted by lambert on

... because the family gets to conceal.

And I love Bunning's quote: “president ought to have the right to withhold any records he chooses.”

Yeah, like that pesky Wansee Agreement, or lettres de cachet, or the Star Chamber, or all the instruments of tyranny.

Woody, I deleted the "Puke" comment. I'm tired of that one. I know what you mean, but even I have gag limit for invective. Please stop using it; it makes the blog look bad.

We. Are. Going. To. Die. We must restore hope in the world. We must bring forth a new way of living that can sustain the world. Or else it is not just us who will die but everyone. What have we got to lose? Go forth and Fight!—Xan

Woody--Tokin Librul's picture
Submitted by Woody--Tokin Librul on

Bunning, has laid his 'hold' on the records act to give the GOPhascist GOPhux a bargaining chip to (appear to) trade for the passage of the Telcos retroactive immunity? I say "appear to trade," because I anticipate the GOPhux will cheat.
Me? A Quick Study, But A Slow Learner

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

imagination and intellect instead of one that's worn threadbare in retreading?

'cause while I'm not lambert, when I run into those "cutesy" bits of namecalling, I just shut down on the comment and go elsewhere.