This is like deja vu all over again:
Senate Republicans have requested information about Attorney General nominee Eric Holder’s role in the Elian Gonzalez controversy as part of a broad probe into his tenure with the Clinton administration and potential ties to presidential scandals during that era.
Eight of nine GOP members on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote Clinton Presidential Library Director Terry Garner on Thursday to ask for 10 categories of material, and that includes any information on Holder’s involvement with the Cuban boy seized by U.S. agents in April 2000.
Maybe we can arrange for Clinton to get another blowjob from an intern somewhere to distract the GOP. I am sure Clinton won’t mind. Well, Bill won’t.
*** Update ***
I am reminded in the comments that the Elian Gonzalez affair is the source one of the all time classics of the wingnut genre, from Nooner herself:
The great unanswered question of course is: What was driving Mr. Clinton? What made him do such a thing? What accounts for his commitment in this case? Concern for the father? But such concern is wholly out of character for this president; he showed no such concern for parents at Waco or when he freed the Puerto Rican terrorists. Concern for his vision of the rule of law? But Mr. Clinton views the law as a thing to suit his purposes or a thing to get around.
Why did he do this thing? He will no doubt never say, a pliant press will never push him on it, and in any case if they did who would expect him to speak with candor and honesty? Absent the knowledge of what happened in this great public policy question, the mind inevitably wonders.
Was it fear of Fidel Castro–fear that the dictator will unleash another flood of refugees, like the Mariel boatlift of 1980? Mr. Clinton would take that seriously, because he lost his gubernatorial election that year after he agreed to house some of the Cubans. In Bill Clinton’s universe anything that ever hurt Bill Clinton is bad, and must not be repeated. But such a threat, if it was made, is not a child-custody matter but a national-security matter, and should be dealt with in national-security terms.
Was it another threat from Havana? Was it normalization with Cuba–Mr. Clinton’s lust for a legacy, and Mr. Castro’s insistence that the gift come at a price? If the price was a child, well, that’s a price Mr. Clinton would likely pay. What is a mere child compared with this president’s need to be considered important by history?
Was Mr. Clinton being blackmailed? The Starr report tells us of what the president said to Monica Lewinsky about their telephone sex: that there was reason to believe that they were monitored by a foreign intelligence service. Naturally the service would have taped the calls, to use in the blackmail of the president. Maybe it was Mr. Castro’s intelligence service, or that of a Castro friend.
Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to. A great and searing tragedy has occurred, and none of us knows what drove it, or why the president did what he did. Maybe Congress will investigate. Maybe a few years from now we’ll find out what really happened.
Yes, see this is when they are the happiest. Trivial pursuit on a national level.
I never expected anything else.
I’ll bet he planted that damned pumpkin in Whit Chambers’ farm, too!
It would be funny if it wasn’t so damn ridiculous. IIRC the republicans should be chearing if Holder was involved in the gonzalez bit because the durn illegal furinner was sent home.
Apparently Republicans aren’t familiar with that story about the boy who cried ‘wolf!’ one too many times.
What a waste of time. Ever body knows that Holder is an avowed Obammunist. That’s what they do. Take away little children from free and loving Capitalists, and return them to evil bearded revolutionary commies. Probably to be tortured and later eaten. You go wingnuts!
Maybe they should dig up Terry Schiavo’s corpse and parade it around some while they’re at it.
I suppose this is possible because Bush set such a high standard with Alberto.
Good luck to them bringing up this old, musty garbage. This is surely what the public wants right now.
If the GOP plays its cards right, they could manage to reduce themselves to, like, 5 or 6 total Congressmen & Senators, all from Alabama, Utah, & Mississippi.
You knew when Gonzales got looked at, even a little, in Congress that this would happen to a Democratic nominee. I’d as soon Holder got a good looking at, versus what the Republicans ever did with their guys, but the question will be whether it’s real or junk with them. The AG will have a serious mess on his hands and it would be nice if the American people have an idea his hands are clean going in.
This is one reason I don’t view Leahy putting the hearing back a "cave in" to Republicans. Holder needs to be shown to have no more than a little surface rust common to being in politics at all. I’m neither a fan or opponent of Holder, but I do think Obama is a careful shrewd man.
Remember when Diaz-Balart gave Cortez a puppy for Christmas? How can Leftists look upon that event as anything other than an act of human kindness?
you know, my first reaction was to say:
"the republicans are *so* much better at being out of power than the democrats are. when the dems were out, they rolled over and played dead. they should take lessons from the republicans; when you are out of power, it’s play time–anything goes, no rules, no fouls!"
but then i remembered:
the republicans are *not* out of power, so long as the press is completely in their pockets.
for some reason, no republican scandal in the last eight years could ever get traction in the press. so there were no republican scandals.
but now, the most transparently faked-up attempt at pinning a scandal on a democrat is being heartily embraced by the press, pumped up by the press, amplified and turned into a huge deal by the press. so it is a democratic scandal.
yup. it’s good to own the press. you’re never out of power.
Please tell me that this is from the Onion.
The US press has almost done its job the last couple years, but you have to remember that one reason Democrats get hammered by the press is that they don’t make a jihad out of it. If the press could keep its collective mind that wouldn’t be a problem that they’re watching. It would be nice if they paid as much attention to the Republicans, but that would involve nerve. – Notice I mentioned the last couple years, years BushCo lost most of its swat…
if that’s all they got on Holder, there’s not much to fear.
The economy is going to shit, thousands losing their jobs every single day, automakers nearly bankrupt… and the GOP wants to re-hash some bullshit from 8 years ago.
Because, you know, that Ayers/Rezko/Rev. Wright crap didn’t do enough to convince the voters that the GOP’s got nothing to offer but smear and fear.
The Moar You Know
Please God let this be true. A better group of people to doom themselves to irrelevance I cannot think of.
Democrat Bat Boy found in cave, bitches!
Chuck, go read Digby. It’s exactly what we’ve been saying all along. The press will switch from ‘supine’ mode to ‘attack dog’ mode the moment a Democrat returns to the White House.
Not My Fault
Dude. When the dems are in, they roll over and play dead.
It’s like showing up to a Judas Priest show in 1985, in a polyester leisure suit.
"Hey, this thing was stylin’ and got me lots of chicks 8 years ago… I bet it still fits too! Well… almost…"
Why isn’t Obama doing anything to save Elian Gonzalez? That’s what everyone wants to know during this economic crisis.
In before Ruby Ridge and Waco.
Whatever happened to "the president should have the nominee he wants"? Oh, yeah, it just hit me…
Meanwhile, Politico pushes the stupidity envelope.
Also, Jesse Jackson Jr.’s hands are looking pretty clean.
Hey, hillbilly tourists still show up in San Francisco dressed like that. Wide collars and all. Wanting to know where all the "hippie and freaks" hang out. I want to tell them to look in their hotel lobby mirror. They look like Don Knotts from "Three is Company".
I didn’t even know they still made white belts and shoes.
Let me get this right; the same bunch who enthusiastically signed off on Alberto Gonzales as AG are now questioning someone’s fitness to hold that post? They really are determined to become the party of the old Confederacy aren’t they?
I was worried they would come to their senses and start carrying on about things people care about. With their press advantages, and a complete lack of shame or short-term memory, they could turn on a dime and just start saying what people want to hear, and get away with it.
All promises being just campaign promises, as always.
But they aren’t doing that. They are just hammering at the same nails that the public has realized is for their coffin.
Deregulation and rugged individualism just doesn’t have the same ring when you are eating bread sandwiches and wondering when the pick slip will come.
Just Some Fuckhead
It’s too fucking bad Holder isn’t somehow involved in the torture of detainees, politicization of the justice dept and firing of the us attys, illegal warantless wiretapping of us citizensby NSA, botched Iraqi occupation following an invasion based on lies, mismanagement of Walter Reed, the outing of cia agent valerie plame, failure to finish the job in afghanistan, mishandling of North Korea allowing them to go nuclear, civilian contractor abuse in Iraq, failure to respond adequately to Hurricane Katrina, K Street lobbying scandals…………………
eyes glaze over
Otherwise, ya know, we could get some real honest-to-god Republican oversight of these matters.
Don’t the Republicans realize that outside of Miami, no one else in the country gave a shit about Elian Gonzales? I mean, the national polls were overwhelmingly in favor of sending the kid back to his dad everywhere but in Little Havana.
And I swear, if someone decides to interview Marisleysis again over this thing, I will hunt them down and remove their junk by the most painful means possible.
It does appear that way, and as the eternally helpful liberals we be, should extend every inch of rope they require.
We’ll have help. Slowly, Americans are coming to the realization that the Republicans aren’t a political party – they’re a disease.
Elian freakin’ Gonzalez? Are you kidding me? That’s it? That’s all they’ve got?
Of course, we should never remember that Peggy Noonan’s column about Elian Gonzalez was where her most famous line originated:
"Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to."
That, by the way, was Our Lady of the Dolphins musing about how Clinton probably returned Elian to his father because Castro was blackmailing him about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
I shit you not. Go read for yourself.
Heh. I meant "never forget" above (and missed the edit timer while I was on the phone). Unless I was trying to say that I’d like to never remember that column again.
If you haven’t seen them yet, Wired has a run-down of some of the games based on the Bush/shoe-throw incident. Heh.
@Not My Fault:
Yep, definitely in Congress. Hopefully not in the presidency. Too much.
The Hill article says Leahy rescheduled Holder’s confirmation hearing to a later date “under pressure” from committee Republicans. To accommodate their pressing need for more time to gather info tying Holder to past issues threatening survival of the republic like returning a son to his father and Monica’s blue dress.
Leahy shouldn’t have rescheduled. He and other Dems need to learn how to pull the trigger on their middle finger at bullshit or it’s going to be a really long four years.
If they are going after Holder this way, it makes me think maybe he is a better appointment than I had thought.
The Repubs are terrified of him. He knows the DOJ inside and out and has excoriated the Bushies for their lawbreaking from about day one. They are going to try and tarnish him as much as possible before he begins his inquisition (their fear anyway). I wouldn’t be all that shocked if they tried a filibuster, though it would likely fail.
South of I-10
I seriously thought this was a joke when I first read it. Elian Gonzales? Really? That was about 1000 years ago.
C’mon, Elian Gonzalez was parodied on South Park Season *4*
Back in the 20th Century! What’s next, a return to slandering James Longstreet’s reputation?
Incertus (#29) is right: this pseudo-controversy didn’t play outside of Miami then, and it won’t now. The downside is that the only other "base" for an Elian Gonzalez resurgence – traditional media, in full-blown swoon mode – will blather on for days and days about it, pushing all verifiable news down the rabbit hole, presumably because "it is irresponsible not to" make shit up. America yawns, and the real winner turns out to be Rod Blagojevich, out of the news at last. Thanks, Republicans. Fucking golden!
Elian was the original Terry Schaivo. Wingnut demagoguery at its most loopy and toxic.
Our Lady of the Dolphins coined that phrase? Not Kaus?
That makes her the original goat-blower, does it not?
My question is why Arlen Specter is leading the charge against Holder, especially if it’s going in this ridiculous direction. I know the guy is worried about a primary challenge in 2010, but assuming he wins the primary he’s not going to do very well in the general if he’s setting himself up as a major thorn in Obama’s side before he even gets into the White House.
Maybe he’s decided not to run, but then what’s his excuse for acting like a wingnut?
"It is irresponsible not to [speculate]." Of course. Yes. Heh indeedy dee.
Jon Swift is getting together his list of blogger’s favorites again and I had the chance to re-read yours about Beauchamp, this year should provide you with gold.
I don’t know that this one is my best writing but it provoked people. I’m glad I don’t have your volume of posts to decide from.
Compare and contrast:
Absent the knowledge of what happened in this great public policy question, the mind inevitably wonders.
– Peggy Noonan
The mind wobbles.
– Kelly Bundy
This truly is a classic, and would be the ne plus ultra of Noonan’s work, if not for those magic dolphins. Which, I recall, were from the same era. Absent the knowledge of what type of prescription drugs La Noonan was taking at the time, the mind inevitably wonders.
ah hell here’s Swift’s last year
Yeah. Only reason that got their dildoes all in a twist was that Elian was returned to a non-Republican father. And in doing so Clinton didn’t perform ball-licking service as they do for their more political activist Cuban constituents in South Florida.
The Other Steve
Bizarre. Most everybody I know views the Elian Gonzalez thing as the Govt being in the right, and the wackos in Florida holding the kid turning it into a stupid Circus.
I don’t see how they’ll gain much from this stunt.
I guess it’s fascinating how on one hand Republicans whine about illegal immigration, and then on the other hand whine about how we’re not letting in enough illegals from Cuba.
kommrade reproductive vigor
Elian Gonzalez? Elian Fucking Gonzalez??
For the love of God, someone please get those sad fucks a new shtick.
Edit: And what The Other Steve said. Eight years screaming Dey tukr jooobs! and suddenly O noes, a children of God!
I believe Kaus was deemed a goat blower because he said that someone (I forget who) hadn’t been sufficiently vigorous in denying or disproving some speculation or another.
South of I-10
The more I think about it, this makes me kind of happy. It’s like the last 15 years never happened. So I am 23 again and this is the most important story happening. No wars, no 9/11, no Patriot Act, no Katrina and Rita. I was living large in 1993. Is this really the best they can do?
Also: The War on the War on Christmas must be fought!
South of I-10
Okay nver mind, I didn’t think it was that long ago! He was born in 1993 – the rest was 2000.
@South of I-10: Watch out. If they revive Alger Hiss and the reds under the beds in the State Department, we will have all sorts of work to go through before we get caught up again.
I don’t get it. I thought Republicans were in *favor* of deporting illegal Elians, er, aliens back to their home countries.
Noonan is one of the pundits who infuriate me and her off camera remarks on MSNBC about the choice of Palin = "political bullshit" didn’t seem to hurt her one bit. argh.
She herself is full of political bullshit.
This Elian Gonzales side show article from 2001 shows how willing she is to just wonder out loud, put it in print, get paid for it and consider it journalism. Hey, that whole thing was suitable ONLY for the comment section of some blog. Guessing and speculating is our job dammit!
But, we’re discussing Holder and how far back and how far down the Republicans have to dig to get dirt on him and I say let ’em. I’d rather like to know about his involvement, if any, with the Mark Rich pardon.
We are entitled to the truth, not that we’ll ever get it. So let them ask any and all questions. Bring it. After all we’re talking about a lawyer who’ll be the next Attorney General of the United States and if he can’t hold up to Republican political bullshit under questioning or garner enough support from the Senate to be confirmed then trot out the next candidate.
ps: I agree with kid bitzer’s comment @11:
And from Bush’s own mouth: You see you have to repeat it over and over again to…you know…ramp up the propaganda.
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
Republicans think big, big, big, and look how well their best thinking has worked out for all of us.
South of I-10
@Xenos: Don’t I have enough to do already? If we have to rehash the last several decades, I’m in trouble!
Awesome, thanks! I about croaked when I saw the Matrix one.
You know, if the GOP keeps playing its cards the way it’s been playing them, it may even freak out the Utahns. Because as wacked as they can be, Utah is not the Confederacy, and they will want to play with the folks from Idaho and Wyoming, who are in their neighborhood, but I’m afraid they just don’t get the whole Southern thing.
Besides, the Mormons and the Southern Baptists always end up in arguments over who is the One True Church.
I followed this to the logical end, and now I feel depressed.
Because what happened then seems clear to me Heck, I don’t see how an alternative explanation could exist. Elian’s mother tried to take her son to another country without the father’s permission. Most of the time, we call that parental abduction. Elian’s mother died en route, and his father came looking for him. In other words, the boy’s acknowledged, biological father showed up. Nobody ever produced any convincing evidence to show him for anything other than he seemed, a loving, fit parent who simply wanted to take his son home. The only problem anyone could make stick had to do with the location of home: Juan Gozalez came from Cuba. So why did the Clinton Administration help him take his son home? I mean, aside from every possible family law precedent going and a clutch of international treaties? Well, how about the hundreds of Americans trying to recover their children from countries where the authorities have about the same opinion of the United States that American legislators have of Cuba. These parents have nothing to stand on but the law and the acknowledged principle that you don’t break up families for ideological reasons. What happens to them if the United States government trashes the law?
And then I get depressed. Because I thought Mr. Holder should get up and ask the Republican
Senatorsclowns what they would say to an American family facing a hostile court in, well, many parts of the world these days, if the US refuses to follow the rules. And then I realized the Republican Senatorsclowns would say, because people have said it to me: the US government to tell Juan Gonzalez that he could have the green card and the kid, or no green card and no kid, and the heck with international laws and principles.. The United States doesn’t have to follow the law. Everyone else does, but not us, because American means always right.
And that depresses me, because I like Americans, and I see how this attitude plays with people from other countries. I see successful small business people, people very like American Republicans when this sort of arrogance confronts them. They go crazy with rage, They react exactly the way Americans would react if another power tried the "laws for thee but not for me" doctrine on them. And without any sane reason. the United States has one more non-American enraged at them.
Heck, if Elian Gonzalez was born in 1993, he’s now old enough to testify on his own behalf in front of Congress. Maybe that’s why Leahy agreed to put this stray-dog-and-dead-pony-show off — he’s negotiating for EG to appear. Although I don’t think it’s a bad idea to let the Plantation Party Rethugs move their on-camera shenanigans till after the holidays, when the foreclosure moratorium has ended and the pink slips are flying and the year-end bills are in every mailbox. Anyone who still gets their panties in a wad over a single long-mooted custody case when thousands of their neighbors are worrying about staying housed & fed is Not A Serious Person. (Toxic via contact, possibly, but not serious.)
Since my fellow Michiganders used to call this combination "the full Cleveland", perhaps we should have threatened the Plantation Party crybabies trying to destroy the Midwest with the lose of their favorite sartorial accents?
@John Spragge: What’s bothering you is that you just tried to make sense of it. No, it won’t all be OK, but trying to make sense of it will hurt your head.
i can’t decide whether the GOP’s message machine is loopy like a bad eight-track (yeah, man!) or one of those endless electric waterfalls.
That was indeed a classic Nooners line, but I’ve always been even more partial to the conclusion of that column, which is in fact where Pegaloon earned herself the monicker "Our Lady of the Dolphins." That was where she broke new ground in the creative disparagement of Bill Clinton by comparing him unfavorably to Ronald Reagan for not believing in magic dolphins.
Ferd of the North
What would have happened if Elian’s uncles were gay?
It was bad enough having to live through the Elian nonsense when I was living in Miami, now we have to rehash it?
I guess having the Rs hook up with the Cuban refugee community – another group destined for political irrelevance – makes good sense.
That Noonan piece is yea verily indeed a classic. Not only does it contain the above-mentioned Clinton "speculation," we got dolphins AND Reagan too:
Gives me a whole new appreciation for the inanity of evil that is Peggy Noonan.
[Edit: I see that forked tongue got there first.]
TheAssInTheHatOnMyCat(Formerly Comrade Tax Analyst)
It’s ALMOST beyond mind-boggling that the Republicans would have the absolute chutzpah to bring up Elian Gonzalez again. If ever there was an "issue" that deserved to be handled with respect for basic parental rights this was it. As others have stated, Elian’s father was by all accounts a decent, hard-working man who only wanted to retrieve the boy and return him to his home. It should not have been a big deal and it certainly should not have been allowed to cascade into a political circus event. But the Republicans just had to try and turn it into some kind of phony-assed morality play, and it doing so they managed to subject us to the perpetually hysterical Marisleysis and a perpetually unemployed, unemployable, drunken uncle, who, if I recall correctly, had been here several or more years yet never bothered to learn much, if any, English. So let’s see – return the boy to his rather stable and employed father so they could return home to Cuba, or toss him into the schizophrenic, daily-trauma-drama that seemed to continually spin around Mari-hysteri-eysis and Senor Drunken Uncle (Juan?? I don’t exactly recall)? Well, one thing for certain, that certainly would have given young Elian some valuable insight and experience in dealing with dysfunctional family situations.
The Elian Gonzalez "situation"? Hey, I say "Bring It On!!!"
Unbelievable. My God, he had a role in deporting an illegal. If he didn’t, he would be supporting the tacit approval of illegal Cuban immigration. Rethugs need to pick what side of their mouth they want to talk out of.
Thankfully, the Repubs are zeroing in on the important problems America faces in 2009.
Coming up soon: a new investigation into allegations of the Clinton’s removal of computer keys from keyboards in late 2000 during the transition.
Why is there even a Republican Party? Why not just hire the graduates of the Ringling Brothers clown school and have done with it?