Editor's Note: George W. Bush is rejecting Democratic calls for sworn testimony by his White House inner circle about the unusual firings of eight U.S. Attorneys who were viewed as not "loyal Bushies," according to one Justice Department e-mail. But what might the Democrats find if the officials did testify openly and under oath?

In this guest essay, Democratic Talk Radio co-host Stephen Crockett suggests that underlying Bush's resistance to a full investigation is evidence of longstanding criminality that borders on racketeering:

There is nothing as corrupt as using the governmental powers of law enforcement, to selectively prosecute your political enemies and to cover-up criminal behavior by your political organization and allies, while in a position of political power. This situation is the essence of the current scandal concerning the firing of U.S. Attorneys by the Bush White House.

The Watergate scandal should have taught the Republican Party that this kind of abuse is outside the bounds of acceptable political behavior in American society. Republican activists failed to learn the lessons of Watergate and are now reliving history on issue after issue.

Republican Presidential pardon powers were used to thwart the rule of law and let the Republican political criminal Richard Nixon avoid the jail time he deserved. Republicans should have gone to jail in large numbers doing the Iran-Contra scandals.

In that case, a Republican White House ignored the rule of law. They abused the traditions of normal American political behavior and federal law to impose their minority foreign policy views on an American public opposed to the Republican ideologically based policies. Instead, Presidential pardon powers were abused to help Republican political criminals avoid the jail time they deserved.

The current Bush White House by executive order changed the process on revealing prior Presidential papers to the public early in George W. Bush’s first term in a way that prevented revelation of criminal behaviors concerning Iran-Contra figures. The role of his father, the first George Bush, in the criminal behavior concerning of Iran-Contra remains unexplored. The executive order may violate the Presidential Papers Act.

At issue is Republican Presidential politics influencing potential criminal investigations and prosecutions. The current Republican White House has definitely politicized the process of federal law enforcement in a way that corrupts American government.

Unfortunately, they are continuing a long Republican tradition. Republicans seem to view this as politics as usual. It is not! It is corruption and deeply offensive to the real traditions of American government.

Under this Bush, it appears that federal prosecutors have targeted 7 or 8 times more Democratic officeholders than Republican officeholders. The investigations of Democratic state legislators in Tennessee looks politically motivated.

Anyone familiar with Tennessee politics knows that Republican politicians in that state are just as corrupt or corruptible as Democratic ones. The federal government has not investigated the Republican officeholders in Tennessee in the way they have Democrats.

The political strength of Republicans in Tennessee looks to be closely linked to politicized federal law enforcement by the Bush Administration. The Tennessee politicized law enforcement situation appears ripe for investigation.

Criminal investigations of Republican politicians are slowed to a snail pace by politicized appointees in case after case like the New Hampshire phone jamming scandal.

The federal prosecutor who convicted California Republican Congressman Duke Cunningham for corruption was unjustly fired. The federal prosecutor who would not prosecute phony vote fraud charges against Democrats in New Mexico, in time for the 2006 elections as demanded by Republican politicians, was fired.

In 2005, a federal prosecutor investigating criminal charges surrounding the staff of then Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich was fired. The investigation was effectively derailed. This pattern of abuses repeats itself over and over again in state after state.

Unless the Republicans can purge their Party of this criminal tendency to abuse public office and government power for political ends, then Republicans at every level should be voted out of power. Public investigations and investigative journalism should be focused on abuses of office by those in power.

The Republican Party is starting to look like a potential target for a RICO indictment as a profit-making, criminal conspiracy. Their political traditions should be based on American political figures like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt instead of Richard Nixon, Dick Cheney and Tom Delay.

The current Republican Culture of Corruption is a very sad situation for the Party of Lincoln to find itself in at the beginning of the 21st century.

Stephen Crockett is co-host of Democratic Talk Radio, http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com , Earleville, Maryland. Email: midsouthcm@aol.com

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