Assuming the coming election will be a relative sweep for the Democrats, including the presidency, the transition period will offer, if memory serves, an opportunity for mischief and political sabotage unparalleled since the Borgia princes of imperial Rome. Like Rome in decline, America is still the extant world power, but things are beginning to unravel. Still, the plotting among the Romans for political power and privilege was ruthless, and murder was not unheard of in and around the Forum.
In the last transition, George Bush’s minions complained of glue on computer keyboards and missing furniture as some sort of collegiate pranks on the part of the departing Clintonistas. Bush the elder, however, allowed the neo-con political operatives within the party free reign to sabotage Clinton and the entering Democrats, and the history of that brief time has yet to be written.
We can infer, however, that certain actions after the Clinton election victory were at best concomitant variation in political events. The post of Attorney General came vacant in the summer of ‘92, and a party hack was appointed as acting A.G. pending a new appointee in the expected second term. Within days of the electoral loss Bush made the temporary appointment permanent, allowing his man to hire, fire and transfer Justice Department personnel, most of whom would retain their posts and act as a fifth column in the Janet Reno administration at Justice. Various drug war offensives and political programs were created, all of which contributed to the still growing police state we are currently suffering.
Less than a month into the Clinton era the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms SWAT teams tried to stage a “training” raid on the Branch Davidian church in Waco, Texas, with disastrous results for the raiders and a prolonged crisis for Reno and the FBI, (whose still-in-place tactical leadership perpetuated the gas and fire assault that cost so many lives). Has anyone ever heard of a federal exercise that took less than three months to plan and assemble? WACO was planned in the final days of the Bush regime! Throughout the federal structure the same story was playing out. Interior Department friends of mining and timber were put in place as decision makers, defense contracts were let and low-intensity war in several continents were funded into the future as development aid and drug warfare. Every possible political landmine was laid in the path of the new presidency, and it was done by many of the same folks now at the White House with Bush the lesser.
With these and other examples of Republican willingness to cheat and sabotage for political gain, the 76 days between a Democrat victory at the polls and inauguration could be historically perilous. This may be why Nancy Pelosi and the congressional leaders are planning to bring Congress back into session after the election, ostensibly to monger up a second stimulus package, but actually guarding against recess appointments and other executive mischief.
“Travus T. Hipp” is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. “The Poor Hippy’s Paul Harvey,” Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views.