For those of us salivating at the DeLay indictment, and the prospect of highly-placed losers in the Plame Game, Billmon reminds those of us who never knew how a similar cascade of scandals wound down in Italy. Briefly, a few highly-placed politicians ended their careers, but the system survived --- the people who ran it figured out that they ultimately had the power to fire the prosecutors.
That's a trick that didn't work for Tricky Dick. (Though it seems to have worked better so far for the Rovians, at least in Guam). Nixon actually did find someone to rid him of troublesome special prosecutor Archibald Cox --- though he had to fire two Attorneys General, in a series of events that became known as the "Saturday Night Massacre", before he arrived at the somewhat more pliant Robert Bork. (Yes, that Bork). But it ultimately didn't help --- Congress, playing its role in our system of checks and balances, brought executive abuse to heel.
Things are a bit different now. Republicans are running Congress, and they have an iron grip on the schedule. But I'm sure that Democrats will be able to arrange some sort of investigation --- so long as they're willing to defer it, as Governor Blanco defers her own defense against Mike Brown's slanders, to the Republicans' idea of "when the time is appropriate".
More on feckless Democrats: Even the wingnuts are shocked that Harriet Miers, a White House lawyer known for little more than her remora-like attachment to Dubya's person, was nominated for the Supreme Court. And the Dems? Senator Reid, their elected leader in the Senate, personally urged Dubya to nominate this career suck-up last week. It seems he was impressed that she was courteous and professional in her dealings with him. When it comes to Supreme Court nominations, what more could the Democrats want?