The year's end is a time for remembering -- and we here at TPM are just falling all over ourselves in a general fit of nostalgia. While the Golden Dukes constitute our tribute to the brightest stars in 2007's constellation of muck, there's just too much to commemorate for one website to bear.
Dahlia Lithwick has as good an approach as any over at Slate, celebrating "the Bush administration's dumbest legal arguments of the year." Now, as you can imagine, these arguments are not simply singled out for their stupidity. They are honored for their brazen opposition to common sense and the facts.
The administration's gravest offenses get special billing: "The United States does not torture" gets number one. And "the NSA's eavesdropping was limited in scope," kicks off the countdown.
But while the gravity of those assertions makes me question whether they can be described as "dumb," there are plenty of truly stupid legal arguments to go around: "The vice president's office is not a part of the executive branch" and "Everyone who has ever spoken to the president about anything is barred from congressional testimony by executive privilege," for example. And fittingly enough, "Alberto Gonzales" gets number three on the top-ten list, special recognition for a man who not only parroted a vast catalog of stupid and/or dishonest arguments, but looked dumb doing it.
Enjoy. We'll miss you 2007! But not to worry, as long as Dick Cheney -- and especially David Addington, who has a genius for dumb legal arguments -- remain in office, 2008 won't disappoint.
Note: DahliaÂ´s list is perfect as is, and she had to stop somewhere. But the White House's desperate efforts to keep the Secret Service's visitor logs secret deserve a special commendation for stupidity. Readers are invited to nominate others.