Keith Olbermann tells Bush and Cheney: "Resign."

The MSNBC anchor goes where no television newsman has gone before.

By Joan Walsh

Published July 3, 2007 11:12PM (EDT)

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has a very special comment for viewers tonight in the wake of President Bush's decision to commute Scooter Libby's sentence: On the MSNBC site he puts it in one word: "Resign."

We'll have the whole transcript up after the show, but here's the excerpt they sent us earlier today:

Our generation's willingness to state "we didn't vote for him, but he's our president, and we hope he does a good job" was tested in the crucible of history, and earlier than most.

And in circumstances more tragic and threatening.

And we did ... that with which history tasked us.

We enveloped our president in 2001.

And those who did not believe he should have been elected -- indeed those who did not believe he had been elected -- willingly lowered their voices and assented to the sacred oath of non-partisanship.

And George W. Bush took our assent, and reconfigured it, and honed it, and shaped it to a razor-sharp point .. and stabbed this nation in the back with it.

Were there any remaining lingering doubt otherwise, or any remaining lingering hope, it ended yesterday when Mr. Bush commuted the prison sentence of one of his own staffers.

Did so even before the appeals process was complete...

Did so without as much as a courtesy consultation with the Department of Justice...

Did so despite what James Madison -- at the Constitutional Convention -- said about impeaching any president who pardoned or sheltered those who had committed crimes "advised by" that president...

Did so without the slightest concern that even the most detached of citizens must look at the chain of events and wonder:

To what degree was Mr. Libby told: break the law however you wish -- the President will keep you out of prison?

In that moment, Mr. Bush, you broke that fundamental compact between yourself and the majority of this nation's citizens -- the ones who did not cast votes for you.

In that moment, Mr. Bush, you ceased to be the president of the United States.

In that moment, Mr. Bush, you became merely the president ... of a rabid and irresponsible corner of the Republican Party.

And this is too important a time, Sir, to have a commander in chief who puts party over nation.

Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh is the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."

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