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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

No amnesty

The increasingly bizarre world of Washington politics leads to an inescapable conclusion: there should be no amnesty for the bungling and incompetence (and likely criminality) of Republican "leadership."

The nativist bleatings of James Sensenbrenner and Tom Tancredo is actually secondary to this unraveling soap opera. The hardline GOP stance on immigration is standard operating procedure: pander to the base and raise fears in order to shift attention away from the real issue. While immigration (and border security) are legitimate subjects for the discussion, the high signal to noise ratio is cover for other failings.

And those failings are the utter meltdown of the ruling party. Let's start with the obvious: a Republican "leadership" that has caved to the White House on EVERY significant question of executive mismanagement or overstepping (illegal wiretaps, using faulty intelligence to rush to war, you know the drill) find its cojones over the issue of an FBI raid on a Democrat's House office?

Then there is this headscratcher. David Addington and Darth Cheney, two of the strongest believers that Congress exists only to blow the executive's nose, take offense to the raid on William Jefferson's office.

Denny Hastert, who could not stand up to Termite Tommy DeLay, nominally his underling, rises in full dundgeon to object to the execution of a search warrant (something that isn't necessary, in his view, to listen in on average folks). And in one of the biggest surprises of all, Hastert joins forces with Nancy Pelosi, probably for the first time in recorded history, to argue this shall not stand.

That prompts Alberto Gonzalez and William Mueller to threaten resignations unless they get their way -- and in turn forcing the Decider to act (shortly after saying his major mistake in Iraq was being Mr. Macho).

More surprising still is the political implications. Why is the hard right GOP frittering away it's chance to have some inoculation against corruption charges? The likelihood is that Jefferson would be the GOP pinata to use in defense against the Abramoff-DeLay corruption scandal.

What's in the water down there? (We know what's in Jefferson's refrigerator -- cold, hard cash.)


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