Thursday, April 21, 2005

Denny Hastert Dusts off the Joe McCarthy Playbook

In 1950, Sen. Joe McCarthy kicked off his facist reign of terror by striding up to a podium and announcing "I have a list of 122 Communists in the State Department.." while waving a large white piece of paper around.

Of course there WAS no such list, it was merely an excuse to start a withunt that destroyed thousands of innocent lives solely to enhance his personal power. 55 years after that fascist interlude, desperate Republicans are turing to that playbook again to save thier corrupt leader. Yesterday when responding to questions about an investigation of DeLay He also claimed to have a list.:

Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., warned Democrats that Republicans are ready to
investigate allegations of Democratic wrongdoing.
In a radio interview with
broadcaster Sean Hannity, Hastert said there were "four or five cases out there
dealing with top level Democrats." He did not name them.

Well of course he didn't name them. he has no idea who they are yet.

Its officially gotten ugly.

We are watching the Republican defense of Timmy the Hammer unfold and you know what? Its pretty good. Nobody has ever called DeLay and his cabal stupid. Evil, amoral, slimy, soul-sucking parasites hell bent on destroying everything good and decent? Yes. Stupid no.

Essentially the Republicans are launching a counter-attack on three fronts
First Tommy himself is rallying the Troops on the far right flank. I now believe that his over the top ranting about judges and the handling of the Schiavo case, was not an accident but clever pre-positioning.

Having embraced the lunatic fringe of his party so visibly and completely; he can now credibly cast himself as a Martyr to the Cause. All his trouble are caused by a conspiracy of Liberals (especially the subspecies Elite and Media, which are the very favorite boogeyman of the far right) who Hate him because they Hate God and Hate America. Its all a conspiracy, a plot, a nasty political smear. You know those liberals, they'll say or do anything.

Of Course to swallow this, you have to Pay no attention to the fact that Tommy has spent most of this session quietly gutting the ethics committee and House rules to protect himself against these Scurrilous charges that are total fabrications. Maybe Psychic Jon Edwards has been giving him political advice.

Since the game of Blame the Liberals isn't going so well. Republicans have decided to open up a second front. This one is aimed at Centrists and tries to paint the Dems as obstructionists, and opportunists who are blocking the ethics panel for partisan reasons.
They decided to offer a show trial of the Big Kahuna. This was to grab headlines and make the republicans seem "fair and balanced"; Afdter all they are invesigating a fellow republican arent they? The Dems were supposed to cave in to avoid looking bad.

For this move the trotted out Delay's new tame , hand-selected Chairman of the ethics committee, to make a sweetly reasonable offer:
The ethics committee's Republican chairman, Rep. Doc Hastings, made a surprising
offer to investigate DeLay. Hastings proposed the DeLay investigation at a
news conference flanked by three of the four other Republicans on the ethics

See? Perfectly reasonable as long as you don't notice the fine print that would make even a used car dealer blush

The proposal will go nowhere unless the Democrats provide votes to allow the
committee to conduct business. The new rules provide for automatic dismissal if
the committee doesn't act within 45 days

In other words, they're perfectly willing to have Their Leader investigated, so long as they can do it under the kangaroo court rules They've trumped up specifically to defend him. Notice that only 4 of 5 Republican panel members attended the press conference. Any guesses who the absent one was? anyone? Bueller? anyone?

Republican Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas did not attend.

hmmmm wonder why that might be? Could it be because Smith is DeLay's handpicked panel member, a member who owes his seat to the very shenanigans that DeLay is being investigated for, and the guy who has already written fat checks to Delay's legal defense fund? Could that be it? wouldn't do to remind everyone that at present any investigation would be a sham because DeLay has hand selected the Judges.

Fortunately the Dems, who have apparently been eating their wheaties of late, stood fast and did not blink

Senior committee Democrat Alan Mollohan of West Virginia quickly rejected the
offer, saying his party would continue blocking the panel unless a bipartisan
task force was appointed to write new rules for investigating lawmakers.
"The first principle in doing it right is that it be bipartisan," said
Mollohan. "That's a beginning point for me."
Mollohan would not say whether
he supported an investigation of DeLay, commenting that his effort to change the
rules is "totally independent from any specific case."

Dems Know that the American people can smell a cover-up a mile a way and they are sniffing one on the wind now, so they are content to leave their chips on the felt and let it ride.
Which is why the Big Guns are now going off. Having failed to smear them, and having failed to embarrass them with phony offers; Coach Denny is now resorting to naked threats. Its impossible to view his claim of a phantom list any other way than: "if you take out Tommy we are going to make you bleed in return"

This is the scorched earth, abuse of power strategy. Its telling how far Bug-man's back is to the wall that Republicans have decided to break out the Tailgunner Two-step to save his skin. (memo to Denny: , it didn't end particularly well for Ol' Joe, just so you know.).

The fact that all their other ploys have failed is a very good sign for us. The harder they struggle, the more resources they commit to this fight, the easier it is to use it as a national issue in '06. Unfortunately it also means that the road ahead might get very bumpy and bloody before we are done taking out DeLay

Buckle Up everyone


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