What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Will They Nail The Hammer?

Remember the 90's? A great decade, and we had a great president. Lots of people were working and the budget deficit left behind by Ronald Reagan was being turned into a surplus. Good times.

Throughout that decades, Republicans did everything in their power to punish Bill Clinton legally, based on vague allegations of wrongdoing, from Whitewater to the travel office firings, Republicans really enjoyed launching endless investigations of Clinton, all part of an investigation by independent counsel Kenneth Star. $40 million dollars later and the verdict was in: insufficient evidence to charge Bill and Hillary Clinton with any crimes.

When it's one of their own, however, Republicans aren't quite as interested in getting to the bottom of things. Tom DeLay, the House's ethically-challenged majority leader, has so far not found himself at the center of any investigations into wrongdoings, despite three admonitions from the House Ethics Committee last year and allegations of numerous potential violations of House ethics rules.

On Wednesday it appeared that the ethics committee was ready to launch an investigation into DeLay. There was a small catch: House Democrats had to agree to changes in the way ethics violations would be investigated -- a change that many had charged was simply a way to protect DeLay.

Democrats rejected the deal, so for now, it's unlikely that there will be any investigations into DeLay. Of course, Republicans claimed Democrats were only interested in using DeLay as a "political punching bag," which is pretty funny when you think of all the times Republicans used Bill Clinton as a "political punching bag."

House speaker Dennis Hastert issued a veiled threat that Democrats might find themselves investigated (rather than DeLay, I think): "There’s probably four or five cases out there dealing with top level Democrats...there’s a reason that they don’t want to go to the ethics process and as long as they can keep somebody dangling out there like they have Tom Delay, they take great glee in that," Hastert said on Sean Hannity's radio show.

Taking glee in a political attack...sounds awfully familiar. Straight out of the Republican playbook.


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