Monday, October 24, 2005

Why Am I Not Surprised

The Republican talking points against Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald are already being trotted out. If you can’t beat the facts, beat the prosecutor. From the New York Times:

As the White House braced for a decision by Mr. Fitzgerald, Republicans began suggesting that they would pursue a strategy of minimizing any charges as technicalities or the product of an overzealous prosecution.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas, speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” compared the leak investigation to the case of Martha Stewart, “where they couldn’t find a crime and they indict on something that she said about something that wasn’t a crime.”

Senator Hutchison said she hoped “that if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn’t indict on the crime and so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation was not a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.”

In the first place, Mr. Fitzgerald was appointed by the Department of Justice which was under the leadership of then-Attorney General John Ashcroft. In other words, Senator Hutchison, he was appointed by your guy. Mr. Fitzgerald’s record is squeaky-clean, his office has been virtually leak-proof, and he has no interest whatsoever in partisan politics. Compare that with your hero, Kenneth Starr. (See Joe Conanson’s article on this point in Salon.com.)

As for the hope that “it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality,” excuse me, but let me refresh your memory, Senator Hutchison; that was exactly what you and your cabal impeached Bill Clinton for. When Mr. Clinton’s supporters said his sins didn’t rise to the level of impeachment, the Republicans’ talking points was all about respecting the rule of law; that perjury was just as much a high crime and misdemeanor as treason.

I can’t decide if the Republicans so arrogant as to insult the intelligence of the American people with this patently obvious ploy, or they’re just plain too thick to realize that the American people know blantant hypocrisy when they see it. Either way, they don’t deserve to get away with it.