Thursday, May 27, 2010

Joe Sestak and the Seven Dwarfs

Via Steve Benen comes this carnival of irony:

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder today, all seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee “urge the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Congressman Joe Sestak’s claim that a White House official offered him a job to induce him to exit the Pennsylvania Senate primary race against Senator Arlen Specter.”

The seven — Sens. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Jon Kyl or Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John Cornyn of Texas and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma — allege that the offer would appear to violate federal criminal laws, including 18 U.S.C. 600, which prohibits promising a government position “as consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity” or “in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office.”

Your tax dollars at work, America.

This is one of those things that makes people hate Washington. It’s not the deficit spending, it’s not the mind-numbing bureaucracy (something I’m intimately familiar with), it’s not even the old-boy network of connections between lobbyists and the representatives or the hypocrisy of the family-values scolds like now-former Rep. Mark Souder getting his beans ground out in the Indiana nature preserves. It’s the breathtakingly juvenile hypocrisy and blisteringly stupid behavior of people like these seven senators who couldn’t even lift their heads off the pillow during the Bush administration.

These same senators saw the Plame scandal, Scooter Libby and his get-out-of-jail-free card, the warrantless-wiretap scandal, the torture memos, the purge of U.S. Attorneys for political reasons, the no-bid Halliburton contracts, the cost estimates of Medicare Part D deliberately hidden from Congress, Interior Department officials literally in bed with oil company officials, the pundits paid to toe the administration’s line in the media without disclosure, the probably illegal fake-news segments the administration created to run on local news outlets without disclosure, the misuse of “faith-based” grants to help Republican congressional candidates, Karl Rove’s campaign “briefings” to federal offices in violation of the Hatch Act, and plenty more alleged crimes committed by the Bush/Cheney gang that I’m probably forgetting.

The seven GOP senators on the Judiciary Committee not only saw no need for a special prosecutor in any of these scandals, but they didn’t even want to hold hearings on the controversies.

This letter will go nowhere except to fuel the Orcosphere for a few days, but if Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) decides to respond, it should be along the lines of, “Fine. Let’s make a deal. You get Holder to appoint a special prosecutor for Joe Sestak, and then we’ll get one each for Bush, Cheney, and Rove. Go for it.”

Or would a deal like that be illegal?