Paul Wolfowitz may have gotten us into a mess in Iraq under false pretenses, but it's where the Bush Administration wanted to be. His reward? President of the World Bank. New England moderates from Susan Collins to Chris Shays (Republicans in good standing with their constituents) are a bit too independent from ethics questions about DeLay to Social Security privatization. Their reward?
The absence of a New Englander on the commission named to review the Pentagon's list of proposed base closings has left the region without the leverage those pushing to keep bases alive fear they need.
The nine-member panel announced this week includes commissioners from California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Virginia. While they bring a spectrum of experience and perspective, many argue that being unfamiliar with New England could be detrimental to the decisions they make.
"The law is a very good means of making the nation swallow a bitter pill without blaming anybody ... but we don't know that we have commissioners who know the area," said William McDonough, a retired Navy captain with Save Our Shipyard, which has lobbied for months to save Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
No surprise here. Wolfowitz has three points in his favor – loyalty, ideological purity, and loyalty. However, it's also a good way to shake up the European 'allies' in the Grand Coalition. OTOH, Rob Simmons (CT-2) is going to have some explaining to do with hos constituents. Groton and the Electric Boat (sub) complex is a big deal in Connecticut. But Jodi Rell (R and in favor of same sex marriage legislation) and the rest of the CT delegation don't carry much weight with Junior. And why not send a message to Shays and the other purists on ethics?
But the problem for Shays and Simmons (and Nancy Johnson CT-5) is that Johnny Rowland (Extortionist–R) is likely going to jail soon. CT has some image issues when it comes to ethics and corruption; if playing ball even half-ways doesn't get you much, what's the incentive to stick with the folks screwing your constituents?
That Great Uniter George Bush... uniting the world, uniting New England.