DarkSyde and Dean made the same point yesterday: the Republicans are a bunch of criminals, or at least accused criminals. Abramoff, Cunningham, Tony Rudy, the NH phone-jammers found guilty; Libby, Tom Noe, Safavian, Ken Lay, Claude Allen, Brian Doyle and two more DHS perverts stand accused; Rove, Frist, DeLay, Santorum, Gale Norton under investigation. And that doesn't even count Dick getting off for his drunk and disorderly shooting accident.
Since we've got so many GOP criminals to keep track of, I'd like to propose some ways to categorize them. There are the guys who are in trouble for activities fundamentally connected to the scorched earth GOP approach to politics: Libby, Noe, DeLay, the phone jammers. These are folks we've caught, the press and the public, breaking the law to accumulate unlimited power. Expand your conception of unlimited power to include unlimited money (which in all these cases is tied to party patronage), and you include Abramoff, Cunningham, Lay, Santorum, and Rudy. It is increasingly clear that these crimes are part of a concerted effort by the GOP to fundamentally alter our democracy. And we need to present it as such--Tom DeLay's resignation doesn't change the GOP's fundamental disdain for the rule of law.
Then there are the guys who just seem to be having a bit of personal trouble. Allen, Fristie, Brian Doyle. Now it's possible that the GOP just happens to attract people with no morals. But as I said a few weeks ago, the numbers defy random chance. There are just too many GOPers with little personal troubles to believe this is a question of vetting. So while I might believe Republicans are just depraved, I also propose that they're picked because their depravity helps keep them in line.
Consider this post from Anonymous Liberal from February. He notes the curious timing of the Specter scandal, the allegation that Specter set aside earmarks for clients of the lobbyist-spouse of one of his legislative aides. Which bubbled to the surface at precisely the time when Specter was threatening to conduct real oversight of the Bush Administration on the NSA domestic spying. As AL says:
That's why I find the timing of this Specter mini-scandal to be curious. It may just be a coincidence that this story surfaced just as Rove and company are busy twisting arms behind the scenes. Or it could be a shot across Specter's bow.
Have you heard anything about Specter's scandal recently? Then again, do you honestly believe Specter's attempt to retroactively impose oversight--the same oversight that is already required by law--on the NSA program will do any good? And do you believe Feingold's censure hearing got scheduled for a Friday morning, the dead zone of the Senate week, by accident? Or that Specter got picked to be the point man attacking Feingold's censure resolution by accident? Remarkably, Specter backs off his enthusiasm for oversight, and his scandal seems to disappear.
You see, the moment I heard about Brian Doyle's pedophilia, I wondered, "what might the Deputy Press Secretary for Homeland Security expose (no pun intended) that Karl would want quiet?" And my suspicions only grew worse when I learned that the guy in charge of policing child sex crimes, Frank Figueroa, has problems keeping his penis in his pants. Then there's Michael Burks, another DHS agent, also trying to solicit minors. Sure, it might be that those with criminal predilections just like to police those predilections. Or it could be that the Republican machine likes to hire people with criminal predilections. So that if, say, DHS was just a gaping hole through which to funnel patronage, that it wasn't doing the least bit to keep our "Homeland" secure, or even (real tin foil here), if DHS was pursuing domestic spying under the guise of policing child pornography, you could prevent any whistle blowers from coming forward.
Now, I have no evidence that that is what is happening, that these prosecutions are attempts to hush or discredit someone. But it is worth noting that the GOP machine is not above forgiving a little sex scandal, if the person involved (or his family member) is a loyal member in good standing. And I can't help but remember that the Bush machine tried to silence Scott Ritter with accusations remarkably similar to these we're getting from DHS (though Ritter denied the allegations, while two of the DHS officials had admitted the substance of their crime).
It's just that I've begun to think of GOP crimes in two categories. Those crimes fundamentally tied to the GOP's pursuit of power, the fundamentally criminal operation of the GOP machine. And those personal crimes that serve to keep the first kind of crimes--the grand GOP conspiracy--under wraps.
Note: I'll be leaving today for a 10-day overseas business trip, so posting will depend on the client's whims, travel schedules, and the international Internet gods. I'll try to post when the jet-lag induced insomnia hits. But in the meantime, I hear that Mimikatz--and the rest of the TNHers--have some great posts planned.