Wednesday, April 18, 2007

R Senators: White House tools how much longer?

There are two stories I've noticed today that serve to demonstrate how closely tied Senatorial Republicans are to the Bush Administration. My question is how much longer will Republicans play ball by White House rules, when the game they are playing is so obviously a losing one?

1st: Richard Fricker at Consortium News reports that the White House fed talking points to Republican Senators that turned out to not be entirely accurate. By entirely accurate, I mean remotely, or in any way truthful.

Those talking points concerned the appointment of Tim Griffin to replace fired prosecutor Bud Cummins. Senator Hatch was sent out to give the line that Griffin was Cummins "right hand man", which is news to Cummins. Furthermore the much vaunted prosecutorial experience of Griffin was wildly overstated. In fact two sources told Fricker about the mess left after Griffins stints in various legal roles. They describe indictments written so sloppily that superseding documents had to be submitted. The general need to clean up messy work left by Griffin is described as "Tim work" after Griffins first name.

If I were a Republican Senator and had the talking points I was sent from the administration proven to be completely false, I would be just a little peeved right now! It's hard enough carrying the label Republican without having the White House order you to completely sacrifice any semblance of objectivity by forwarding outright falsehoods in order to defend the indefensible. To be expected to just spread these lies on behalf of an administration so devoid of logic, and holding public support in the low 30's must really be galling. It's almost like the White House doesn't care who else they ruin, if their credibility is going down they are taking as many with them as they can!

2nd: Read the official Senate record (about 3/4 down this page) for Senator Rockefellers take on the recent vote on Intelligence funding for this fiscal year. Everything seemed to be moving along fine on this vital piece of legislation, when Republicans were given the word by the White House that too stop that bill was a test of party loyalty. Loyal Republicans were expected to not allow a vote on the bill. The reason for the sudden change in attitude? The bill included language which would have made the White House tell the Senate about the CIA's secret prison system, which is still evidently in full force despite the Presidents assurances that the detainees previously held in that system had been transferred to Guantanamo Bay.

So Senatorial Republicans, again, take marching orders from a discredited, shameful administration in order to provide them political cover. How long will they do that? At some point, if the President's approval remains in the low 30's and the national mood against Republicans turns even more bitter due to his failed administration, some toady at the White House is going to call the Senate Republican toady with the daily marching orders, and get told where to put them.

You already see that happening in the case of Gordon Smith. Faced with what promises to be a tough re election in a historically blue state, Smith is backing away from the administration every chance he gets. Why should McConnell of Kentucky, Coleman of Minnesota, Sununu of New Hampshire, Collins of Maine, and the other Republicans up for re election have to fall on their swords for this loser? What do they run on if they continue down the road they have taken lately? I am an apologist for the worst President in American history... vote for me!

At some point in the near future I expect a wholesale flight from this administrations boneheaded positions on the part of Senate Republicans. They will have to cut themselves loose from the good ship Bush, or sink with him into the depths. Beyond trying to save their own jobs, they would be doing the right thing... after many years of playing along and allowing this disaster to unfold.

You hit it right on the head. Righty's head that is. ouch......
Thanks Fred! I'm not used to comments which just tell me how well I've slammed the right. Since that's what I'm all about here, I do appreciate that.
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