Maintaining Optimism in the Face of Reality. Occasional observations on the state of the world, society, business and politics. Usually anchored by facts, always augmented by opinion.

Quick Comments on Specter, DeLay and Arafat  | e-mail post

Just a few quick comments about the state of things:

It looks like Specter will get the chair of the Judiciary committee. That's evidence of something being right with the world. The entire tempest in a teapot created by his perfectly reasonable observation was just ridiculous. The religious right behaved in an embarrassing fashion that simply called into question their grip on reality. People: Specter made a perfectly accurate statement that would have been a "duh" comment if spoken by any pundit. I am frankly disappointed by the number of people who gave any credence to the Christian right's complaints or accorded the issue any significance at all; it has reduced my opinion of many people's judgment.

I cannot sufficiently express my profound disappointment (bordering on disgust) in the House Republican caucus for amending their rules regarding indicted individuals serving in leadership positions. The entire point of the Republicans' ethics rules was to set a higher standard. This talk of changing the rules to codify the American ideal of "innocent until proven guilty" is, for lack of a better word, crap. I am frankly unsympathetic to claims of partisanship causing DeLay's potential problems; for his position of leadership, he should be above reproach, and given DeLay's relatively October hat trick with the House Ethics Committtee. [CNN] House Republicans would be wise to consider the recent words of Marsh & McLennan's CEO, "Freedom from criminal culpability is not our standard for executive leadership." (In response to why they fired some senior executives despite a lack of clear evidence of legal wrongdoing.) Kudos, however, to right-minded Republicans like Christopher Shays of Connecticut for speaking out against the action.

While many have been silent on the issue (in my opinion because it is indefensible) I cannot agree with John on Powerline who seems apparently satisfied with the rule change. While John points to the political motivation behind the potential DeLay indictment (which is admittedly troublesome), with respect to the rule change there seems to be little defense offered other than quotations from others attacking Democrats for criticizing the rule change because the Dems themselves have never had such an ethics rule in the first place. Such a "defense" is itself an embarrassment. The entire point is that at one time, not so very long ago, Republicans promised that they would hold themselves to a higher standard.

I imagine some of the right feel that I am some kind of turncoat, but these legislative shenanigans are troublesome to me on principle.

In other news, it appears that we will soon learn the cause of Arafat's death, as the French have figured out a way to meet their requirement of providing it to a family member, who conveniently enough is also the Palestinian ambassador to the U.N. [AP via Yahoo] Given the rumors of everything from AIDS to poisoning, it will be nice to have some definitive answers.

Question: walk-in humidor at the new Clinton library? Just curious.

e-mail post | Link Cosmos | [Permalink]  |  | Thursday, November 18, 2004
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