Desperate men do desperate things, and Democratic National Committee member Bob Mulholland is about to demonstrate how very desperate, sleazy, and reprehensible his party is prepared to be in their vain efforts to continue to defend the indefensible.
C-Span recently had a discussion of an article by Donald Lambro in the Washington Times regarding Mulholland's announcement that Democrats will investigate the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee.
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I have often expressed contempt for what does and doesn't happen in what I refer to as "that 87-square miles surrounded by reality" of the District of Criminals. Mulholland's Carvillesque pronouncement may well open a Pandora's box he will soon regret rattling. Get ready for a glass house rock fight.
Notwithstanding the fact, (and yes folks, it is a fact) that the president's personal life, and/or alleged sexual impropriety is not the focus of the Judiciary Committee's concerns, Muckraker Mulholland feels Judiciary Committee members' personal lives are significant. He wants to explore and expose divorce proceedings of various committee members and publish complaints and allegations of former disgruntled spouses ... apparently in the hope of intimidating the committee by putting their moral history in the spotlight.
One of the key targets is Congressman Bob Barr, who has been twice divorced. Barr noted, correctly, "I don't think the marital status of members of Congress has any bearing on any activity relative to any investigative effort to hold this president accountable." And he is right. He also notes that "Nothing we're interested in has anything to do with the president's personal behavior. It has to do with possible obstruction of justice and perjury." HELL-O?!?!?!? For the umpteenth time, will you please note: Although the lurid details of the president's alleged peckerdillos (yes the spelling is correct), and who did what with whom when and where may be fodder for the tabloids, the essence of the current inquiry is NOT sex. Obstruction of justice, perjury, suborning perjury, and abuse of power under the color of authority, THAT is the essence of the inquiry into the president's conduct. Does Mulholland hope that by exposing all the dirty laundry he can shift attention from the president's misconduct? Does he hope to intimidate Judiciary Committee members by threats and innuendo? Gee, that kinda smells like blackmail, doesn't it? Is blackmail still a federal offense, or in this new theater of the absurd is it okay if directed at Republicans?
Several months ago Mark Helprin wrote a brilliant piece in the Wall Street Journal and he noted the differences between the dark days of the Nixon Impeachment inquiry and the current Clinton chaos. Helprin noted that in 1975 Republicans drew a line in the sand and abandoned partisan politics in favor of what was right. Many have hoped that eventually, inevitably somewhere somehow contemporary Democrats would likewise (for whatever reasons) forsake the executive abuser of power, and stand on rediscovered principles.
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Sadly, instead of raising the moral ladder, Mulholland kicked it over and sullied not only the already mortally wounded process, but his own party as well. It is indeed strange that when future political scientists review this tumultuous period it will be noted that the final catalyst that led to the destruction of an administration was not a morally bankrupt President, or a cabal of partisan plumbers, but rather a party zealot who was so myopic, petty, and mean-spirited that he provided his opposition with the final insult to spark results.
Barr has said, "If the administration is engaged in a systematic effort to accumulate personal information on members of the Judiciary Committee in an effort to derail the investigation, that is something that should be brought to the attention of the chairman (Henry Hyde)."
Hey, isn't that one of the lines of inquiry regarding the FBI filegate flap? Hasn't the administration already demonstrated their standing operating procedure of targeting critics and trashing them? Maybe Hyde and Barr should speak with Chris Ruddy, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Bob Tyrrell, Joe Farah, Reed Irvine, Larry Nichols, Trooper Larry Patterson, Patrick Knowlton et al ad nauseam.
Representative Bill McCollum (another would-be Judiciary Committee member/target) said, "There is a pattern of attempted intimidation and distraction here by those who think it is beneficial to the White House or the Democratic party. ...Where does this stop?"
James Nicholson, the GOP Committee chairman said, "If it's true, it is outrageous, ugly and pathetic," and he called on the President and DNC General Chairman Roy Romer "to publicly repudiate this strategy and call for his resignation from the DNC." Don't hold your breath Jimbo. However, you are right when you say this Dixie Mafia tactic is "outrageous, ugly and pathetic." Then again, those same three observations have often been applied to the current administration.