A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Friday, April 08, 2005

The Big Horse Laugh

A couple of posts down I lambasted the Republican Cheerleaders Club we call the Executive and Legislative branches over the Schiavo Affair. I called it Purely For Foul and Corrupt Political Advantage, and that was how I saw it.

I had hoped to use the "GOP talking points memo" in that post as evidence of the slimy political motives underpinning an absolutely unprecedented disruption of the right relations between the States and the Federal Government, and between the Congress and the Courts.

But since the memo was heavily questioned as evidence, I refrained. I still had plenty of ammunition to shoot, and I shot it.

As we all now know, the memo was written by the legal counsel to Senator Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), Brian H. Darling. Senator Martinez, of course, was the Republican point man shepherding the Schiavo Bill through Congress. Of course, no Republicans ever read the memo, Senator Martinez never knew that his staff were responsible for it, and Darling has resigned in disgrace.

But we can read it. And, just for fun, let's read the salient parts of it again:

This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue.

This is a great political issue, because Senator Nelson of Florida - has already refused to become a cosponsor and this is a tough issue for Democrats....

This legislation ensures that individuals like Teri Schiavo are guaranteed the same legal protections as convicted murderers like Ted Bundy.

Oh, gee, a moral issue that's also a great political issue. Who could pass up an opportunity like that, with no blowback of looking like opportunists. I'll bet Darling had them salivating!

And let's also enjoy a summary of the right-wing smear campaign against the Democrats and the news media over the supposed inauthenticity of the memo, courtesy of Media Matters:

Despite a lack of evidence, several media sources have repeated conservative speculation and accusations that Democrats secretly authored a "talking points" memo that described the Terri Schiavo case as a "great political issue" for Senate Republicans. These baseless accusations, apparently hatched on right-wing blogs and in conservative media such as The American Spectator, were given credibility by The Washington Post and CNN's Inside Politics.

And we can also savor the links, courtesy of Campaign for America's Future, between Mr. Darling J.D. and that poor maligned target of Liberal spleen, whose name mysteriously never seems to appear on Conservative blogs, despite the fact the he has been so wronged--House Majority Leader Tom DeLay:

Rep. DeLay last month told the conservative Family Research Council that "God brought to us" the Terri Schiavo tragedy and linked it to a strategy to defend the conservative movement. Darling worked for the Alexander Strategy Group, a Washington-based corporate lobbying firm heavily connected to Rep. DeLay. Darling's clients included Universal Bearing, Inc., a company owned by the Hanwha Group, which has direct ties to the foreign agent that paid for Rep. DeLay's improper trip to Korea....Former DeLay aide Jim Ellis, who was indicted for money laundering, was a consultant to ASG.

An important moral issue, brought to us by God himself! And husbanded by such upstanding, righteous men. Well, don't that beat all!

Of course, the major foxhounds of the blogosphere, baying at the heels of the Dastardly Democrats and the Malfeasant MainStream Media, aren't going down without a fight. You can keep a hound from chasing game, if he's on a leash, but it ain't easy and it ain't natural.

Thus Powerline:

The story as we currently have it does not account for the two versions of the memo, the second of which corrected three of the typos in the first draft. I have no idea what that means, except that the story as we are currently getting it from the AP, the Washington Post, and Senator Martinez does not account for all of the known facts....

And Michelle Malkin:

For me, the salient questions always centered on what exactly ABC News and the Washington Post knew or didn't know before they hyped the GOP politicization angle in the midst of the wrenching Schiavo debate.

And LaShawn Barber:

Whatever they say. But the story is still not over.

Give it up guys! You made damn fools of yourselves because you thought you could take a few more media scalps. Eat your crow and go home.


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