Those who thought investigations were a wonderful thing when Bill Clinton was president are suddenly facing prosecutors, and they don't like it. It seems like a hundred years ago when Clinton's defenders were accusing his opponents of using special prosecutors, lawsuits, criminal charges and, ultimately, impeachment to overturn the will of the voters.In sum, it's irony and hypocrisy in their most primal, naked state. Period. (And they're the chosen party for followers of Jesus?! Incredible.)
Clinton's conservative enemies would have none of this. No, they said over and over, the Clinton mess was not about sex but about "perjury and the obstruction of justice" and "the rule of law."
The old conservative talking points are now inoperative.
These cases portray an administration and a movement that can dish it out, but want to evade responsibility for doing so and can't take it when they are subjected to the same rule book that inconvenienced an earlier president. An editorial in the latest issue of the conservative Weekly Standard is a sign of arguments to come. The editorial complains about the various accusations being leveled against DeLay, Libby, Rove and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and it says that "a comprehensive strategy of criminalization had been implemented to inflict defeat on conservatives who seek to govern as conservatives."
I have great respect for my friends at the Weekly Standard, so I think they'll understand my surprise and wonder over this new conservative concern for the criminalization of politics. A process that was about "the rule of law" when Democrats were in power is suddenly an outrage now that it's Republicans who are being held accountable.
-- E. J. Dionne Jr., 10/18/05
But after all, isn't this always what this version of the GOP has represented? Whether it be supposedly pro-life Bush endorsing pro-choice Specter, or lockem-up-and-throw-away-key Rush Limbaugh doctor shopping for drugs, or supposed free-market Republicans insuring that a prescription bill was passed that blocked price competition, this party for far too long has been about saying one thing and doing another, bilking the distracted public every step of the way.
May the might of justice slam them hard.