Jim Austin's Vermonter at Large
Jim Austin
Jim Austin
is a freelance writer from Putney, Vermont.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 04.15.05


The hits just keep on comin'

I woke up this morning with a feeling of optimism. I've just read about the new rule that Republicans have forced on the ethics committee.

The situation is this: since the time when the earth was molten and the seas had not yet formed there was a rule in the ethics committee that stated "if the committee was deadlocked over an alleged violation then the violation is investigated."

Now, on the heels of a grab bag of ethics violations from the living dirt-stain, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, the Republicans have decreed that the opposite of this rule must apply. In other words, if the committee disagrees then the matter is dropped.

Dropped, like my jaw when I read this.

The committee has gone from weak and barely effectual to a persistent vegetative state. To begin with having the foxes guard the hen house is a poor, if not cynical, idea. To now have a rule stating in essence that "we don't have to pursue a violation if we don't feel like it" is just stunning in its arrogance.

For once, the Democrats have poked their heads out of their shells and refused to go along. They have stalled any ethics committee business by refusing to participate.

Of course, the forces of evil say that this is just a ploy so they can continue to lob accusations of impropriety at their loathsome leader Delay but what else are they going to say?

When you change the rules so that either party can block an investigation you no longer have an ethics committee. You have a bunch of hacks protecting their own.

Are you getting tired of the propaganda yet? Were you a little nauseous when you heard about "Jeff Gannon" the imposter reporter planted by the White house to ask softball questions of the president at press conferences?

"Gee Whiz Mr. President, how come all of your policies manage to resonate so deeply with us Americans?"

How about the phony tapes sent to local news outlets with messages favorable to the President's policies but masquerading as real news. Maybe the fraudulent "town meetings" where every "citizen" had to pass a litmus test before they could get within a mile of the place and then were given the questions they could ask.

Doesn't it make you cringe when you realize that the slimy tentacles of government are inveigling their way into our media. As Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebels said, "Propaganda has only one object - to conquer the masses. Every means that furthers this goal is good, every means that hinders is bad."

The fallout from the Terry Shiavo tragedy is still coming in. The tragedy is not so much that Shiavo was allowed to die, that was a blessing. The real atrocity here is that the GOP are so riled about not getting their way that they are literally threatening the judiciary.

The leader of the Republican sewer rats in Congress -- the aforementioned Tom Delay -- called judges who refused to be intimidated "an arrogant, out of control, unaccountable judiciary…"

He went on to say "the time will come for them to answer for themselves. U.S. Senator John Cornyn of (where else) Texas drew a connection between the judge that was killed in Atlanta and the failure of the judiciary to act in accordance with the wishes of his party. "No one", he said "should be surprised when one of us stands up and objects."

What the hell is going on when elected representatives can threaten judges with whom they disagree?

Getting back to my feeling of optimism, I must say that the avalanche of impropriety and arrogance must surely be getting through to the lunkheads in the red states who voted these weasels into office.

When will voters realize that they have elected members of the Aryan Brotherhood with law degrees?

Remember when Clinton was impeached for lying about some DNA on a blue dress? Shouldn't we consider impeaching the guy who lied about a war that spread the DNA of American soldiers all over the sands of Iraq?