The Pro-FBI Raid Caucus

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Noted civil libertarian Robert Novak has spotted Republicans scrambling to distance themselves from House Speaker Dennis Hastert's full-throated attack on the FBI's raid of Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.)

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, a low-profile second-term Republican from Florida, last Thursday introduced a resolution repudiating the stand of her leader, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert. It avows that a "Congressional office may be subject to searches and seizures" in an "ongoing criminal investigation" of a House member. It would be hard to find any colleagues who now disagree with her, even though most want to forget the embarrassing subject.

Voters in her heavily Republican district northeast of Tampa and St. Petersburg, she told me, "were irate" over Hastert's criticism of the FBI raiding Democratic Rep. William Jefferson's offices. She found fellow Republican House members also had been "read the riot act" by constituents.

If Republican voters are really miffed about this, Sen. Bill Frist has a great way to amelioriate their grief.

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  1. I’m still technically a Republican in northwest Tampa, and I’m irate. My Congressman is Jim Davis (D), though, so he may not care about my ire. My brother and grandfather are in her district–maybe they’re irate. I’ll check 🙂

    So much for Team USA showing up at the World Cup. It’s 2-nil right now.

  2. The Dems have been pretty quiet about this. After the initial announcement, it appears the Dem leadership has moved to boot Jefferson out of his chairmanships and is currently arguing with the CBC about it.

    The CBC appears to be the only group of Dems even approaching Hastert levels of rhetoric, and THAT appears focused on his chairmanship and not so much the raid.

  3. Just to add: That perception may just be an artifact of reporting. Hastert’s a big name, he’s suspected of not having entirely pure motives in this, and the GOP figure defending a Democrat against the FBI is really a “man bites dog” sort of story.

    However, it does look like the Dems have settled on a low-key “In the future, there should be a better procedure for this, including how to deal with confidential papers, etc” and a quick boot Jefferson out of his chairmanship. Sadly, the CBC has decided to back him in this — they’re not big enough to stop the process, but they can slow it down and undoubtably give Pelosi serious headaches.

  4. Honestly, why not expel the guy? There’s enough on him already to do that. We’re not talking about convicting him, we’re just talking about empowering him to seek new job opportunities before he goes to prison.

  5. Honestly, why not expel the guy?

    Congressscum would never do that. At least not until this issue directly (and negatively) effects their chances at re-election. Otherwise, they’ll be thinking about some time in the future when they, too, might be found with bribes, and how they’d want to be treated in such an event. “Do unto others…” and all that.

    US 0 – 3 Czech Rep. Sad and embarassing. Too bad the soccer’s getting in the way of their German vacation.

  6. Expel him from the party? I’d suspect that if he pled out or was convicted and didn’t resign, they’d do that.

    Ethically speaking, stripping him of his party-based power (committe assignments, basically) is about the furthest they can go, lacking a functioning ethics committee. There’s no practical way to remove him from Congress, there’s the usual “Innocent before being proven guilty” thing, and he was elected by his constituents — not the Democratic party.

    Congress as a whole (well, 2/3rds of it) could expell him, but that ain’t happening.

    Speaking personally — yeah, they should kick him out of the party. But stripping him of his party-based power the bare minimum I’d require. Here’s hoping the CBC loses — can’t imagine why they’re picking this fight. Jefferson was caught cold. Not a lot of wiggle room for innocence here.

  7. Morat20, I meant from Congress. You’re right, though–that ain’t happening without at least a conviction.

    Unless I get my Censor!!!!!! All hail the Censor!

  8. A member of Congress supports executive branch goon squads who make unannounced searches of congressional offices?

    Jefferson is a two-bit scumbag who took cash bribes. Is that really worth eliminating the separation of powers?

    It ain’t exactly Caesar bumping off senators, but the trajectory has begun. (Plus, I suspect there is a sizeable number of Bush-loving “conservatives” who would support the assassination of senators deemed “pro-terrorist.” You know: Collateral damage, “if you’re not with us,” etc.)

    The signs of the times are clear: The end of the Republic draws nigh. In response to my friend, Mr. Franklin, we couldn’t keep it.

  9. Don’t turn around, uh oh!

    Der Kommisar’s in town, uh oh!

    (I hear that song whenever Pro Lib mentions the Censor.)

  10. Joe,
    That must be a nice break from the voices.

  11. No, the voices sing Falco songs, too.

  12. joe, that’s a good official theme song for Der Censor. Though I hope the Censor doesn’t take on the East German Kommissar persona. That would be, uh, bad 🙂 Should it be played every time the Censor walks into Congress, the White House, or the Old Executive Office Building? Or just on special occasions?

    Some months ago, I suggested that the president should open the State of the Union address with AC/DC playing “For Those About to Rock”. Yeah, with the cannons. So, yes, music is part of my political scheme.

  13. The Censor’s got the power, and you’re so weak
    And your frustrations won’t-a let you speak.

    Aye aye aye aye…

  14. Don’t turn around, uh-oh
    Mister Censor’s in town, uh-oh
    He’s got the power
    And you’re so weak
    And your frustration
    Will not let you speak
    La, la, la, la, la, la

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