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.