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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Missing the point

Tony Snow hasn't grasped that Republicans and Democrats are on the same team yet:

By all accounts, the 400-page Barrett report is a bombshell, capable possibly of wiping out Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential prospects. At the very least, it would bring to public attention a scandal that would make the Valerie Plame affair vanish into comical insignificance....

This careful and continuous monitoring of the report explains why Sens. Byron Dorgan, Dick Durbin and John Kerry took the highly unusual step earlier this year of trying to slip into an Iraq-war spending bill an amendment to suppress every word of the Barrett report. (Every other independent counsel finding has been printed in its entirety, with the exception of small sections containing classified material.)

Alert Republicans, pushed by talk-radio listeners and bloggers, managed to short-circuit that effort, but Democrats patiently pursued their goal. They got what they wanted recently, when the House and Senate met to iron out differences in yet another appropriations bill. Democrats inserted language that would prevent public release of the 120 pages of the report listing the Clinton transgressions. They offered what may have looked like a good deal. They promised not to object to letting Barrett continue with any prosecutions already underway.

Republicans negotiators, led by Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., and Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Mich, took the bait. They agreed to keep the public in the dark about the important stuff in exchange for a big, fat nothing.

Except the bait was merely a cover meant to appease the hoodwinked Republican grassroots. For whatever reason, it's becoming ever more clear that Hillary is the Anointed One, (much like George Bush was in 1998 - I never doubted for a second that he'd win the nomination and the presidency), which is why Republicans will put up a sacrificial lamb against her in 2008.

The Republican leadership will force Republicans to choose between a Mormon and a liberal, stamp hard on any grass roots support for a genuine conservative and thus suppress their turnout enough to allow a newly "moderate" Hillary Rodham, with a newfound respect for the American military and the borders, to squeak by.

These are early days and it's entirely possible that I'm wrong. But that's what I expect, anyhow. I note that the refurbishing of Ms Rodham Clinton is going pretty much as I described a few months ago.

As for sacrificial lambs, they couldn't make it much more obvious than selecting a Massachusetts politician. Northeast liberals can't even win presidential elections as Democrats. About the only thing the Republican leadership could do to make it more obvious that they intend to throw the election - short of digging up the corpse of Bob Dole and running it again - is nominating a gay black Muslim.

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