Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 20, 2006
By: Zachary Roth

Is it just me, or is there something odd about the tone of this report in The Hill about how Tom DeLays staff can all expect to find new jobs without much trouble?

DeLay was widely regarded as highly effective at promoting the Republican agenda, The Hills Jeffrey Young tells us. His staffs role in that success did not go unnoticed. Then we get prominent Republicans, including RNC chair Ken Mehlman, singing the praises of the DeLay team. Two of those singled out for special credit are chief of staff Brett Loper and communications director Kevin Madden.

Lets take a step back here. DeLay and two former staff members have been indicted on charges of using illegal corporate contributions in a scheme that was designed to increase the Republican majority in Washington. Its at least plausible and thats putting it generously that senior staff in the Majority Leaders office had some inkling of what was going on.

To be clear, I have no evidence whatsoever that Loper and Madden or any other DeLay staffer outside of the two who have already been indicted did anything illegal or even unethical. But the possibility is hardly far-fetched. Its certainly believable enough that youd expect reporters assessing the job prospects of top DeLay staffers to at least raise the issue.

But The Hill isnt interested. To them, DeLays top aides are just a bunch of honest hacks unfortunate enough to have signed on with a boss who stepped over the line. And remember, GOP bigwigs say these guys are talented people. They deserve to succeed.

With reporting like this, its not hard to see how the GOP thought it could get away this stuff in the first place.

Zachary Roth 5:17 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (33)

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Hey, Michael Brown landed on his feet.

Conservatives reward incompetence and criminality.

Both in the Bush administration and without.

Pretty much like Corporate America, the GOP's feeding trough for both money and ideas.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 20, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

They'll have no problem. Heck, with this administration a felony or two is practically a prerequisite for employment.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 20, 2006 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

What about those scumbags in Delay's office who were day-trading with insider information?

The entire REPUKELISCUM political machine is a RICO - a REPUKELISCUM influenced corrupt organization.

Time to put some of those scum in JAIL

Posted by: POed Liberal on January 20, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

They should be considered completely honest until they're indicted, convicted and jailed. At that time, we switch to referring to them as victims of the liberal media and of the criminalization of politics.

Posted by: shortstop on January 20, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

...and then, after they get their shiny presidential pardons, they go to the front of the line for cabinet positions in a later GOP administration.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 20, 2006 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't read that anyone felt these guys were 'honest hacks', merely effective and successful.

Gotta believe that success inside the beltway takes a little con-artistry anyway. I'm not excusing it, just recognizing it.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on January 20, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

I dunno, but, really, so long as they weren't charged, and even then as long as they weren't convicted (and, heck, maybe not even then), I don't see why its surprising to consider that Republican staffers who were somehow implicated in crimes whose goal was increased Republican power wouldn't have much trouble getting jobs with other Republicans or right-leaning interest groups.

I mean, history certainly doesn't provide a lot of reason to question that idea.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 20, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Martin Bormann had a sterling resume.

Posted by: stupid git on January 20, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Nixon's hacks seemed to have made out all right.

Posted by: ckelly on January 20, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, passing your resume around, going to job interview after job interview, travelling around the country following up on job leads-- that's for little people. When you're a Republican Hill Staffer for a criminal syndicate, you are granted a job when you need one. You don't have to go through the plebian process of looking for one.

Posted by: Constantine on January 20, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

AND they are going to continue to "succeed" since getting caught only slows them down and makes them change tactics for awhile.

The Republican party has no moral compass. The fish rots from the head down.

Posted by: lilybart on January 20, 2006 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Mehlman may be trying to signal to Delay's team that they will be taken care of if they don't become too cooperative. Mehlman's comments could potentially be construed as witness tampering.

Posted by: undecided on January 20, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

C'mon, now -- you know all sins are forgiven those who are Washed in the Blood of the Lamb.
And in cases like these, the only sin is getting caught. Anyone not caught -- sinless. QED.

Posted by: smartalek on January 20, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

how is that DOW 11000 going?

Tell ya you shoulda listened to the prezidant and invested your social security in a market index.

Posted by: lib on January 20, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Suppose a young staffer who now will not be working for DeLay sends some other Congressman his or her resume. Two questions would be important to the potential employer: (a) what are the qualities of this young staffer in terms of abilities and ethics; and (b) how do I view the relative importance of each. You are assuming that said staffer has low ethical standards. Maybe, maybe not. Let's assume you are correct that young staffer is very able but has mediocre ethical standards. So how many in D.C. care about ethical standards? Just asking.

Posted by: pgl on January 20, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

They will be protected and rewarded by the GOP machine, which takes care of its own and values loyalty.

Besides, these people are still useful -- so long as they don't start blabbing to the special prosecutor.

Perhaps staying quiet is the most useful service they can return for these favors!

Posted by: Bokonon on January 20, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

pgl -

Presumably, this hypothetical staffer will be looking for a job in a Republican office. So in that case, I'd assume the interview would be full of questions like:
1) how much money have you stolen, and how much more do you expect to have stolen in 5 years?
2) where do you want to be in jail in 5 years time?
3) let me see your sneer when you say "liberal"
4) Is Bush the greatest president in the history of mankind, or is he the greatest person in the history of the universe? Discuss.

And then they give you the password to the Eschelon computer, and you're in!

Posted by: craigie on January 20, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK


Way to be a thread killer, you've got it exactly. This is just letting the aides know if they keep their mouth shut (or blame only those who've already pled guilty) then they'll be take care, if they blow the whistle on how the system operates then they're out in the cold.

Posted by: beowulf on January 20, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, there's a difference between a cynicism that understands the world is full of corruption and an opportunism that masquerades as worldliness in order to excuse such corruption.

It's the critical difference between "Wow, I am so disappointed but unsurprised things work this way" vs. "Wow! Neat! Can I join in?"

I can't believe the media isn't embarrassed that it can't see the difference. Idiots.

Posted by: theorajones on January 20, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

In the beginning, I decided to join the campaign to impeach your "smirking chimp", my "dum'ass botch". As evidence for that, you'll soon be invited to click on a hyperlink.

Before doing so, however, I would like you to read through the rest of this text. In case, you'd like to know, the U.R.L for your blog, specifically, Political Animal, is found at the third hyperlink on the list below ... ah, please remember, no clicking until AFTER reading the entire text.

Perusing your blog, I believe I arrived at what is a reasonable inference. That is, both you and your readers would welcome news that indicates the campaign to impeach the president is increasing in both vigor and breadth. Ah, you'll find that evidence by clicking on the second enclosed hyperlink.

As for my plan for capturing Osama, you'll find it by clicking on the first listed hyperlink:




.he who is known as sefton

Posted by: A Alexander Stella on January 20, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

Do some research on who one of the indictees - ARMPAC Director Jim Ellis - is STILL working for these days.....I believe all those reform-minded would be successors have some 'splainin' to do.....

Posted by: clayton on January 20, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

Do some research on who one of the indictees - ARMPAC Director Jim Ellis - is STILL working for these days.....I believe all those reform-minded would be successors have some 'splainin' to do.....

Posted by: clayton on January 20, 2006 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Do some research on who one of the indictees - ARMPAC Director Jim Ellis - is STILL working for these days.....I believe all those reform-minded would be successors have some 'splainin' to do.....

Posted by: clayton on January 20, 2006 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

DeLay was widely regarded as highly effective at promoting the Republican agenda, The Hills Jeffrey Young tells us. His staffs role in that success did not go unnoticed.

So...how is Young ignoring their (presumed) complicity in DeLay's corruption? I just see him being snide about it.

Posted by: Viserys on January 20, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

So long as they don't snitch, the AbraMafia will provide...

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 20, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

It's just you, Zachary. Ex-politicians, sleazy or not, have never had any trouble finding work in the outside world, and that goes back a very long time.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 20, 2006 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

Undecided - Decidedly so.

Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on January 20, 2006 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

Silence is rewarded. These folks were not exactly anamolous anathema. Enemies of enemas. Anemic aspirants in ascots. No. They represent the
Abramoff Guild. The Abramoff Guild, the Abramoff Guild. And on behalf of the Abramoff Gui---ld, we welcome them back to the G.O.P. What is a criminal syndicate without experience?

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It's still an open question whether they will get away with it.

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