Monday, October 2


Rethugs are just practicing their standard M.O.

Hey buddy, it's only "bipartisan" if the other partisan gets to participate.

In all the steady stream of ink spilled into the rancid sea now known as the Fole affair, none is more disingenuous and telling than one word so cavalierly throw into the mix in the dark of night: bipartisan.

In an effort to sop up the mess so the gathering waves would stop lapping at hi doorstep, Rep. John Shimkus, an Illinois Republican, issued a statement Frida night. The press release came after Rep. Mark Foley, a Florida Republican resigned as his electronic correspondence with former House pages was being divulged, betraying his predatory instincts.

"As chairman of the bipartisan House Page Board in late 2005," Shimkus began his statement, "I was notified by the then clerk of the House, who manages the page program, that he had been told by Congressman Rodney Alexander [a Louisiana Republican] about an E-mail exchange between Congressman Foley and a former House page. I took immediate action to investigate the matter."

Bipartisan? Use of that word suggests that both political parties were represented in this investigation. As we now know, however, Shimkus did not initially consult the sole Democrat on the page board, Rep. Dale Kildee of Michigan, who learned of Foley's behavior only late last week.

With the benefit of hindsight, Shimkus now says he's sorry he didn't consult Kildee earlier, because now it appears to be political. Uh, yeah, it WAS political, Congressman. The fact that Rep Tom Reynolds, the chairman of the GOP's congressional election committee, knew about this months before Kildee speaks volumes about just who is serving whom on Capitol Hill. It is the very integrity of Kildee, a 16-term veteran, that would've given the Shimkus "investigation" at least a patina of respectability and dignity had it been truly "bipartisan."

Instead, Shimkus and his allies in the House GOP leadership, mindful that every seat counts this fall, crossed their fingers, then plugged them in the dike.

I don't see how Shimkus' constituents can return him to office knowing what we already know of his dereliction of duty. He appears to have made a deliberate decision not to inform Democrat page board member Kildee, for what reason we can only conclude was the protection of Foley's House seat. Now he tries to apply a patina to his actions by suggesting that the "bipartisan page board" conducted an investigation? Oh! it was an investigation ON BEHALF OF the page board! Well, that explains it!

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