Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 7, 2005
POLITICS: Screw Up

Turns out that the memo pushing the legislation to save Terri Schaivo's life on, among others, raw partisan political grounds was after all created by a GOP staffer working for Mel Martinez, who apparently - I assume without reading the thing, unless he's a complete idiot - handed it to arch-liberal Democratic Senator Tom Harkin, who in a rare display of aisle-crossing was supporting the bill but obviously was not doing so for purposes of putting heat on other Democrats. Instapundit has the links. (UPDATE: Patrick Hynes has a more direct apology).

I like this quote, from hyper-partisan New Jersey Democrat Frank Lautenberg:

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), a member of the Rules and Administration Committee, wrote to the panel's leaders last week to ask for an investigation into the "document, its source, and how it came to be distributed."

"Those who would attempt to influence debate in the United States Senate should not hide behind anonymous pieces of paper," he said.

And this one:

Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said in an interview Friday that he considered it "ludicrous" to suggest that his party created the document and said Republicans were using such talk to divert responsibility.

"I guess the best defense is a good offense -- that's their theory," he said.

And this one:

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) said he believed that the memo originated with the GOP because it is "totally consistent" with how the Republicans have operated for the past four years. "They just shouldn't lose their memos," he said.

And now that that's settled, I hope Lautenberg, Reid and Biden can all get to a substantive discussion of these memos circulated among Senate Democrats.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:27 AM | Politics 2005 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

How is it that you have plenty to say about Democratic senators responses and no comment on the flat out lie by Seantor Martinez to the Washington Times? He said he had nothing to do with distributing the memo and he himself handed it to another Senator.

Posted by: CoolSchool at April 7, 2005 5:51 PM

At a time when GOP, Inc. has covered itself in shame with the TS situation, Tom Delay's ethical problems mounting on a daily basis and more and more factual and critical information coming out about the build up to war in Iraq this is something to talk about. This web site, thankfully, has Opening Day as a saving grace. GOP, Inc. pretty much has disgrace.

Posted by: jim at April 7, 2005 6:35 PM

Cool - Occam's Razor. Did Martinez actually read the thing before he gave it to Harkin? I have a hard time believing he's quite that stupid. The more likely explanation is that he handed over the wrong thing, and didn't recognize the memo when it hit the papers. Although the WSJ thinks he was doing Harkin a favor by giving him a look at the memo.

Jim - I'm not hiding, I've just been too busy with baseball and work to stay up to speed enough to have a lot to say. But while I didn't agree with the Congressional move to save Schiavo's life, I'd hardly say the GOP "covered itself in shame" in that episode. And I hardly think there's much new and damaging in what I've seen so far from the WMD panel.

Posted by: The Crank at April 7, 2005 7:26 PM

"Senator Martinez has never seen the memo and condemns its sentiments," spokeswoman Kerry Feehery said. "No one in our office has seen it, nor had anything to do with its creation."
Use your razor and parse the quote above from the Washington Times. Senator Marinez was blindfolded when he walked over to Harkin with the memo in his hand? No one in his office was responsbile for its creation? Did you know Senator Martinez has quite a history of blaming staffers when things go wrong for him?

Posted by: CoolSchool at April 8, 2005 12:08 PM

As far as the TS situation goes GOP, Inc did nothing but disgrace itself with its blatant pandering to far, far right wing religious zealots. Delay is threatening "activist judges" which clearly shows GOP, Inc. has no interest in states rights, individual rights, less govenrment or the sanctity of marriage, all things which they claim to be big proponents of. They showed themselves as disgusting little weasels who have no principles and stand for nothing other than the moment (oh, and cash, don't forget about the cash). How is it not disgraceful to abandon nearly every framing issue of your party? Sucked for them when they found out lots of evangelicals even thought they acted way beyond the bounds of decency.

Posted by: jim at April 8, 2005 1:04 PM
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