Page 3 of 5   <       >

Does the Right Know Jack?

Alleged crimes aside?

MSNBC's Tucker Carlson , not a fan of the Rev. Lou Sheldon or Ralph Reed, unloads:

"Why were supposedly honest ideological conservatives like Sheldon and Reed and anti-tax activist Grover Norquist involved with Jack Abramoff in the first place? Keep in mind that Abramoff's business wasn't just gambling, which by itself should have been enough to scare off professional moralizers like Sheldon. Jack Abramoff was a lobbyist for Indian gambling. Over the years Abramoff and his now-indicted partner took more than $80 million from a half a dozen tribes in return for their efforts to keep Indian gambling revenues tax free.

"Step back and think about this for a second. Indian tribes get a special pass from the federal government to run a high-margin monopoly simply because they are Indian tribes, which is to say, simply because of their ethnicity. This is the worst, least fair form of affirmative action, and it should be anathema to conservatives. Conservatives are supposed to support the idea of a meritocracy, a country where hard work not heredity is the key to success and everyone is equal before the law. Conservatives should despise Indian gambling on principal.

"And some still do. But others got rich from it, and now they're likely headed to jail. I'll be cheering as they're sentenced."

Peggy Noonan sees the scandal as a metaphor for out-of-control GOP spending:

"There's a lot of talk among Republicans that since the Abramoff scandal involves politicians and staff on both sides of the aisle, the public will not punish the Republicans. This assertion is countered by the argument that while the public will likely see the story as one of government corruption, Congress and the White House are run by Republicans, so Republicans will pay the price. I think this is true, but I think it misses a larger point: In some rough way the public expects the party that loves big government to be pretty good at finagling government, playing with it, using it for its own ends. That's kind of what they do. They love the steamroller, of course they love the grease that makes it run. But the anti-big-government party isn't supposed to be so good at it, so enmeshed in it. The antigovernment party isn't supposed to be so good at oiling the steamroller's parts and pushing its levers. And so happy doing the oiling and pushing."

But Power Line's John Hinderaker is not terribly excited:

"From listening to the press coverage, one almost gets the impression that campaign contributions and Congressional junkets are illegal. They are not. (As I understand the rather arcane law surrounding junkets, their legality depends on the identity of the entity that ultimately paid for the trip). It is possible, of course, that Abramoff has lots more to say, and that the prosecutors, for some reason, chose to showcase only one of their less substantial claims in the information. Time will tell how much of the Abramoff story is smoke, and how much is fire."

Red State says the left is trying to brand Bush as a miner-murderer:

"After the recent explosion in the Sago coal mine, before it had even been determined whether the miners trapped inside were alive or dead, two popular liberal websites were discussing all the ways that Bush was to blame for an explosion of still undetermined cause in a coal mine in West Virginia. Frankly, the only thing that surprises me about this revelation is that the elected Democrats have not picked up the siren call of their fundraising masters as of yet - but not to worry, if they could shoehorn Katrina into the Roberts hearings (over and over), I'm certain at least one of them will find a way to grill Samuel Alito about the President's responsibility in preventing coal mine explosions next week . . .

"The first liberal reason that Bush is to blame is that (wait for it) Bush didn't spend enough federal money to prevent the problem from happening . . . Ah, yes, the wonderful canard that if you throw enough government money at a problem, it will simply go away. It's worked so well on poverty, why not try it on coal mines? The only problem with this analysis, or any other analysis pulled from the AFL-CIO, is that it's not exactly rooted in reality."

<          3           >

© 2006 The Washington Post Company