Michael: GOP defends its dirty-trickstersThe GOP, despite a stated zero tolerance policy of voter rights suppression, is paying for the defense of James Tobin. Tobin was Bush's 2004 New England campaign chairman who is accused of felony conspiracy to violate the rights of voters for the jamming of Democratic and labor union phone banks during the election of 2002.
The GOP's excuse for spending the better part of a million bucks so far to defend Tobin's actions is that he did nothing criminal. Well, like Bush's backpedal from his vow to sack anyone in his Administration who leaked Plame's identity into his lame duckish squawk about firing anyone found guilty of a crime, this is a convenient distinction without a difference. There is no doubt that the call spamming happened, or that it prevented get-out-the vote efforts, or that it likely damaged voter's rights, or even that Sununu is probably in the Senate because of this chicanery. So, if the only real question is whether Tobin is guilty, isn't it tolerating the suppression of voter's rights to pay for the defense of the person accused of the crime? Shouldn't the GOP be like Ceasar's wife on this matter, and let Tobin stand or fall on his own if they want to uphold their pledge?
Well, there's the rub. Much like Arizona's own GOP dirty-trickster Nathan Sproul, whose own indictments may be coming any day now, the GOP can't afford not to defend such Rove-wanna-bes. Rats like Tobin and Sproul pose a very weighty threat to the GOP leadership and the Bush Administration: state's evidence. If the GOP fails to defend these finks, they may testify as to their orders from higher up the food chain to save their own worthless skins. Crimes now safely contained as the overzealous actions of some expendable and deniable consultants, might very quickly become the sort of high-level political scandal that resulted in Nixon's dirty tricksters bringing down the Administration.
We can only hope... and encourage the GOP to stand by its pledge, instead of on the side of democracy's muggers.