Thursday, October 20, 2005

Crime and Politics

It’s like Christmas in October. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, all I can do is wait to see what kind of indictments Santa Fitz will leave under the tree. At this point my appetite has been so whetted by rumors that nothing short of a coup will satisfy.

But we’ve already begun to hear the conservative spin that will likely turn into a tornado: The investigation into a possible White House conspiracy to expose the identity of a covert agent is merely “the criminalization of politics.”

The Repugs are desperate to show that despite controlling the presidency, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court, two-thirds of the Federal bench, 95% of corporate America and huge chunks of the media, they’re still just helpless victims – puppies, really -- trapped in the jaws of a vicious partisan attack.

They’re also hoping everyone will forget that this is an investigation demanded by the CIA and run by a Republican prosecutor.

Unfortunately for the GOP, they’ve got it backwards. What we’ve been witnessing over the past five years is not the criminalization of politics but the politicalization of crime.

The Bushies are hardly the first politicians to use criminal tactics for political ends, but no one’s ever used them quite so recklessly or on such a broad scale. The Mafia only wishes it were as good at money laundering, bribery, extortion, and revenge. (For a long but fascinating look at how the Repugs launder money, check out Susan Schmidt and James Grimaldi’s Washington Post report on how Jack Abramoff funneled gambling money to the RNC through Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist. Tom Delay's pals did essentially the same thing in Texas.)

The Mafia metaphor is apt. Cheney is Tony Soprano without the charm. Bush is Little Carmine, the idiot son of Carmine Lupertazzi, who inherits the title of capo di capo without a clue on how to run the family business. Then there are the enforcers – Karl Rove (Pussy Bonpensiero) and Lewis Libby (Paulie Walnuts). I could go on.

Exposing Valerie Plame was not merely an attempt to smear Joe Wilson (‘You know his wife hired him, he must have a very small penis’). It was retribution. They couldn’t fire Wilson, so they did the next best thing and fired his wife by exposing her covert status. No cover, no job.

But it was also more than that. Outing Valerie Plame was the horse’s head on the pillow. It was a message to other would-be whistleblowers: ‘Do business our way or you’ll be sleeping with da fishes.’ To be a member of this administration, you must accept the code of Omerta – silence unto death.

Trouble is, this time these not-so-wise guys left their prints all over the mattress. If you believe the latest rumors, perhaps two of the Veep’s lieutenants have flipped and are cooperating with the prosecutor. (You know Cheney would have their heads inside a bowling ball bag, if he thought he could get away with it.)

Like many mobsters, Cheney & his crew may soon become long-term guests of the Federal government--only this time they’ll be staying at the Big House, not the White House. And then the marriage of crime and politics will be complete.


Blogger zennurse said...

Wonderful blogging, have you bookmarked and will follow treasongate with you. Strongly suggest you look at firedoglake for targeted, intelligent analysis of this investigation. BTW, Santa Fitz is not a Republican, he was Independent, but eliminated affiliation when he learned that Independent was a political party of its own, not just a description. Your brand of intellectual satire is just the thing in these nail-biting hours before Bush's kingdom falls. Happy Fitzmas!

5:56 PM  

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