Letter: Political hemmorhage

(U-WIRE) DEKALB, Ill. – Recent political wounds have left America bleeding red, literally, not liberally. The events of the last few weeks in Washington seem to play out like a poorly written children’s book.

First, House Republican Leader Tom DeLay of Texas had to step down after being charged with money laundering. The wound opened fast, but clotted and all was right again in Washington.

Next, it was announced Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee was under federal investigation for his stock sales. Just when the bandage had been removed, a scrape and the warm, oozing liquid flowed once again.

The nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court seemed just the way to solve the problem. Her moderate views would appeal to both liberals and conservatives, and President Bush also would be happy, having his former lawyer sit on the highest court.

That idea apparently backfired last week, as Miers withdrew her nomination, citing she could not provide requested documents, which were allegedly classified.

Adding insult to injury, I. Lewis Libby, chief of staff for Vice President Cheney and a key figure in building the public case for war in Iraq, was indicted Friday for obstruction of justice and perjury after a two-year probe into the outing of an undercover CIA operative. It might make more sense now to amputate.

The only amount of relief for Washington now may be that Bush’s deputy chief of staff, Karl Rove, has not been formally indicted in the same case, but remains under investigation.

Given the turmoil and debacle of the last month, it would seem conservative leadership is close to falling apart.

Nevertheless, President Bush pressed forward Monday, nominating veteran judge Samuel Alito to replace retiring associate justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Alito, at least, will not be criticized for his inexperience. He has substantial knowledge of U.S. constitutional law and has served as a federal appeals court judge for the past 15 years.

Given his rapid nomination, Alito also may serve to distract the public from recent wounds suffered by Washington. This, however, appears to be a new trend.

Washington is still seeing red these days, if not from the blood spouting from its recent political wounds, then from President Bush’s newest Supreme Court nomination.

Staff Editorial

Northern Star (Northern Illinois U.)