Saturday, April 01, 2006

Scorched Earth

Two different articles I read today discuss two very different subjects, one providing a view of Abramoff scandal and the other of Grover Norquist. Both pieces were interesting on their own, but I also was struck by a theme that was contained in both. It was what trial lawyers used to refer to as the "scorched earth" policy; that is, winning isn't enough, you must totally and completely destroy the other side.

The first article is the tale of the "Jilted Lover" who ended up being the cause of the downfall of Abramoff and his cronies. The Wall Street Journal story, Behind Unraveling Of DeLay's Team, A Jilted Fiancée, describes the escapades of the greedy gang that worked for Abramoff and Tom DeLay. It's almost amusing to read about these characters, each is worse than the other. They all so deserve each other and their fate. And best of all, it's all due to the wrath of a woman scorned. A beautiful sight to behold in this case.

The other article is by Dick Polman from his blog, American Debate. In Is it over, Grover?, Polman describes a recent Grover Norquist talk in Philly, in which Norquist opined on his predictions on the fate of the Republicans in the upcoming elections.

The eerie similarity came from these pair of quotes from various Republican operatives. It is the deeply warped mentality that pervades the party, from Karl Rove on down.

Describing two then-press aides for DeLay, Mike Scanlon and Tony Rudy, the Journal notes:

The two shared a pit-bull political style and pushed Mr. DeLay to lead the charge in 1998 for the impeachment of President Clinton. "This whole thing about not kicking someone when they are down is B.S.," Mr. Scanlon once wrote to Mr. Rudy in an email published in "The Breach," a book by Peter Baker about the impeachment. "Not only do you kick him -- you kick him until he passes out -- then beat him over the head with a baseball bat -- then roll him up in an old rug -- and throw him off a cliff into the pound surf below!!!!!"
Dick Polman explains Norquist as follows:
This is a guy, after all, who once said that "bipartisanship is another name for date rape," and said, at another point, "It is not good enough to win; it has to be a painful and devastating defeat....It is like when the king would take his opponent’s head and stick it on a pike for everyone to see.”
This is the real face of the Republican Party. The party of Christians, of family values and of compassionate conservatism.

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