In the Rough
Tom DeLay should worry less about judges and more about grand juries.
Thursday, Aug. 18, 2005
Home Course: For months, GOP leaders have insisted that indicted globetrotter Jack Abramoff is an aberration in the Republican Party. They could be right. After Gov. Bob Taft's ethics indictment yesterday, it's clear not every Republican is accepting all-expenses-paid golf trips to St. Andrews. Some are perfectly content to have their golf paid for even on courses in Ohio.
Taft comes from one of the longest political dynasties in America. His great-grandfather, William Howard Taft, was quite a golfer, too. When my grandfather was a boy, he watched President Taft play a round of golf on a course in northern Idaho. My grandfather came away impressed, not because Taft scored well, but because his stomach stuck out so far, he couldn't possibly see the ball he was swinging at.
The charges against Bob Taft aren't as colorful as those against Abramoff. As far as we know, none of Taft's playing partners were later gunned down in gangland-style killings. But the Taft scandal might end up doing more political damage, if it helps cost Republicans the all-important Ohio governorship.
After a week that began with the Abramoff indictment and ends with the Taft indictment, Tom DeLay might want to adjust his talking points. Forget all that talk about activist judges. It's time to warn the base about "grand jury overreach" and "prosecutorial oligarchy."
More Winners: Readers have flooded the Has-Been with suggestions on what to call the space-that-has-not-been-named between the public and private sectors.
Alan Leo suggests "the plutonic sector." Beating Frank Luntz at his own game, Elizabeth Grambling writes, "You say 'influence peddling.' … I say 'inspiration marketing.' "
Many of the names offered for the likes of Abramoff weren't appropriate for a family blog, but three stood out: "graft dodgers" (from Christopher Duggan); "Gulchers" (from Gucci Gulch survivor David Mott); and "skyboxers" (from James Stevens). The winners get a free round of golf with the governor, next time they're in Ohio. ... 6:01 A.M. (link)
Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005
Boys Will Be Boys: After reading the hilarious profile of John Roberts in Tuesday's Washington Times, Dahlia Lithwick decided he's "too nice to be crazy." She argues that the cautiousness that kept him from sneaking off into the woods to smoke in high school "may be the same quality that keeps him from torching Roe v. Wade."
Bruce Reed, who was President Clinton's domestic policy adviser, is CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council and co-author with Rahm Emanuel of The Plan: Big Ideas for Change in America.E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his disclosure here.
Photograph of: George Bush on the Slate home page by Tim Sloan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images. Illustration on the Slate home page by Mark Alan Stamaty.