The last time we heard from Robert Novak he was being used by the Bush folks to expose a U.S. covert agent as a way to punish a critic of the administration. But when he is not commiting blatant acts of treason, Novak can still be a pretty good shoe leather reporter.
In his most recent column, Novak sheds some light on the bribery and intimidation methods that Republican House leaders used to secure their whisker thin passage of the screw-up Medicare legislation.
"(U.S. Rep. Nick) Smith, self term-limited, is leaving Congress. His lawyer son Brad is one of five Republicans seeking to replace him from a GOP district in Michigan's southern tier. On the House floor, Nick Smith was told business interests would give his son $100,000 in return for his father's vote. When he still declined, fellow Republican House members told him they would make sure Brad Smith never came to Congress. After Nick Smith voted no and the bill passed, Duke Cunningham of California and other Republicans taunted him that his son was dead meat."
Republicans not only abused House procedures far worse than the Democrats ever did by extending a 15-minute vote to a record-breaking three hours, but they resorted to outright bribery and threats to get their way on the Medicare legislation. I mean, why even bother with the charade of a democracy and a representative government if the Republicans are just going to run roughshod over everyone and everything to get what they want no matter?
I suppose this should not be a surprise coming from an administration that took power with 500,000 fewer votes than that other guy. The democratic process is just a game to them, something that can be manipulated to your advantage provided you have enough money. And money is one thing that the Bush folks have plenty of.
I'm starting to wonder with all the millions of dollars Bush Corp. is raising for the next election, how will they ever be able to spend all that money during the election cycle. They are going to have to come up with some pretty creative ways to spend money if they expect to go through that huge pile Bush has been raising in such a short time. Maybe they will offer $1,000 checks to undecided voters in key swing states. After all, offering cash for votes is just business as usual for today's Republicans.