Thursday, May 25, 2006

Self-interest is job one

Set aside for now any qualms about the constitutionality of this week's FBI search of the congressional office of U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, D-La. (I don't like the general idea of law enforcement rummaging through legislators' offices, but I could envision some extenuating circumstances that might justify it. Besides, at least there was a warrant this time, right? Progress.) From a purely tactical standpoint, Republican leaders' swift denouncement of the search was absolutely genius.

Not only did their declaration lend them a much-needed veneer of bipartisan spirit, but it also ensured that the day's headlines would focus on a corruption scandal that has ensnared a Democrat. Additionally, as The New York Times notes, the increasingly scandal-plagued GOP has a vested interest in preventing a precedent that would allow such searches of its members' offices.

Today's episode, as with so many other things in Washington, has been brought to you by the letters C, Y, and A.

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