You know, maybe that Brooks column is part of a larger strategy -- crucify Abramson and Reed with such vigor and glee that no one notices you're ignoring DeLay. I say that because McCain, eyes on 2008 and ethics in the gutter, has promised to lead a vigorous investigation of Abramoff and Reed that does not, in any way, touch Tom DeLay. That he'll leave to the ethics committee, newly neutered and restocked by, yes, Tom DeLay. Lawmakers, even those involved in scandals that he's investigating, apparently fall outside the ex-maverick's purview, and so he won't touch them.
That's the Republican way, after all. Remember how Ken Starr's expansion of the Whitewater probe to cover Clinton's trysts spurred them into outrage and fierce opposition? "A travesty", they didn't call it. "A textbook case of overreach", no one said. "The only one who deserves impeachment is the partisan prosecutor", I heard them refuse to demand. And now McCain, a guy so wedded to good government and bipartisan ethics that he got the press to staple a symbolic halo to his scalp, is moving forward in the grand tradition of the Grand Old Party. I wonder how he'll feel after he's sold his soul and still lost his bid for the nomination? Will he repent and wonder what he trashed his legacy for? Or will the sputtering out of a storied career be vindicated by the everlasting friendship and PAC donations of the good congressman from Sugarland, TX?