Monday, August 11, 2008

Republicans Looking For an Edwards Echo Should Worry About What They Ask For

Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill lost no time jumping all over John Edwards’ personal problems as he gleefully called on Harris County Democrats to “withdraw the invitation for Edwards to speak” at the upcoming Johnson-Rayburn-Richards dinner. It’s all found right here in The Chron.

Unbeknownst to Chairman Woodfill, Senator Edwards had already sent word, had already cancelled his appearance at the dinner.

Not to worry. Woodfill simply went to item two on his political agenda. Money.

With Republicans Money is either 1st or 2nd on their lists of things to do.

Then Woodfill introduced the notion that perhaps all of Texas’ Democratic candidates should return any and all cash donations ever made to them by Dallas lawyer and Democratic benefactor Fred Baron.

The reason? Woodfill delivered the nebulous notion that Fred Baron had provided John Edwards “hush money” in paying moving expenses for the bimbo videographer who was being harassed by a tabloid.

Woodfill now calls all money provided by Fred Baron “tainted.”

Now I don’t know what specifically went on that convinced Fred Baron to help this woman move, and I really don’t care. I really don’t understand the logic of calling all of Baron’s contributions “tainted” no matter who they were given to, or what they were for, just because someone has raised an issue about this one exchange.

If Baron gave, say, $10,000 to say, a hospital, say MD Anderson, say in 2006. Would the hospital be obliged to return it now?

That’s just nuts.

But that aside, the absence of logic aside, I think that Jared Woodfill doesn’t want to open up this Pandora’s Box.

Where, oh where to begin? How about Abramoff/DeLay? What about all the hundreds of thousands of dollars funneled through one PAC or another, some say illegally, to Texas Republicans across the state from this discredited congressman and that jailbird? Some of these funds have actually been returned.

But not all.

What about all of the campaign funds donated over the years by Texas homebuilder Bob Perry? Perry has sent funds to Republicans and Republican causes (Swift Boat Veterans for Truth). Yet now we find that the fine Republican family values of this individual closely resemble that of a drunken, wife-abusing nasty piece of work.

But I haven’t heard anyone say that Republicans should return all of Bob Perry’s campaign contributions.

But come to think of it, if Woodfill’s logic is rock-solid, maybe it’s time someone did.

What’s good for the goose is certainly good enough for the gander isn’t it?

Or maybe, just maybe, Chairman Woodfill needs to reconsider this and not go there.

No, I don’t expect Chairman Woodfill to display any kind of moral decorum as the Edwards family struggles through this crisis. Republicans say that they are a people with “family values,” but maybe not all of them. I expect Woodfill to behave as neocon Republicans do, with cold, cruel calculation, using anything, ANYthing, to destroy a family while it is in pain.

And I also expect Woodfill to be cognizant of the fact that what he asks for may just be asked back at him in response.

Cowardly self-interest is a right-wing Republican trait. Maybe he should think about this a little more.

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