Thursday, August 13, 2009
OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES AND REPUBLICANS
With the indictments of 12 Democrats safely under his belt and the Republican gubernatorial primary just months away, Tom Corbett thought he'd be sitting pretty by now.
Instead, his undeclared candidacy is crumbling around him.
"The whole thing's been a joke, in my opinion," Republican Senator John Eichelberger of Altoona told the Tribune-Review.
Those indictments of which Corbett's so proud? "A first-year law student could have prosecuted" them, Eichelberger sneers.
With Election Day looming, anything Corbett does will seem politically-motivated, Eichelberger points out. And that's coming from a guy who urged Corbett to launch the investigation.
What could have prompted Eichelberger's surprising attack? As CasablancaPA noted earlier this week, Curt Schroeder's decision to hire former Senate Republican taxpayer-funded political guru Mike Long for his congressional campaign is a clear sign that Long is not on Corbett's chopping block.
Eichelberger, like anyone else with a functioning cerebral cortex, recognizes that an investigation of Senate Republicans that doesn't target Long is no investigation at all.
While there are those who delight in Corbett's obvious partisanship - "I'm confident in (Corbett) and I think he has handled this well," McCandless Republican Senator Jane Orie gushed - those with more foresight are justifiably embarrassed.
Furthermore, as Senate Republicans try to cast themselves as cost-cutters and belt-tighteners, the investigation's estimated $10 million-and-counting price tag is mortifying. It's tough to make the case for laying off thousands of state workers and withholding school funding when the bloated legislature is indirectly dumping truckloads of taxpayer loot into Corbett's gubernatorial campaign.
We still don't know whether any Republicans will at long last be indicted, even a token effort for appearances' sake. But Republicans are now being forced to choose: will they stand on the side of Corbett's blatant partisan recklessness or will they grasp at a shred of dignity?