Monday, December 31, 2007

And starring Chuck Rosenthal as Larry Craig

"GOP Implosions for $500, Alex":

-- Which Republican official refuses to resign at the behest of party leadership due to yet another embarrassing sex scandal?

That would be both of 'em, of course. Only the orifices have been changed, and not to protect the innocent.

Behold the man who believes he has the powah to do something about this sordid mess, HCRP chairman Jared Woodfill:

Note the Pat Riley 'do, the diamond-encrusted Rolex and cufflinks, the solid wood hammer he threatens to bring down hard upon the wild willy of one Chuck Rosenthal, soon-to-be-former incumbent district attorney of Harris County.

(Note the geographical instructions for confused Republicans in the background behind him.)

This a true man of the people. A man who rules with impartiality, fairness, and sober jurisprudence. A man of respect, authority, and unquestioned influence.

"What part of 'no' don't you understand?" Rosenthal asked party chairman Jared Woodfill, according to County Judge Ed Emmett, who attended the emergency meeting.

After the four-hour, closed-door meeting that included questioning of Rosenthal, 15 members of the party's Advisory Committee voted unanimously to urge him to withdraw from the March 4 Republican primary for district attorney.

"The consensus was this is a position of high trust, and when this position is questioned, when this position is breached, we feel like it's important that we make a change," Woodfill said.

But Rosenthal, exiting the Greenway Plaza meeting about a half-hour before the it ended, said, "I'm going to run for district attorney and I am going to win."

He said he did not know if he will have an opponent in the Republican primary.

"I certainly hope not. I don't think they've got anybody with the qualifications to run against me," Rosenthal added.

Oh. Well, sorry about that, Jared. Maybe you could call for backup? Reinforcements? A higher power (and no, we ain't talkin' 'bout God)?

(Judge Ed) Emmett, the chief county government official, could be seen discussing the situation with Rosenthal in a side room while the party leaders continued their meeting. Rosenthal frequently raised his arms and gestured during his discussions with the county judge and the party chairman.

Emmett said the GOP activists made the right decision in calling for Rosenthal to step down.

"At this point he is damaged goods, and the party is reflecting that," Emmett said.

But you couldn't talk sense into him either, could you Judge?

The important thing to keep in mind is that this really isn't about Rosenthal's moral failings, it's about his competence as a manager. Any corporate position of this grade would have policies in place preventing not just the undue fraternization of supervisors and subordinates, but also the ethical violation of having one's former girlfriend on the county payroll at twice the salary of comparable positions, along with a company car and expenses.

Moral turpitude, I believe it's called.

And some people would have the dignity to step aside when their lapses in judgment were publicly revealed. But hey, it's still a free country (allegedly), so Chuck can do what he wants and damn the torpedos.

I'm starting to feel bad for the Republicans. No really, I am. If I were still a Republican at this point (and for the record, I quit the Kool-Aid a long time ago -- after Iran-contra), I would run away to the beach and spend the rest of the next eleven months sipping a paper umbrella cocktail, slowly passing my metal detector from side to side, scooting a few dominoes and maybe some shuffleboard, trying hard to keep ignoring the signs of the impending tsunami.

Live out my remaining time dreaming of the good ol' days, when Tom DeLay's collapse was the worst thing that could have ever been.

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