Principalities & Powers

Impeachable Offenses

Back in March, Republican Majority Whip Tom DcLay took lunch at the Washington Times and started jabbering about how he and his party were going to impeach "activist judges" who handed down improper rulings. I know something about how those luncheons at the Times work, so I was not as impressed as some people. First, the guest is taken to the editor-in-chief's office and offered a drink or two. Then at table he is kept talking and prevented from swallowing any solid food, all the while being plied with more potables and lots of questions from the reporters present. By the end of the session, the guest—usually an officeholder and often a congressman or Cabinet member—is lucky if he hasn't threatened to nuke Massachusetts and defund Arlington Cemetery, but the hapless celebrity finds himself and his remarks plastered all over the front page of the next day's edition, while his press aides scurry to explain what he really said and what he really meant.

In Mr. DeLay's case, there was no reason to retract or explain, and indeed his fellow congresspersons in the Stupid Party found his proposals exhilarating. A day or so later, the news was full of stories about how the Republicans were going to take back the Constitution and decorate the public lamp posts with the corpses of judges. "They loved it," spouted the Majority Whip of his colleagues' response to his proposals,...

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