Sunday, March 12, 2006

Short-term memory

Forgive our elected officials if they say a little prayer thanking Dick Cheney for shooting his friend. And the botched ports deal with the U.A.E. --- what a blessing! Now if they could just have a pretty white girl disappear while on Spring Break ...

Maybe that's asking too much, but is anyone really surpised that Congress is stepping back from its promise to reform itself?

That was then: "Comprehensive lobbying reform is the right thing to do," said Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert back in January. "I believe that to regain the trust of the American people in this institution, we must go further than prosecuting the bad actors."

This is now: "I do sense that there's a little less of a furor about it," said U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) "The people responsible seem to be being dealt with in the justice system, as they should. A lot of this is politically reacting to a situation, and when you get down to it, you realize that there's an awful lot of rules already on the books, and what we need to do is apply them."

Adds Maine Republican Susan Collins, a chief architect of lobbying reform legislation in the Senate: "People have turned to other issues. This was our window, and I'm afraid it will be slammed shut."

Wanted: a politician who can make the connection between influence peddling and our broken democracy. There's no bigger issue, and that includes terrorism.

Or have we moved on, yet again?

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