REPUBLICAN BLOOD SPORTS

In the pregame highlights for the next two years of GOP one-party rule, right-wing radicals dropped their towels and exposed themselves in all their naked ambition recently. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Tom DeLay’s buddies voted to lower their party’s ethical standards to protect their leader over the objection of moderates like Christopher Shays, who expects to be punished. Maybe DeLay will end up doing the time (artist’s rendering, below):

More funny games! Arlen Specter, pinned by the religious right, cried uncle and signed a White House loyalty oath, a humiliation unprecedented in our constitutional system of checks and balances. Two Congressional staffers snuck a provision into the omnibus spending bill giving Congress the right to examine every American’s tax returns. Senator Ted Stevens, Republican from Alaska, had to apologize to his colleagues. And in a Pacers-Pistons-like brawl in the House, Defense Department patsies kayoed the Intelligence Reform Bill, much to the shock and awe of Senate Republican supporters like Pat Roberts and Susan Collins. It would seem the only thing punier than being a Democrat these days is being a moderate Republican. How long will they stand the humiliations, the bullying, the powerlessness before they defect like Jim Jeffords? Maybe executive producer Karl Rove’s TV hit, The Permanent Republican Majority, will be canceled sooner than anyone suspected.