Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Maher bad, DeLay good?

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) takes issue with remarks on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, first aired May 13, in which Maher pointed out that the Army missed its recruiting goal by 42% in April. "More people joined the Michael Jackson fan club," Maher said. "We've done picked all the low-lying Lynndie England fruit, and now we need warm bodies."

Rep. Bachus (who appears to have no relation to the late Jim Backus, the voice of Mr. Magoo -- although he does appear to have a myopic, Magooesque vision when it comes to popular culture) says the remarks are possibly treasonous. He told the Associated Press "I think it borders on treason. In treason, one definition is to undermine the effort or national security of our country." Unlike Rep. Bachus, Oran's Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as: "...[a]...citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation]." Sounds like "treason" is more that making a joke (however uncomfortably true that joke may be), but that might just be me.

In somewhat related news, according to Public Citizen, Rep. Bachus found a way to circumvent the House rules in making contributions to everyone's favorite guy, Rep. Tom DeLay. Public Citizen reports that Rep. Bachus made one $5,000 contribution through his leadership PAC and a second from his campaign fund. That $10,000 total contribution makes Bachus the largest congressional contributor to DeLay’s legal defense in the first quarter of 2005.

Thus, first Rep. Bachus makes secretive payments to an ethically-challenged colleague, and then he makes public statements claiming to have found treason where there is none. The good people of the Sixth District of Alabama must be proud.