What with the impending fallout from Abramoff, among other things, there's talk of "reform" within the Republican Party. You can laugh at that one later, because within that is something even funnier: the crackpotted idea that there may emerge from the wreckage a "libertarian" friendly direction to the GOP.
Jon Henke of QandO comments:
The entry of Congressman John Shadegg into the race for Majority Leader is, I think, a notable moment. Notable, because, as Below the Beltway notes, Shadegg is a member of the Republican Liberty Caucus. [RLC]....
It seems to me that the ascension of a Republican Liberty Caucus member to the leadership of the House of Representatives — combined with the good work being done by Rep. Mike Pence in the Republican Study Committee — would mark a remarkable shift in the balance of power within the Republican Party away from the religious right and toward the limited government faction.
"Republican Liberty Caucus"....Hah! More like Ron Paul plus some opportunistic hanger-ons. When most of the members of your caucus vote in the other direction, I'd be inclined to think your caucus means nothing.
Back to that reform thing: if the idea is to carve out the taint of Abramoff in particular & corruption in general, it might be a good idea to have as the "reform" candidate someone who didn't take money from him....
Arizona GOP Rep. John Shadegg last month shed more than $6,900 in campaign contributions from sources connected with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who has confessed to bilking Indian tribes and buying political influence.
Shadegg's office on Wednesday confirmed that his campaign fund has returned one tribal contribution and donated to charities five others that had come to him through a partner of Abramoff and the political arm of the lobbyist's employer. One of the contributions went undisclosed for five years in violation of federal campaign-finance rules.
It just shows how deep the culture of corruption goes that someone can be considered a "reform" choice for having taken smaller bribes instead of none at all. Nice try though.