Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I too am nostalgic for the days of the Country Club Republican, or at least its former incarnation. These guys have even given golf a bad name.

As Abramoff's exploits show, golf is an ideal fulcrum for the GOP's cozy relationship with its moneyed backers. If you're a donor or lobbyist, a day of golf is an ideal chance for a long, leisurely stroll in the company of a politician. For a politician, it's a fine opportunity to hit up supplicants for campaign cash or other favors.

The Republican obsession with golf reveals the party's phony posturing as the champion of average Americans. All the hand-wringing among Democrats about why liberals don't go to NASCAR races or duck hunts misses the fact that Tom DeLay and Bill Frist don't go to monster-truck night with the guys from Deliverance either. They hit the links at exclusive country clubs with rich donors and corporate lobbyists. That's who they are.

According to Roll Call, Indiana Republican Dan Burton had ignored a specific warning not to miss the vote, which Republicans barely squeezed out, 24-23. A "freshly-sunburned Burton" returned to the Hill the next day to read that he might have sabotaged his chance to assume the committee's chairmanship next year.

Not long after Sept. 11, members of Congress were told of intelligence about a three-man al-Qaida sniper team that was training to assassinate U.S. politicians on a golf course. But even this chilling warning doesn't seem to have diminished Republican zeal for a day on the rolling greens.

This last part sounds a bit far fetched to me. Either al Qaeda let that phony plan slip because they knew US intelligence was listening, or there was something lost in the translation. Still, you've gotta give the GOP credit for sticking to their guns. If we cancel our tee times, the terrorists have already won.


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