02 October 2008

Alaska: Block That Probe!

As if they had something to hide, a contingent of Alaska Republicans has asked a judge to halt the probe into Gov. Palin's alleged abuse of power in her firing of a state official. According to the news, they've argued that the probe has become tainted by partisanship. The judge should reject the request on what he ought to call Sam's First Law of Partisanship, which is: he who accuses another of injecting partisanship in any issue is the one who is actually guilty. Republicans seem to be habitually guilty under this law, since their reflex is to deny that anyone can question their actions or oppose their policies on principle. Say what you will about Democrats, but they always seem willing to concede that Republicans and conservatives are motivated by ideology. Republicans, on the other hand, prefer to call their rivals unprincipled hypocrites. The archetypical example of this practice is the charge that Democrats would not have opposed the invasion of Iraq if it had been undertaken by a Democratic administration. There seems to be an underlying assumption that only Republicans, or maybe only conservatives have principles, or that the only principles that exist are conservative principles. However it scans, there's something almost pathological about this that ought to give people pause whenever they hear Republicans cry "partisanship!" when cornered. The next time ought to be any moment now.

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