The old man answered, "To sting is merely inherent in the nature of the scorpion."
The onlooker pressed on, "Then why do you do it?"
The old man answered, "Because it is my inherent nature to help."
Sometimes I look upon the Republican Party as that good natured, nice old man, unwilling to stoop to the character of the scorpion; often succumbing to its sting multiple times, while still retaining his composure and good naturedness in the process. This is best exemplified in the recent resignation of Tom DeLay, especially in light of the absence of reaction on the Republican side of the aisle.
But despite the continued stinging inflicted by the scorpions (with their willing media accomplices) on the likes of Tom DeLay, Trent Lott and Newt Gingrich, it is still in the unfortunate, inherent nature of the Republican party to passively succumb to the sting; to walk it off, hoping against hope that the stings will cease, or at least become less frequent in the future.
Never does the notion occur in the Republican psyche to strike back, other than in the form of an occasional half-hearted "brush off" of a scorpion from one's lapel.
Not that they haven't had the ammunition.
Democrats would have surely backed off on their "Culture of Corruption" mantra had the GOP made even a minimal effort to fight fire with fire.And the list goes on. And so does the Republican avoidance of fighting fire with fire to expose the nature of the scorpion for what it is.
Instead, Hill Republicans looked the other way on one Democrat scandal after another - and will likely end up paying the price by losing control of Congress in November.
Here's a short list of investigations the GOP should have launched - not for reasons of partisan revenge - but because they warranted the full oversight of the party in control of Congress:
Bergergate: The theft and destruction of top secret national security documents by former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger in a blatant attempt to obstruct the 9/11 Commission investigation.
Berger's crime was easily one of the most serious ever committed by a top government official. Yet the GOP Congress declined to probe further after the Bush Justice Department cut such an embarrassingly light plea bargain that even the Berger case judge was appalled.
Rathergate: You'd never know it from the lethargic Republican reaction, but when a mysterious Texas source supplied forgeries of President Bush's military records to CBS News just weeks before the 2004 election, it was a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Compounding the political intrigue, CBS tipped a top staffer in the Kerry campaign on the coming Bush document assault.
But after Texas authorities declined to pursue a request for a criminal investigation from several GOP House members, the matter was promptly dropped. Republican congressional interest in getting to the bottom this scheme to steal the 2004 election after Texas authorities opted out: Zippo.
Schumergate: The illegal purloining of Lt. Gov. Michael Steele's credit report by staffers on Sen. Chuck Schumer's Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee certainly seemed like a ripe topic for some congressional oversight. But like the Bergergate case, it appears that Bush Justice will let the guilty parties off with a slap on the wrist - without fingering any higher ups.
In fact, Schumer's committee is now insisting that it acted in an "exemplary manner" by not using the illegal info against Steele.
GOP interest in further investigation? Bubkiss.
Nukegate: We've already had several hearings into President Bush's so-called illegal NSA terrorist surveillance program, which was first revealed in James Risen's new book: "State of War."
But there's been little interest in the other bombshell development revealed by Risen: President Clinton's decision to give Iran doctored blueprints for key nuclear components that allowed the Iranians, in Risen's words, to "leapfrog one of the last remaining engineering hurdles blocking its path to a nuclear weapon."
With Sen. John McCain now predicting "Armageddon" as a result of the Iranian nuclear threat, one might think that a report like this might be ripe for congressional investigation.
But one would be wrong. Republican interest to date in a Clinton Nukegate probe: Zilch.
Hoping against hope that by not doing so, the scorpion will appreciate it and will sting less.
Or maybe even during the course of time the scorpion and his media friends may actually come to like the kindly old man.
But that, my dear readers, is not the inherent nature of the scorpion.
And for not recognizing that, the Republicans (and, in the course of time, our nation) may pay dearly come November.
(Filed under the fifth column, RINOs)