Friday, October 10, 2008
Corbett Takes Us Back To Rick's Cafe
A Captain Renualt Post: More and more, Casablanca on the Susquehanna is feeling like home away from home. This week’s courtroom drama has me thinking back to my days at Rick’s Café.
Major Heinrich Strasser: “I advise that this place be shut up at once.”
Captain Louis Renault: “But everybody’s having such a good time.”
Major Heinrich Strasser: “Yes, much too good a time. The place is to be closed.”
Captain Louis Renault: “But I have no excuse to close it.”
Major Heinrich Strasser: “Find one.”
And so I did.
Captain Louis Renault: (POLICE WHISTLE SOUNDS.) “Everybody is to leave here immediately. This café is closed until further notice. Clear the room at once.”
Richard "Rick" Blaine: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Louis Renault: “I’m shocked --- shocked! --- to find that gambling is going on in here.”
Café Porter: “You’re winnings, sir.”
Captain Louis Renault: “Oh, thank you very much. (PAUSE.) Everybody out at once!”
Yes, those were the days. And I thought they were long gone. Well, they’re not --- not even close. Never did I think that my moment of infamy and hypocrisy --- accepting my roulette winnings at the very same time I was shutting down the casino, er, I mean, café’, for gambling --- would ever be topped. (You can watch the full video here: video) But it has, and by leaps and bounds. Let’s examine line by line:
**House Democrats hold a slim lead on the majority. Republicans will do anything they can to ensure that it doesn’t last. --- “I advise that this place be shut up at once.”
**Bonusgate begins, and despite reports that all four legislative caucuses awarded a total of roughly $4 million in bonus payments and Corbett’s promise to follow the evidence where it takes him, only House Democrats are investigated and indicted. The GOP shares a communal laugh --- “But everybody’s having such a good time.”
**Amid celebrations by Corbett’s contributors, friends and allies, reports surface --- finally --- that Republicans are getting rid of computers that might host damaging evidence. The timing was perfect. Corbett delayed his investigation of Republicans long enough to let them try to wash their hands. But pressure begins to mount for fairness, and the partisanship of Corbett’s case becomes clearer. It’s time to execute a new phase of the plan. --- “Yes, much too good a time. The place is to be closed.”
**For appearance sake, Corbett begins to subpoena Republicans, more than a year and half after launching his investigation of Democrats. Finally, the scales of justice are even, right? Wrong. Corbett halts activities and insists he simply “ran out of time” to indict Republicans before the election. --- “But I have no excuse to close it.”
**Which brings us full circle. --- “Find one.”
From day one, the evidence showed that all four legislative caucuses awarded bonuses. Yet, from day one, the pursuing Corbett found reason to investigate only House Democrats, not his friends on the other side of the aisle. From day one, the conspiring Corbett found a way to use his post to make friends and influence people, and elections --- and not just his own, but also those of his Republican campaigning peers.
The Corbett scales of justice lean heavily to one side. And yesterday, the sly Corbett got exactly what he wanted --- headlines, not justice. Imagine the mail pieces being printed right now. GOP “volunteers” are already on the ground ready to start stuffing copies in the door handles of voters in key districts.
From the promise of not wanting to influence elections to making the biggest splash yet just four weeks out from election day, yes, even I, Captain Renualt, am shocked --- shocked! --- but alas, not surprised.