Back in the day, when Letterman had a daytime show, he had running gag which placed famed catcher and broadcaster Joe Garagiola at the scene of every major disaster in history, from the Hindenburg to plagues and natural disasters. Well, Letterman must be writing Howard Dean’s stuff these days.
On Friday’s “Situation Room” on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, Dean once again tried to tie the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina to the Supreme Court nominee. Were it not for the fact that the stakes here are deadly serious, it was every bit as funny as Letterman of old. Blitzer opened by confronting Dean with his recent statement:
“In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina we have a clear, moral responsibility to do a better job of ensuring social and economic justice for every American, and there is still far too much that we don’t know about John Roberts’ record and beliefs on these critical issues.”
How’s that? The normally unflappable Blitzer could not hide his incredulity. “You’re making a connection between Katrina and the confirmation hearings of John Roberts…”, said Blitzer, “And I’m not exactly sure what the point is.” Frankly, neither were we, neither was the rest of America.
As these two issues converge next week, most all of America is focused on the relief efforts in the Gulf Coast. Certainly America’s manufacturers are. Official Washington will be focused on confirming Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court. We urge the Senate to get about the business of confirming Judge Roberts and urge everyone to get about the business of rebuilding the Gulf Coast.
Connecting the two requires mental gymnastics and political legerdemain heretofore unseen in Washington — until Howard Dean, that is. It’s over the top, a blatant and piggish political ploy, outrageous even for a guy like Howard Dean, who has raised the bar for outrageous.
Somewhere, Joe Garagiola is crying.
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