David Shuster's Hardball Reports Read Like DNC Press Releases

April 5th, 2006 2:49 PM

On last night's Hardball MSNBC's David Shuster's piece on Tom DeLays sounded as if it was approved by the DNC Communications Department before it hit the airwaves. Okay seriously now, other than the snippets from the President, what in the following report doesn't sound like it's straight from a DNC press release?:

David Shuster: "He is the scalp that Democrats have long been sharpening their knives for. And today a Democratic Party spokesman called Tom DeLay’s announcement, quote, ‘Just the latest piece of evidence the Republican Party is a party in disarray, out of ideas and out of energy.’ At the White House, President Bush put on a good face."

[George W. Bush: "My own judgment is that our party will continue to succeed because we’re the party of ideas."]

Shuster: "It was Tom DeLay who ramrodded Republicans and corralled votes in the House for the President’s tax cuts, education reform and Medicare prescription drug benefit. Now the President’s most skilled legislative ally is leaving at a time when the White House agenda is limping because of the Iraq war, criticism over Hurricane Katrina and a soaring budget deficit.

DeLay told President Bush of his decision in a phone call Monday to Air Force One. White House officials refused to say if the President tried to talk him out of it. And today, the President would only offer this."

Shuster: "The political future for the White House and Republicans in Congress is dodgy. Tom DeLay personified the GOP’s rise to power and he created new ways for Republicans to hustle money and use Washington lobbyists to strengthen the party’s control of government. To his critics, he was the main man of the Republican Party’s corruption and greed, and with DeLay gone, Democrats may be losing their best case for pitching reform and sweeping change in the midterm elections. On the other hand, the influence peddling investigation surrounding Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff continues and there are other Republicans trying to stay in office, who may also be facing criminal indictment. Then, there are the other scandals tainting the Republican party. The Bush administration’s top procurement official, David Safavian, was arrested last fall in the West Wing itself and stands accused of obstructing a criminal investigation. And a cloud still hangs over Vice President Cheney in the CIA leak case. As his former chief-of-staff Scooter Libby prepares for a trial on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. Public perceptions of corruption in Washington raise memories of the 1994 midterm tidal wave that swept Democrats out of power in Congress and brought in the GOP. If the Republicans in 2006 lose power, and Democrats gain the subpoena power to call administration witnesses, the impact on President Bush would be huge. His health care reform proposals would go nowhere, his efforts to make the tax cuts permanent would be stopped and congressional investigations might dog the rest of his term as Democratic led committees probe everything from why body armor didn’t get to the troops in Iraq, to why the war was launched in the first place, to what Vice President Cheney’s role may have been in the CIA leak case. It’s all part of what makes the Tom DeLay episode so intriguing. President Bush is perilously close to lame duck status and that position will be encased in cement if Republicans, thanks to Tom DeLay and other problems, lose control of Congress. I’m David Shuster for Hardball in Washington."