Today in The Hill, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Leader John Boehner continue their public moaning about the supposed unconstitutionality of the FBI search last weekend of the office of troubled Rep. William Jefferson, D-LA. As Archie Bunker would say, they should stifle themselves. Their complaints are going over VERY badly politically with an American public increasingly outraged about horrible congressional ethics and Congress' mentality of being entitled to favors and special deference. Even if they truly believe there is a constitutional problem with the search, they should pursue their complaints less publicly; their moaning makes them look as if they care more about their own prerogatives than they do about what appears to be horrible bribery in their midst. Meanwhile, they probably need a refresher on the COnstitution itself: A carefully crafted search warrant will not, on its face, violate the "speech and debate" clause in the COnstitution that protects Congressmen from prosecution for political speech or action.
So Rep. Jeff Flake, one of the instigators of the Republican House leadership election, plans to announce his support of Rep. John Shadegg on Tuesday.
Shadegg continues to lag in numbers, but remains critical to the fortunes of all involved in the campaign to replace Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
With almost daily embarrassments trickling out about him, Rep. Roy Blunt is increasingly looking like damaged goods.
Meanwhile, Rep. John Boehner has run an efficient campaign, saying all the right things and embracing Shadegg's candidacy as though he were a fraternity rush chairman welcoming a new charge. Perhaps that's hitting a bit too close to home for Boehner, but he deserves credit for surviving this far into the race without a major shoe dropping.
Before the election began, Boehner was assuring his supporters that his was a clean record. It appears that that may be the case, unless the Washington Post and New York Times are sitting on damaging material, hoping to spring it at a more embarrassing moment.