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Bill Bennett, Still In Need Of His Own Make-Over, Does Republican Rehab For George Bush

Reported by Ellen - October 28, 2005

I have to hand it to FOX News for their clever strategy of placing Bill Bennett, still under fire for the racist comments he made last month, in charge of last night's recipient of Republican Rehab - George Bush. It must be a kind of recovery sponsorship, like they do in AA, where the sponsor gets help for himself by sponsoring someone else.

In last night's episode of Republican Rehab, the storyline was about why the Harriet Miers' withdrawal was such a good thing for the Republicans and George W. Bush. To listen to Bennett and Sean Hannity, you'd almost think they deliberately planned the whole thing - and the CIA leak investigation - as a way to showcase the party's strengths.

Bennett called the rift in his party "A reasonable argument, a civilized argument, this is the way we like to do it." (Comment: So long as you don't include the treatment given to John McCain, Max Cleleand and, of course, Valerie Plame.) "This is the way a civilized party conducts its business, especially when there's a disagreement and the Democrats could learn from it."

Thanks for the advice, Bill, but I'm not sure I trust the judgement of someone who says ""I think the President's found his way, found his way back... The President's now in a position or will soon be in a position to go back on offense."

From there, Hannity picked up the ball and said, "I actually think this is all a sign of strength."

Bennett agreed. "Now that this is resolved, I think you're going to see people get SO strongly behind George Bush."

Then the conversation turned to Traitorgate and the inevitable Clinton comparisons. Bennett said that it's possible no crime was committed until the Special Prosecutor was appointed at which time someone may have told an untruth "knowingly, unknowingly, wittingly, unwittingly... It's not like the situation with Clinton where you had these underlying problems which were then lied about." He added that "I do think you will see this White House, if indictments do come down, handle this situation very differently than the way you saw the Clinton White House handle it."

When it was Alan Colmes' turn he said, "I can't believe that you want to compare this to Bill Clinton. If, indeed, there was a lie that took place to a prosecutor here in the investigation of the possible outing of a CIA agent - and you're comparing that to getting Bill Clinton - not on the land deal, the original investigation - but about something to do with his sex life. It's outrageous."

Bennett changed the subject to say that if there are indictments, the Bush White House will not trash the prosecutor.

Colmes pointed out that they already have.

"No, they haven't. The White House has, I think, been very good on this because, I think, this White House believes in the rule of law."

I think Bennett needs to go back to Step One.

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