He's seriously good.
"The Republicans are now and always have been the party of reform," said a grinning David Dreier, surveying the crowd of journalists in the congressional radio and TV gallery.Good stuff. Here's the link.
The nattily dressed House Rules committee chairman then paused, as if to give someone in the crowd a chance to chuck a bottle at his head. No one did. So he went on: "I see this," he said, "as a wonderful new opportunity for us . . ."
Again, he paused. No bottles, no rotten tomatoes, no clouds of flying dog-shit landing with a slap! on his receding forehead. Given what the Republican leadership might have expected, at a press conference unveiling a "lobby reform" package in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal (what Dreier meant by "this"), the event was a smashing success.
Standing next to Dreier, nodding with mild approval but also scanning the crowd cautiously, was the boarlike House speaker, Dennis Hastert. Hastert had kicked off this presser with similarly inspired oratory -- the highlight of which, according to my notes, was this line: "It's not acceptable to, uh, break the rules or the law."
Now he was standing there next to Dreier, motionless and mute, with the nervous, half-bored look of a man with a commuter train to catch. It was a lonely picture: an exhausted fat man playing his last political card and an effete Californian in a too-orange tie, standing alone behind a plywood podium in a dank congressional closet, putting a brave face on The End. In the wake of the Abramoff scandal, they were all that was left of the once-vaunted Republican leadership. It was like a Star Trek script gone hopelessly wrong, with Kirk and Spock beheaded in the first two minutes, and no one left to man the bridge but Scotty and maybe that blond nurse of McCoy's, the one in the blue minidress.