WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Things are getting very grim here in Washington. The Democrats are fighting a desperate rear-guard action against the Republicans on several fronts. They are fighting to maintain their death grip on federal judicial appointments. They are resisting Social Security reform. They are using every expedient to scandalize the president's designated UN ambassador, John Bolton. This is not a constructive use of power, for the Democrats have no constructive proposals to advance. It is merely a grim assertion of "no" to the political party now controlling the White House and Capitol Hill.
That is why I, as a professional observer of Washington politics, want to thank the Hon. George Galloway, the offbeat member of Parliament, for traveling all the way to Washington from London to provide us with a comic interlude. He has been accused by Senate investigators of profiting from Saddam Hussein's manipulation of the UN oil-for-food scam. Blustering and shaking in what sounded to me like a Scottish accent -- though it could have been the consequence of strong drink -- the Hon. Galloway informed the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that the charge is "utterly preposterous." "I am not now, nor have I ever been, an oil trader, and neither has anyone on my behalf," he solemnized.
This line, of course, is an adaptation of the line once used by American Communists and fellow travelers while appearing before congressional investigations of Communist subversion during the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s. Galloway is a ritualistic leftist. He is so left-wing that he was given the heave-ho by his own Labour Party. Somehow he thought it clever to portray himself in the role once made famous by American leftists testifying before Congress. After his appearance, a tumescent Galloway went before the cameras to boast of how his British parliamentary style had bested our more "sedate" congressional proceedings.