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Sunday, December 07, 2003

Never Mind
I never thought I'd say it, but there's an excellent editorial in today's Ann Arbor News:

It was Emily Litella who immediately sprang to mind Friday when we learned that U.S. Rep. Nick Smith, the Republican congressman representing much of Washtenaw County, had retracted his accusation of the previous week that leaders of his own party tried to bribe him into voting for the Medicare bill.

Smith, who voted against the 10-year, $400-billion measure, also had been claiming that congressional leaders had threatened to block his son's attempt to succeed him if he didn't back the bill. Smith is retiring next year after 12 years in Congress.

"I want to make it clear that no member of Congress made an offer of financial assistance for my son's campaign in exchange for my vote," said Smith, backpedalling on the bribery charge in a story that ran Friday. "Some members said they would work against Brad (his son) if I voted no."

In other words, "Never mind."
Nick Smith's use of the word (bribe) would seem to mean one of two things. Either it reflects little thought on his part in shrilly using it to fight back at those playing hardball politics in trying to win his vote on Medicare. Or, if there was any truth in what he was alleging, he owed his constituency and the public at-large more backbone than giving up his accusation just one week after making it.

Whichever scenario is the more accurate, Smith should be embarrassed.