I finally had the chance over the weekend to catch up on the call-girls scandal that's now enveloping Washington. I suppose that, since this imbroglio has the least political-ideological content, it's the one that will bring down an administration that has been remarkably impervious to the much more serious scandals around WMD intelligence, Plamegate, the attorneys purge, the Tillman/Lynch coverups, no-bid contracts, et cetera. On the plus side, the ironies are, as usual, wonderful:
On Friday, Randall L. Tobias resigned as deputy secretary of state one day after confirming to Brian Ross of ABC that he had patronized the Pamela Martin firm. Speaking yesterday on "Good Morning America," Ross said Tobias told him Tobias's number was on Palfrey's phone records because he had called "to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage." There had been "no sex," Ross quoted Tobias as saying, and that recently he has used another service, "with Central American gals," for massages.That last bit is the one that made me crack up over my cereal yesterday morning, prompting my toddler to ask, "What you yaffing at, Daddy?" I had to just say that I heard something funny on the radio.
Tobias, who is 65 and married, was director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. He previously held a top job in the Bush administration overseeing AIDS relief, in which he promoted abstinence and a policy requiring grant recipients to swear they oppose prostitution.
Who's up for a little pool on the highest-ranking official to go down (so to speak) in this affaire? I predict that at least two senators will be implicated, and more GOP representatives than you can shake a massage table at.