That shuffling noise emanating from Washington is the sound of Republicans playing political musical chairs. In the latest round of changes, President Bush's national drug policy adviser, William Bennett, will forsake his current post to become chairman of the Republican National Committee. Meanwhile, Florida's Republican Gov. Bob Martinez, who was defeated in his bid for re-election two weeks ago, is in line to carry on the war against drugs as Bennett's successor in Washington.
Bennett, you will recall, said he was vacating drug czar's post after proclaiming "substantial progress" had been made in the war on drugs. Yet in Washington, D.C., which Bennett himself declared to be a "test case" for his get-tough policy, the murder rate is running at a record high. More than 400 people have been killed so far this year, and most of these murders are drug-related homicides.
And Bennett, who vowed at the outset to use his post as a non-partisan bully pulpit, has in fact been one of the most political of all Bush's appointees, winding up his tenure in office by openly to campaign for GOP candidates.