The Taito Principle

The last thing you want is a dodgy opponent to leave.

The longer they hang around, the longer you can beat the opposing party up.

Faced with a sprawling criminal indictment for corruption, and fighting for his political life, Sen. Robert Menendez should be a tempting target for Republicans. But rather than demanding Menendez resign, the GOP has stayed eerily quiet.

Republicans like Gov. Chris Christie say Menendez deserves his day in court. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been mum. And the Republican National Committee is focused on other targets ? namely Hillary Clinton.

The hands-off approach ? while not a defense of the New Jersey senator ? underscores a private GOP calculation: If Menendez lingers in office with the indictment hanging over his head, the worse it looks for Democrats. ?

?From our perspective, the longer he stays in the seat, the better off we?ll be,? said one top Republican who asked not to be named to discuss the political calculation candidly.

Several senior Republican officials are hoping that the embattled senior senator holds on and tarnishes the Democratic party in the process. Moreover, a lengthy court battle could drag into election season and produce embarrassing revelations about Senate Democrats? big-spending super PAC, the Obama administration and Democratic leaders.

Staying quiet, however, also has its costs for Republicans. If Menendez is pressured to resign and ultimately steps aside, Christie would be able to name an interim replacement, which could improve Republican chances of picking up the seat in an eventual special election. But without pressure from the GOP, Democrats are less likely to push their colleague to quit.

Walking wounded in politics are so much fun, plus you never really want to finish them off, let them struggle on bleeding all over the place and stinking up the joint.

Reminds me of Malone dying in The Untouchables.


– Politico