Clearly the whole point of the exercise, all statements of the principles aside (such as House Speak Hastert, a Republican, or the Republican Attorney General Gonzales), was to undermine the plans of the Democrats, in the up coming November mid-term election, to paint the Republicans with the epithet: "the party of corruption". This is really a very brilliant move.
Not very moral of course, but Washington is the main moral swampland of the Country, and its chief snake in resident Carl Rove has left his hand prints all over this one. Here's the main clues.
A move gets made that tars and feathers a Democrat, in such a way that the Republicans gain a lot of more or less favorable press, but without their hands getting dirty. The House Republicans, principally Speaker Hastert, get to take the high road, in this case speaking out "sternly" about this being a violation of separation of powers for the Executive Branch to raid the offices of a sitting Congressman, a member of the Legislative Branch. Hastert claims, of course, that no one in the Executive Branch informed him of this raid, which is a very weird discourtesy given the fact that just last week Rove was all over the House promising to make sure the Republicans remained in control.
This is the same pattern as the Immigration issue. Surrogates, such as CNN's seemingly moderate Lou Dobbs, and conservative radio hysterics such as Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage, get to trash a whole class of folks, whose main crime is being needed in order for Corporations to make profits, while the big guys, such as Senator McCain and President Bush, get to take the high road and sound like good guys. The left hand trashes folks, the right hand makes nice, and the whole Republican apparatus gets to pretend there is no connection between the two hands whatsoever.
Dark genius indeed. One would almost have to admire it, except for the fact that it is all about seriously lying to the American People in order to continue screwing everyone of us.