12/10/2008 (5:16 am)
US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald turned in another bombshell yesterday, moving to stop what he called a “political corruption crime spree” by indicting Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on charges of political corruption. Blagojevich, it seems, was selling off Obama’s Senate seat for cash, among other, similar acts. That would be bad enough, but Jake Tapper of ABC almost immediately recovered a newsreel of Obama strategist David Axelrod telling reporters that Obama had met with Gov. Blagojevich to discuss the Senate seat just a few weeks ago, directly contradicting a claim by the President-elect that he had not spoken to the governor about the Senate seat.
The result on the Internet has been entertaining. I routinely watch an internet collection machine called memeorandum.com to see what’s hot in the mainstream blogosphere. It collects all related stories into an indented column so you can see them all together. I’d paste a screen shot of what it looked like at 1 AM this morning, only I can’t capture the screen easily — it’s three screens long (here’s the link to it, though.) I don’t recall any story generating that level of response in the last year. Incredible.
In a dazzling display of high-speed sycophancy, the New York Times produced a report purporting to make Obama a hero and distance him from Gov. Blagojevich. According to sizzling hot on-the-spot reporters Mike McIntyre and Jeff Zeleny, it seems The One placed a phone call — that’s one (1) phone call — to State Senator Emil Jones three months ago to facilitate passage of an ethics bill that placed a deadline on the Governor’s pay-for-play schemes, so Blago went into overdrive to raise as much money as possible before January. No mention is made in the article of the fact that the investigation of Blagojevich has been ongoing for years, though they manage to slip in on page 2 that there was some connection with the Rezko indictment.
Ace of Spades HQ leans the other direction and produces reminders of how close Obama and Blagojevich have been, historically, and Jake Tapper (link in the first paragraph, above) has his own questions on the subject.
To those of us who watched the entire campaign closely, the scenario is wearily familiar. Barack Obama lies impulsively when faced with an uncomfortable situation, and then everybody around him realigns with his words to make his pronouncement work. If for some reason it doesn’t work, he’ll make another pronouncement and the staff will realign with that, etc. ad nauseum. How many times did this happen in the last year? Eight? Twelve? We lost count, with denials of connections with Rezko, Wright, Malley, Klonsky, Ayers, Dohrn, Raines…
The last time there was a Democrat in the White House, the entire nation got treated to a years-long discussion of just how common and necessary lying is, since the President turned out to be a compulsive liar. It was so bad that the Democrats had to invent reasons to call George W. Bush a liar, non-stop for 8 years (with no mention of how normal and necessary lying is, curiously enough.) Now the Democrats are heading for the White House again, and again, our President appears to be a compulsive liar. Color me stunned.
Was President-elect Obama involved in the scandal? I don’t know. Probably not. Let US Attorney Fitzgerald figure that one out. It’s enough that we’re all being treated to yet another of what already seems like an unending string of implausible denials by The Messiah. For better or worse (mostly worse,) we just elected a Chicago machine politician to be President. It’s going to be a long four years.
I suppose the good news is that painting the Democrats as corrupt will be easier during the next election cycle, if the Republican party manages to find a campaign advisor with the wit to take advantage. Blagojevich joins the ranks of recently-indicted Democrats Eliot Spitzer (Gov. NY), Don Siegelman (Gov. AL), and Kwame Kilpatrick (Mayor Detroit,) and I’m pretty sure I’m leaving a few out. Republicans, meanwhile, have produced the likes of Mark Sanford (Gov. SC), Sarah Palin (Gov. AK), and Bobby Jindal (Gov. LA). And the Democrats are calling the Republicans a “culture of corruption.” Pardon me while I pretend to know how to spit.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin takes on the same topic as my final paragraph in a nationally syndicated column today. You can read it on her blog site, and it’s worth a look. Her list of Democratic scandals is longer than mine.
7 Comments »
Comment by feeblemind
‘Was President-elect Obama involved the scandal?’ I don’t know either Phil, but I am becoming convinced that if this man is subtle enough, he will be able to literally get away with anything. Fitgerald was backpedaling to assure the public that Obama wasn’t involved. Some Conservative bloggers are fervently hoping Obama is not involved, and looked the other way on the citizenship questions. I am sure you can think of a dozen instances where critics have been piled on for merely questioning him. With no one on the Right to confront him, Obama is above reproach. Untouchable. I have never seen anything like it. Apologies for my rant going off topic.
Comment by Phil
Part of the irritation of the thing is that he’s not subtle at all, and does not have to be. In fact, he’s inept, but without the press, it’s virtually impossible to confront him.
So far, and so far as we know, his crimes consist of misrepresenting who he is and with whom he’s mixed. Yeah, he’s a weakling who lies to cover his behind, but that’s not overtly criminal (yet). Flouting campaign finance law is another thing entirely. The part that really disturbs me is what happens to those who attempt to expose him; he’s got a mean streak and lawless following that I’m pretty sure he cannot control. They’re very dangerous.
Also, I think Mr. Obama may be weak enough, personally, to use the power of government to take personal vengeance if somebody does manage to expose something serious. We’ll probably see soon enough, as there are some in the press (like Tapper, apparently) who seem willing enough to take him on now that he’s won the election.
My original assessment of Obama, before I did much research, was that his administration would be like the Carter administration, since he’s so clearly lacking in anything remotely resembling leadership skills. Even though I now know his ideology, I still think as I did originally; we’re in for as much progressive socialism as he can manage, but it’s pretty likely that he won’t be able to manage much. The man is frankly incompetent, and emotionally adolescent. I think the government will run him, not the other way ’round. But, we’ll see.
Comment by RM
Part of the culture of corruption is due to the fact that as liberal Democrats they have been protected for so long by the media, they have not really had to be cautious about what they said and did. There has been very little accountability.
My guess is that the Lightworker will skate on this one. If I had to guage the spin, it will probably come in the form of a mild reprimand from the media. Sort of along the lines of: “Mr. Obama is a young, ambitious politician who earned his stripes in a tough town. He perhaps needs to learn to be more cautious about his associations, which can cause him to be UNFAIRLY TAINTED. Although he is clearly INNOCENT OF ANY WRONGDOING, this is a cautionary lesson for him and a chance for him to grow in office. Since he was CLEARLY NOT INVOLVED he should not be condemned, but we hope he will use the same kind of wisdom he used in choosing his cabinet, when choosing his associates.”
Then, after having given him a pass, they will hold forth in endless symposiums on how “tough” they have been on him, and wonder endlessly if they have been “unfair” to him.
Comment by Phil
They’re not even permitting the suggestion that he’s tainted. Here’s a paragraph from that suck-up piece by the Times I mentioned in paragraph 3:
Beyond the irony of its outcome, Mr. Obama’s unusual decision to inject himself into a statewide issue during the height of his presidential campaign was a reminder that despite his historic ascendancy to the White House, he has never quite escaped the murky and insular world of Illinois politics. It is a world he has long navigated, to the consternation of his critics, by engaging in a kind of realpolitik, Chicago-style, which allowed him to draw strength from his relationships with important players without becoming compromised by their many weaknesses.
See? He’s in it, but above it. He “draws strength from his relationships.” Their weaknesses do not mar his pure visage.
Pure pap. Unbelievable.
Comment by NevadaDad
I guess the “That’s not the (insert controversial figure’s name here) I know” line just didn’t cut it this time around.
It’s remarkable how quickly The One will tell half truths or outright lies if the unvarnished truth will taint his image — and how willing the press is to act like PR agents rather than reporters. It’s shameless. I half expecting Newsweek and all the other magazines that have featured him so prominently on their covers recently to just start photoshopping in a halo.
Comment by feeblemind
Thanks for the reply Phil. It is very good. I am a poor wordsmith. Re subtle, perhaps I mean his verbal delivery, then. While you and I can see through it. Millions can’t and/or won’t. It will be interesting to see how the present scandal plays out. I am inclined to agree with your other commenters that he gets off untainted. If there is an ‘investigation’ into his involvement it will almost surely be of the whitewash variety.
Comment by RM
Amazing, you’re right so far. If the revelations really get seamy, the media may seize on this as an opportunity to shoot a couple of rubberband shots at him (which he can swat away) so they can pontificate on how objective and tough-minded they are.
I remember the press, after bloviating for months over Clinton’s 92 win, took a few very minor, laughable shots at him. As I recall, he took the opportunity to moan “No President in history has had a tougher press than I have. No one.” Most of them immediately backed off and kicked themselves for being unfair to the young Democratic prez.
I’m waiting for the first reprise of Dan Rather’s “If we could could be half as good as you and Hilary Rodham Clinton have been in the White House, we’d take it right now and walk away winners. Please give our best to Mrs. Clinton and tell her we’re pulling for her.” Flinty, hard nosed journalism, that.
You can’t say they aren’t entertaining so far.