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Hullabaloo


Thursday, May 27, 2010

 
Can You Feel The Excitement Building?

by digby

Looks like we got us a real, live pseudo-scandal. Yee Haw.



MSNBC Anchor: Ed, I want to end on the Sestak, the calls for an investigation, because you said this was one of the two important things that came out of this. If the president is admitting "listen nothing inappropriate happened" why not just come forward if you campaigned on transparency, why not just come forward and say listen, here are the facts,you judge and we'll move on?

Ed Shultz: Well because I think there might be some legal issues here that the White House is playing it safe right now. For the president to come out and say "I'll have a response for you," he termed it an "official response" which means "our attorney's are working on it." There's legal issues here. The Republicans are laser frocused on anything they can do to get the president out of office. This is not going to end any time soon. And advice to Joe Sestak, would you just speak up right now and tell everything you know? That would end all of this.


Yeah, sure it would. And good of the very liberal Ed Shultz to advance the idea that there are legal issues here. Even though virtually everyone in politics agrees that there aren't. (Hey, did they ever finally wrap-up that Cisneros investigation? Maybe we could tack this one on to that if it's still out there.)

Unfortunately, the president just validated the idea that this is a huge deal by making it sound like it requires an "official response" and then allowing it to fester rather than releasing this "official response" immediately. Now the press canreally get worked up. Look for Sestak to hold a press conference soon, ratcheting up the "scandal" even more. If we're really lucky maybe he can be forced out of the race over this ludicrous non-story before Toomey even has to spend any money. However, he should probably agree to don a hair shirt and walk through the streets of Philly flagellating himself with a cat-o-nine tails for having the temerity to suggest that the White House might have made a perfectly legal and commonplace offer which he declined. It's the least he can do for making the horrible mistake of bucking the party establishment when it insisted the Democrats must back Republicans they loathe.

Clearly, he was asking for this. If you don't have the "savvy" to beat back a GOP pseudo-scandal and the ensuing Village feeding frenzy, you have no business being in the Senate. That, after all, is the only qualification that matters.


Update: Jamison Foser has a must read post about the dynamics at play and concludes with this:

[M]any of them [reporters] have gotten it into their heads that there should be an investigation not because there was likely any illegality, but because the Obama administration has talked about having high ethical standards it promised, and because conservatives have suddenly decided to pretend that there's something unethical about offering someone a job.

That last part is dangerous. Dangerous. Investigations should not be taken so lightly.

Let’s flash back to January 5, 1994, shall we? Here’s the Washington Post’s editorial that day:

THE ADMINISTRATION has taken the position that there's no need to name an independent counsel in the Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan case. It argues that the investigation is safely in the hands of career Justice Department attorneys, that the president and Mrs. Clinton are cooperating fully even though not directly involved and that the attorney general has no current power to appoint a fully independent counsel anyway.

We think that's wrong -- that, murky though most aspects of this case still are, it represents precisely the kind of case in which an independent counsel ought to be appointed. We say that even though -- and this should be stressed -- there has been no credible charge in this case that either the president or Mrs. Clinton did anything wrong. Nevertheless, it is in the public interest -- and in the president's as well -- to put the inquiry in independent hands.


There had been, according to the Washington Post editorial board, “no credible charge” that either Bill or Hillary Clinton had done “anything wrong.” And yet the Post demanded an independent investigation anyway. That’s how, eventually, America got saddled with Ken Starr, and how years of investigation of an innocuous real estate deal morphed into a probe of the president’s sex life.

That’s what can happen when the media insists on an investigation not because there is evidence of real wrongdoing, but in order to prove innocence. And that, no doubt, is exactly the kind of thing many conservatives are hoping for.

If reporters sincerely believe that the Sestak allegations suggest serious wrongdoing, fine: they should argue their case. (While they’re at it, they should demonstrate that they were saying the same thing three months ago, and three years ago, and three years before that -- or explain their sudden onset of outrage.) But if they’re just playing a little game, or -- like the Washington Post in 1994 -- asking for an investigation despite not believing there is any “credible charge” of illegality, they should think long and hard about what they’re doing.



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