January 8, 2009

"Why the Democratic Scandals Don't Matter (Yet)."

Ha ha. I couldn't get past the picture.

So the scandals don't matter, eh? Oh, let me force myself to read this.

Eve Fairbanks has 4 reasons why the Democratic scandalfest doesn't matter (yet):
- Most of the Democratic scandals have been on the state or local level....

- The Democratic scandals are not linked (and, to boot, are mostly so bizarre as to seem sui generis)...

- The Democratic scandals do not involve top party leadership....

- People do not yet think the Democratic president sucks....
I think the emphasis needs to be on that "yet."

45 comments:

ZZMike said...

Besides that, Obama may turn out to be the next Teflon President.

Original Mike said...

- The Democratic scandals do not involve top party leadership....

Huh? Can you say Wrangel? Can you say Dodd?

former law student said...

Kwame's mommy Cong. CAROLYN CHEEKS kilpatrick was quick to dissociate herself from her scandalous son.

Were there no culture of Republicn corruption (cough Ted Stevens cough) then the Dems might have to worry.

Simon said...

Haha. In that picture, Spitzer looks like the Mekon.

And what's all this "people do not yet think the Democratic president sucks" stuff? Democrats do not yet think the Democratic president sucks, maybe. Most likely, the lion's share of the folks who voted for him don't think he sucks yet (some will have peeled off over Rick Warren and Leon Panetta, but only inconsequential numbers), but I bet that most of the sixty million who voted for Sarah Palin and her running mate thought and still think Obama sucks. We don't matter because we lost, not because we don't think he sucks.

1jpb said...

Scandals are over-hyped, imho.

I've been strongly anti-GOP for a number of years, but I didn't care about their scandals.

I've heard a lot of folks (especially on the right) say that the scandals were a major aspect of their electoral defeats, but I've never felt that way myself.

Does polling say folks vote for Ds because of R scandals? Seems like that may be low on the list of priorities.

traditionalguy said...

Possibly there is traction in GOP scandles because the GOP claims to represent the Honest and Good side of homo-politicus in USA. So when they disappoint the voters for acting just like the Dems. voters become bitter. Then when the Dems. come back in and resume stealing with their polished "for the victems" cover stories, the Dems. are simply rewarded on style points.

Simon said...

1jpb said...
"I've been strongly anti-GOP for a number of years, but I didn't care about their scandals."

Sure, but any stick to beat a dog, right? Liberals didn't care that Larry Craig cheated on his wife or solicited sex from a man -- your average liberal loves that stuff, right? Hell, they probably think they're constitutionally-protected rights -- but they figured that the religious right doesn't like that kind of stuff, and they could use the resulting scandal to pick up a Senate seat (or at least, silence and discredit a political opponent). Same thing with the Foley thing. Since when have liberals had a problem with two men over the age of consent exchanging filthy text messages? But stick-in-the-mud conservatives like me tend to frown on that sort of age-and-power differential (see also Clinton-Lewinsky), and religious conservatives tend to frown on the gay thing, so, you know, you can whip up a scandal out of it and use that as a political weapon. It worked with Foley, and it sought of worked with Craig (not to say I have any sympathy for either of those guys).

bearbee said...

Where is dodgy Dodd and Barney Frankenstein?

On the whole I don't care about the run of the mill sexual scandal but it's a different animal when it comes to abuse of power, lying and ripping off the taxpayer.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Liberals didn't care that Larry Craig cheated on his wife or solicited sex from a man -- your average liberal loves that stuff, right?

But they should be bothered that he felt the need to conceal his gayness. OTOH, this undercuts the criticisms of Craig as a hypocrite -- he was actually doing a great job of illustrating his own policy preferences. He thinks gays should have no way to get married but to marry someone they don't love, leaving unhappily married gays with only illicit outlets for satisfying their true desires. And he has carried that out. So I give him credit for consistency, but it's not something that should be admired by gay-rights supporters -- it should be admired by gay-rights opponents. He represents the reality of repressing gays from being allowed to hold themselves out to society as being married to someone of the gender they're attracted to.

MayBee said...

It worked with Foley, and it sought of worked with Craig (not to say I have any sympathy for either of those guys).

Yes, the Foley scandal was a much bigger deal than the scandal of the guy that replaced him. They were both (obviously) at the same level, and the Dem's scandal involved taxpayer funds paying his mistress(es).

Why would the Craig scandal be a bigger deal than the Patrick Kennedy scandal? Kennedy actually put people's lives in danger and was protected by law enforcement.
Sure, Larry Craig is a Senator and Kennedy a Representative, but I'd wager more people know the Kennedy name (or did before Craig's scandal).

siyeh pass said...

Yes, 'yet' is operative word here. It will happen, it's just what & when.

I tend to agree with what I hear from 1jpb, it's a lot of blah, blah, blah regardless of who's doing it.

It'll all balance out in the end.

1jpb said...

Simon,

Since you're focused on the subcategory of sex-scandals, are you forgetting someone still in the Senate on the R side of the passageway between rows of seats [note the avoidance of previous typos]?

And, FTR, I was an extreme Clinton-hater because of his ethical flaws. I remember unending ranting about that, at the time I couldn't grasp why others weren't equally bothered.

But, now I've learned to rebalanced my concerns--effective governing is more important to me than anything else. Of course, I still very strongly wish that Bush 41 would have won reelection.

MayBee said...

leaving unhappily married gays with only illicit outlets for satisfying their true desires.

Really?
Why do other people engage in illicit outlets for satisfying their true desires?
Very often, it's because the illicit outlet is their true desire. Sometimes it's because attractive people are much more willing to have illicit sex with you than have a relationship with you. Do you think Larry Craig could permanently attract a man as handsome as the cop that arrested him?
Getting married to some nice gay man may not have been Craig's thing.

SteveR said...

I don't agree with most of what she wrote but she is right that Bush was the straw that stirred the drink, no matter how unconnected he was to any of the scandals.

To the extent the same thing happens or does not happen to Obama and the Democrats, probably rests on whether the media's very pronounced prefernce for Obama (specifically) and Democrats (generally) gets outweighed by their need to be important and popular.

TreeJoe said...

It's fairly clear that there is a seperate responsibility put on the two parties. Using the blago scandal as an example:

A democratic governor offers to sell a political appointment to multiple people, gets caught, and before he is impeached he appoints the u.s. senator.

Regardless of the qualifications of that person, the integrity of that person, etc.....there is the clear appearance of impropriety and illegality. The Senate's own ethics code prohibit such activity.

How can you seat such a Senator? How can you even waffle on it?

In my mind, this would be about 10x the size if this had been the governor of Texas offering to sell a senate seat, being caught, and then making the appointment anyway. Maybe I'm wrong.

Joe

PatCA said...

Well, at least they admitted there are such things as Democratic scandals. That's the first step to recovery: acknowledge reality.

Richard Dolan said...

Even with all the hoopla about the investiture ("inauguration" doesn't quite capture it) of Obama, the Dem scandals are already doing their corrosive work. It will only become more so with time.

For the next few years, attention will naturally focus on the Dems as the in-power team, and as part of that, their scandals will become big news. The Reps, as the out-of-power team, become more or less invisible (why would anyone care what the minority leader in the House thinks or says?) while still having the ability to highlight scandal by the team that will matter. In this game power always corrupts, while lack of power just as surely makes you beside the point.

In addition, people love to hate Washington, and will still need that special someone to blame -- and W will be long gone, leaving no one else but Dems to fill that need. It's just a matter of time before all of that generates the usual "throw the bums out" result.

That's a long way of saying that even the "yet" here strikes me as a head-in-sand exercise.

Bruce Hayden said...

The absurdity of the whole thing is that there have been more scandals in the presumptive Obama Cabinet than in GW Bush's almost eight years in office, all before Obama takes office.

I have heard for years, and even read last week, someone attempting to end this debate by mentioning Dick Cheney. And yet, and yet, I am still waiting for a single scandal concerning the outgoing VP that has legs. Contrast him to his successor, Joe Biden (D-MBNA) who has made his son wealthy as a lobbyist.

In looking at Congress, who on the top on the Democratic side is actually clean? Nancy Pelosi, maybe, and that is about it. In the Senate, Reid, Feinstein, Dodd, etc. at least are dirty. In the House, the guy handling the bank bailout (and one of the big proponents of the policies that ended up causing the problem) had a male prostitution ring run out of his House offices.

Mark O said...

At one time I thought only goats awakened in a new world every day.

Henry said...

The Democratic scandals don't matter yet because most Americans don't know that the Democrats are in power.

It will probably take a year after Obama's inaguration for the majority to figure out that the Republicans are on the bench.

We were mocking Harry Reid today, but one thing Reid has going for him is that he is so forgettable that no one remembers what his job is. Oh, yeah, the majority leader.

Following the lead of the post-Gingrich Republicans, the legislative Democrats have made themselves the Zelig party -- a band of whiffling spongers frantically avoiding hard issues.

No wonder no one cares enough to care.

The Drill SGT said...

PatCA said...
Well, at least they admitted there are such things as Democratic scandals. That's the first step to recovery: acknowledge reality.


The meta-story here is valid and interesting.

specificly, when a political scumbag is caught with her hand in the till, or his hand in somebody's pants, there are two very different results.

1. para 1: Congressscum Jerry Fox (R) caught with hands.....

2. para 25; Jerald Jones, who is suspected of sex with a consenting minor represents the 21st Congressional District and is active in the CBC.

1jpb said...

Is it too early for Rs to suggest BHO impeachment proceedings?

1jpb said...

Shouldn't the BHO birth certificate "research" be amplified?

ricpic said...

The Democratic scandals are not linked...

The link is hubris.

1jpb said...

Rs don't suffer from hubris. Everybody knows that.

LonewackoDotCom said...

Fairbanks couldn't find any anti-conservative bias at Wikipedia, so her judgment is just a "tad" suspect. Just a tiny smidgen.

The key thing about these scandals is that they could hurt BHO, so the MSM - and hacks like Fairbanks - are going to try to downplay the scandals at the same time as they try to destroy those involved in the scandals.

Anthony said...

Eh, I doubt any scandals will impact The Great One at all. Frankly, if Obama were to be photographed beating an old woman about the head while trying to steal her purse, the news media would spend most of their time digging into the old woman's past to see if she ever said she opposed abortion and why didn't she just give him the purse in the first place thus preventing Obama from resorting to violence?

No, they will cover for Obama from here until kingdom come. Heck, if not for the Blue Dress they'd still be covering for Clinton.

Heard anything about the Obama Team's contacts with Blago lately? Probably not, since Team Obama conducted an investigation of Team Obama and released a report concluding that Team Obama had no improper contacts. End of story. A reasonably-sized fig leaf is all they require.

Simon said...
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Bruce Hayden said...

BHO won't be impeached, for the similar reasons that GWB wasn't. There is no real evidence that BHO is personally corrupt, as contrasted to some of his Cabinet picks and much of his party's Congressional leadership. Rather, his major failings here, and likely throughout his term in office, is first his lack of managerial experience, and second being somewhat tone deaf about corruption, given his Chicago machine background.

GWB ran an extremely tight ship policing potential corruption in his Administration likely because he saw what happened to his father and to Reagan. By all indications, his appointees were far better vetted than Obamas have been, at least so far.

That said, part of Obama's problem with his Cabinet picks is that the two sleaziest (Clinton and Richardson) appear to be political payoffs made to get their support for his nomination and election. He seems, at least so far, to be doing better when politics are not as prominently in play.

Simon said...

John Althouse Cohen said...
"But they should be bothered that he felt the need to conceal his gayness."

I thought liberals believed that we have a right to define one’s "own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life." All that guff. The right to come out of the closet is meaningless without the concomitant right to stay there as one chooses, isn't it? If Larry Craig's concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe and the infinite mystery of infinity and beyond is to stay on the closet and occasionally solicit sex from random young men, who are you and I to say that's so wrong?

(Of course, we do have a right to think that's wrong, to condemn such behavior, to refuse to vote for people who exhibit it - indeed, to criminalize it, although I think such laws unwise.)

1jpb said...
"Simon, Since you're focused on the subcategory of sex-scandals, are you forgetting someone still in the Senate on the R side of the passageway between rows of seats[?]"

I really don't pay close enough attention to the theater of mock outrage to know who's done something scandalous this week. The reason I pointed to sex scandals was because most scandals are either sex or money, and I think virtually everyone agrees that politicians on the take is actually bad, whereas sex scandals are usually pushed by people who don't personally believe anything wrong happened but who think the supporters of the slimee will see impropriety. There are exceptions and counterexamples, of course, but that was the premise.

TreeJoe said...
"A democratic governor offers to sell a political appointment to multiple people, gets caught, and before he is impeached he appoints the u.s. senator. ... there is the clear appearance of impropriety and illegality. The Senate's own ethics code prohibit such activity. ¶ How can you seat such a Senator?"

Because there's no authority to refuse him. Same thing with Ted Stevens - if he'd been reelected, he would have been seated, even as a convicted felon with appeals and sentencing pending. Do you understand what limited government means? Just because something is right - i.e. just because you and I think something is right - doesn't mean that government necessarily has the right to do it.

1jpb said...

Speaking of the victims of anti-conservative bias; everybody knows the Ds are pushing the fairness doctrine.

Take to the streets!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S.
Vitter was fairly notable, though there wasn't a ton of fake outrage. In fact, he just kept going about his business, no problem. No doubt this is partly why he's not at the front of the mind.

1jpb said...

far better vetted

They did a heckuva job accomplishing thier missions.

Der Hahn said...

leaving unhappily married gays with only illicit outlets for satisfying their true desires..

jac, if you truly believe this, put a ring on your left hand and try 'my wife lets me screw around' for a pick up line next time you're out on the town.

campy said...

"You're bothered by Obama scandals? Racist!"

Michael H said...

Democrat scandals? Small change compared to the huge, huge scandal of Levi Johnston getting a job on the North Slope without having a high school diploma.

Thank heavens for the sharp journos at the Anchorage Daily News who got all over this story and got the kid fired!

A kid working to support his child and girlfriend, now that, my friends, is the kind of scandal that matters.

That other stuff about corrupt politicians, not so much.

TreeJoe said...

Simon said, "Because there's no authority to refuse him. Same thing with Ted Stevens - if he'd been reelected, he would have been seated, even as a convicted felon with appeals and sentencing pending. Do you understand what limited government means? Just because something is right - i.e. just because you and I think something is right - doesn't mean that government necessarily has the right to do it."

Simon - Apparently, they prefer to have the secretary of state in illinois say that he signed everything he needs to sign, and the democratic senators saying the secretary of state didn't sign off on everything.

How long does an impeachment against blago take to get into effect? Does a sitting governor have the right to appoint during an impeachment? Could an impeachment have been delivered prior to this appointment?

Or did everyone just hold their breath thinking he wouldn't actually appoint someone?

There were no leaders in this. Unfortunately, least of all was Obama. I expected him to come out strongly against Blago and help his seperation and claims of ties to those corrupt politics. But he made a few so-so statements and then bowed out.

He's not president yet, and he's no longer senator of the seat that was filled. But he's a president-elect, and he's uniquely qualified as the most powerful person to speak out against such.

These people have sufficient power to enable themselves to prevent such situations, especially when it was so blatant to happen. Except everyone in power pointed to someone else as the one with the responsibility.

Joe

Simon said...

TreeJoe said...
"Simon - Apparently, they prefer to have the secretary of state in illinois say that he signed everything he needs to sign, and the democratic senators saying the secretary of state didn't sign off on everything."

Yes, they seem determined to make themselves appear more hapless with each passing day.

"How long does an impeachment against blago take to get into effect?"

Depends on state law and how quickly the state legislature acts on it. The Illinois Attorney General tried to get the Illinois Supreme Court to suspend Blagojevich pending an impeachment, but the court told her to jump (rightly, for reasons that we don't need to get into).

"Does a sitting governor have the right to appoint during an impeachment?"

Depends on state law. In abstracto - probably. Bill Clinton was still the President during the time the House was considering his impeachment, and he was still the President after his impeachment. An impeachment is ordinarily considered analogous to an indictment, not a conviction; that's why Clinton's was tried before the Senate. Even if they had convicted and removed him, I would have thought that he would have had the authority to sign laws and appoint people.

"Could an impeachment have been delivered prior to this appointment?"

I'm sure it could have been, but it wasn't.

"These people have sufficient power to enable themselves to prevent such situations, especially when it was so blatant to happen."

Obama and Reid had no power over the situation. They could pressure Blagojevich not to make an appointment (or to resign), and they could pressure the Illinois general assembly to impeach Blagojevich, but they ultimately had no authority that could be used to prevent events from playing out.

TitusIAmSixteengoingonSeventeen said...

I cancelled my subscription to TNR. They rebilled me this year for 79.00 a year.

I am not payin 79.00 a year for that rag. I am over that magazine.

The only two mags I get now our The New Yorker and Vanity Fair-love their stories.

mydismalswamp said...

By the way, we call him "Cold Cash" Jefferson around here.

bobby said...

"Liberals didn't care that Larry Craig cheated on his wife or solicited sex from a man . . . but they figured that the religious right doesn't like that kind of stuff, and they could use the resulting scandal to pick up a Senate seat."
- - - - -

Repub here, and I gotta say - those in our party who have somehow dragged us into gayhate as a plank just have no bidness atall bitchin about Dems taking huge satisfaction when the manlyman antigay Senator plays trans-stall footsie in one of the busiest airports around.

(And gets caught, too! In this day and age, I'm guessing you have to work real hard at it to manage to corral a criminal record from your sex life, gay or straight. This is NOT a sign of competence, I'm thinking.)

bobby said...

"A kid working to support his child and girlfriend, now that, my friends, is the kind of scandal that matters."
- - - - -

The BigMedia spent about skaty-eight kabillion dollars trying to track down the filth, corruption, inbreeding and bad taste that they just KNEW was rampant all over the North Coast.

Now, they can once again hold their heads up with pride. 'Cuz, they found it!

Ken said...

Democratic scandals don't matter to the New Republic, or the rest of the lapdog media. Whether they matter to the general public is going to be determined by how many Americans get some of their news from a source outside the echo chamber. That number is growing and might reach critical mass soon. The Democratic propaganda machine has done yeoman duty covering up for fifty years of Democratic scandals while trumpeting Republican ones.

Democrats don't much care about corruption or scandals. They're in it for the money. If a politician can offer up the pork, he can drown anyone he likes. So long as Democratic office holders feed the parasites, they can be assured of the greed and envy vote.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that Ken has hit the nail on the head. And ditto for sex crimes.

I note today that not only has the Charlie Rangle investigation dropped into a black hole, but the Democrats have dropped the Republican imposed chairmanship term limits that would have cost him his Ways and Means chairmanship.

pete-who said...

Let's not forget Sen. Reid has had his own ethics problems, some comparable to those of Rangel. Yet the national media seems to have forgotten.

mberenis said...
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