March 5, 2010

The reason this isn't what it looks like it is is that if it really were what it looks like, he wouldn't do it.

Come on! It would be so blatant, he wouldn't do it, if he were doing it. Therefore he can't be doing it.

That's how I hear this Think Progress argument:
Today on Fox News, Neil Cavuto irresponsibly pushed the baseless rumor that President Obama bought Rep. Jim Matheson’s (D-UT) vote on health care reform by offering his brother a federal judgeship. First, Cavuto invited the originator of the conspiracy theory, Weekly Standard’s John McCormack. For his part, McCormack undermined his own argument. “Was there an explicit quid pro quo? Probably not,” he said. Next, Cavuto invited Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who reiterated her call for an investigation into the matter. But Bachmann, too, acknowledged the lack of any basis for the claim. “We don’t know — that’s the question,” she said. 
It's not a "conspiracy theory": It's the observation of facts that create an appearance of impropriety. TP is saying we should forget about it because Obama didn't openly state that he was making the nomination in exchange for the vote. Of course, there's no explicit quid pro quo! How do you think successful corrupt individuals perform corrupt acts? If it were a quid pro quo, there'd be no explicit quid pro quo — certainly not one that we'd hear.  Lack of any basis? The basis is the nomination of the brother of a man whose vote is needed. Think Progress conveniently pretends that "any basis" is the same thing as "conclusive proof." You know damned well that if Bush were still President, needed a vote from a congressman, and nominated that congressman's brother, Think Progress and its ilk would be screaming for an investigation.

Steven Benen of Political Animal calls it the "Manufactured Controversy of the Day." And I call that the Manufactured Desperate Spin of the Day.
"Republicans gleefully circulated a Weekly Standard piece yesterday that asked if Obama was trying to buy Matheson's vote by nominating his brother, Scott, to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Both the White House and Matheson's office swiftly answered the question with a resounding 'no.' "
They didn't confess to an explicit quid pro quo? Well, then, move along! Please tell us, Mr. Benen, what you would have said if George Bush had done exactly this much.
Rep. Matheson's spokesperson called the question "patently ridiculous." A White House official called the question "absurd."
And what would they have said if there was something more to the nomination than just the brother's outstanding credentials? The same thing.
Is there any evidence — anything at all — to suggest the Matheson nomination is related in any way to getting his brother's vote on health care? No. There's literally nothing.
Of course, there is evidence. The evidence is the need to persuade the congressman and the timing of the the nomination of the brother. It's not conclusive proof, but it is evidence. We need more evidence to answer our questions, but there is surely a basis of our questions.
But it's nevertheless the talk of the conservative world today....
And you know damned well it would be the talk of the liberal world if Bush were still President and... man, that point is tedious. But it's so apt! Politicos are so boring. Blech.

82 comments:

Kirby Olson said...

Even the appearance of impropriety should be avoided. Otherwise, we will all assume the worst of this president.

He should just appoint Bill Ayers.

TMink said...

Oh of course it is what it is. That is the Chicago way.

Trey

Harsh Pencil said...

Actually, Obama should simply give the congressman a ton of money in cash in front of cameras. Then when anyone says it certainly looks like a bribe, the usuals could respond "It can't be a bribe, because it looks too much like a bribe, so if it really were a bribe, he wouldn't do it."

Sloanasaurus said...

What about all the other bribes going on as well. What about the offers of federal jobs in exchange for votes for congresspersons who lose their elections this fall. Those are obvious bribes.

Its further obvious that the media is still in the tank for Obama, which is why they are not talking about this incident.

Nevertheless, at this point, it's hard to see the Congressman voting yes on Obamacare now. If he does flip-flop, then his brother's appointment the Court will be in a lot more trouble.

TheGiantPeach said...

In practical terms, the judicial appointment guarantees that Matheson the Congressman won't vote for the health care bill. Unless he hates his brother and doesn't want him to be confirmed.

garage mahal said...

And you know damned well it would be the talk of the liberal world if Bush were still President and... man, that point is tedious. But it's so apt! Politicos are so boring. Blech.

And you damned well if this were Bush instead of Obama, you would be scrambling to write how this is all so crazy! Tedious indeed.

virgil xenophon said...

All of this would be funny ha ha if it wasn't miserably sickening enough to make even a Jackal wretch.

ark said...

I play bridge, a game rife with opportunities to cheat--especially by passing information between partners. As a general rule, if you learn unauthorized information, and you take action that might have been suggested by that information, you face a penalty. The rules make no attempt to determine whether you have legitimate reasons for taking that action: Receiving unauthorized information closes off certain courses of action, period.

Big Mike said...

First of all, appointments to the federal judiciary for political reasons happen all the time. I ask Professor Althouse, was there ever a more blatantly political appointment than Lincoln's appointment of Salmon P. Chase to replace Roger Taney (he of the Dred Scott Decision) as Chief Justice?

Yeah, that President Lincoln, the guy on the five dollar bill.

Secondly, the search for an "explicit quid pro quo" is an utter red herring. At that level of the game absolutely nothing is put in writing or even said out loud. Everybody at that level knows exactly how the game is played.

Third, sunlight, as they say, is the best disinfectant. The voters in Utah will be watching Jim Matheson's upcoming votes very carefully.

Finally, I have one additional observation. The voters of 2008 were correct in their assessment that Washington, DC, is a swamp. But why they sent alligators to drain it is beyond my comprehension.

Martha said...

On the same day that Obama invited 10 Democrats who had previously voted against the still pending healthcare legislation to the White House to "persuade" them to change their previous position and to vote now for the healthcare legislation---ON THE SAME DAY!--Obama releases a press release announcing the nomination of Scott Matheson to the US Court of Appeals 10th Circuit. One of the 10 White House invitees just happens to be Utah Representative Jim Matheson---Scott Matheson's brother--who voted twice against Obama's healthcare legislation (most recently in November 2009).

The dots sort of connect themselves.

Obama created the appearance of impropriety by his actions.

Andrea said...

Argh.

"Retch" means "to vomit"

"Wretch" means an unhappy person -- "Poor wretch -- he retched all over the place and then got chewed out for misusing the word 'wretch,' which only made him retch some more!"

wv word: bilic. A bilious person?

NewHam said...

"It's not a "conspiracy theory": It's the observation of facts that create an appearance of impropriety."

It's more than mere appearance of impropriety, it's probable cause to believe that a high crime - a felony - has been committed by the President of the United States.

The way you determine if there has been a quid pro quo is to have a grand jury empaneled and compel testimony under oath.

That's how you establish whether there is enough evidence to try someone.

I submit that there probably was a quid pro quo - and that the best way to find out for sure is to empanel a grand jury with subpoena powers.

traditionalguy said...

Big Mike nailed it.

Turtledove said...

Obama said the public likes the Bill but don't like the process. Too much sausage making and not enough sausage. So what does he do? Give us yet more sausage making and the sausage? A pdf from the President.

sunsong said...

Matheson is my Congresscritter. He is basically a decent guy. So is his brother. His father was a very popular governor. That said - this looks bad and the district is not an easy one for him.

If he changes his vote to yes now - he may well lose the seat.

Balfegor said...

It's more than mere appearance of impropriety, it's probable cause to believe that a high crime - a felony - has been committed by the President of the United States.

What's the crime, though? It looks like common-or-garden political horse-trading to me. Sleazy, sure, but do we really want to be treating this kind of thing as criminal?

NewHam said...

"What's the crime, though?"

The crime is called bribery.

And it's against the law for the President of the United States to bribe a Senator or Congressman by promising anything of value to them or their families in return for their vote on a piece of legislation.

The President is not above the law, although I guess we'll see shortly if this one is.

Geoff Matthews said...

Let me state upfront that I oppose Obama's health care plan.

That said, are there any enticements for the other 9 congress critters that attended that meeting? If not, I'd be willing to accept that this was not connected.

But I agree, Matheson will have a very hard time to vote 'Yes' after voting no. If he does, there will be a sizable group claiming that he did it because of his brother's judgeship.

Triangle Man said...

You know damned well that if Bush were still President, needed a vote from a congressman, and nominated that congressman's brother, Think Progress and its ilk would be screaming for an investigation

They would scream and be ignored and eventually start screaming about something else.

Shanna said...

Basically their argument is "Obama wouldn't be so dumb as to do this in such an obvious way". I think Obama really is that dumb, or at least that blatant. Obviously we don't know that this was the reason the guy was nominated, but it looks terrible. And considering this bill has been bought with bribes left and right, it's clear that the people in charge are willing to use bribes to get their way. YOu don't get the benefit of the doubt anymore.

Balfegor said...

And it's against the law for the President of the United States to bribe a Senator or Congressman by promising anything of value to them or their families in return for their vote on a piece of legislation.

But the problem is Presidents (and more commonly, Congressional leaders) do this all the time. Usually a little less blatantly, sure -- that's what makes this seem especially sleazy -- but when Congressmen negotiate for unrelated perks and favors in exchange for their votes on this or that bill, that seems different from this situation only in degree, not in kind.

Harsh Pencil said...

Shanna writes " I think Obama really is that dumb, or at least that blatant. "

Question: What evidence do we really have that Obama is smart? I've never seen his grades. I've never seen any standardized tests for the guy. He's never really written anything serious (autobiographies don't count).

I'm perfectly serious, what evidence do we have that this guy is smart?

The Drill SGT said...

TheGiantPeach said...
In practical terms, the judicial appointment guarantees that Matheson the Congressman won't vote for the health care bill. Unless he hates his brother and doesn't want him to be confirmed.


agree.

a Utah Dem has to have a lot of separation from ObiWon.

the sad fact is the Brother looks well qualified.

The WH is sooo stupid

tim maguire said...

The nomination probably wasn't sudden, and Matheson probably was on a short list given to Obama through the usual channels. The timing is suspect, enough to look closer, but not nearly enough to cry foul.

rdkraus said...

Balfegor

What's the crime, though? It looks like common-or-garden political horse-trading to me. Sleazy, sure, but do we really want to be treating this kind of thing as criminal?

No, common horse-trading is when Congr #1 says to Congr #2, "If you can support my legislation to pass this health care POS, I'll be able to work with you on that defense appropriation you think is important."

This, on the other hand, was the President saying, "If you vote for my health care POS, I'll give your brother one of the best, most sought after jobs in the USA."

If there were real proof (which will likely never surface), then this would be an impeachable offense. IMHO of course.

traditionalguy said...

Balfegor has a good point. Our system is conservative just because it makes room for the existance of selfishness and abuse of their fellow citizens that is in organised men's hearts, but restrains it. They had just dealt with the King and his Ministers in Parlement's Army for 20 years. So our founders institutionalised the checks and balances on power exercised at the national level. But their common sense never made political activity into a crime. Then the ruling party could have acted like the King and arrest and forfeit the property of their opponents. The founders did not leave us a lynch mob rule, but a structure of government based upon elected succession of power, if we can keep it. BTW even our own sides lynch mobs are easily turned upon us by the next politically ambitious orator to appear. Andy Jackson said,"... to the victor go the spoils." Why should the loser have them? He meant the victor in the elections, not in a lynch mob's leadership struggle.

SFC B said...

In the military the appearance of impropriety is against the rules. An officer or Sr. enlisted cannot have any sort of non-professional relationship with a junior enlisted member. Whether or not there is an inpropriety occuring doesn't matter, the fact that outside observers could reasonably think one is possible is enough to make it unauthorized.

That doesn't mean such relationships don't happen, but it does mean you, as a leader, are supposed to consider how such things look to unbiased observers.

NewHam said...

"If there were real proof (which will likely never surface), then this would be an impeachable offense. IMHO of course."

What you mean to say isn't "if there is proof ..."

Rather, what you mean to say is: "If there is evidence ..."

And clearly there is a substantial body of evidence already on the record to suggest that Barack Obama has committed the crime of bribery of a public official.

There is certainly probable cause to believe that such a crime has been committed.

"Proof" isn't how we decide things in the United States legal system. We decide things based on the totality of the evidence. Rarely is a criminal case an open-and-shut affair. There is almost never "proof."

Rather, we put the evidence before a tribunal and they decide whether the weight of that evidence convicts a person of the crime they have been accused of.

We don't need proof. We need evidence. And the way to gather evidence is to put people under oath and compel their testimony in a grand jury proceeding. That's how our legal system works. The President has rights.

He should be read them.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Shanna said: "I think Obama really is that dumb, or at least that blatant."

Not that I disagree that he's dumb, but I actually would blame it more on ego. He is so egotistical that he thinks that he can just do these things and no one will call him on it, because he is so wonderful.

If this is a complete coincidence, it shows that he really is both dumb and egotistical for not seeing this as a problem. Any experienced politician should constantly be on the lookout for things that create an appearence of impropriety, and if he didn't know that this would create one, he's a fool. There are dozens of open federal judgeships- he could easily push this nominee back a week or two.
-Lyssa

Christy said...

The nomination is but an opportunity taken to better the chances of the bill passing. The brother was just sitting there on a short list. Who wouldn't pick him under the circumstances?

Peter V. Bella said...

This President can do no wrong. He is destined to make HisStory. The legacy must be carved in stone. When he is wrong, he is right. If there is a perception of impropriety, it is your personal perception, not the rest of the worlds.

This is proof that higher education is wasted on certain people. They took up space that could have been given to a student who may have contributed to humanity.

Balfegor said...

Re: rdkraus:

No, common horse-trading is when Congr #1 says to Congr #2, "If you can support my legislation to pass this health care POS, I'll be able to work with you on that defense appropriation you think is important."

I think it goes a little further than that. Perks can include chairmanships and positions on plum committees. Defense appropriations congressmen think are important may be "important," because they involve massive payouts to their donors. And campaign assistance by party organs may also affect legislators' votes.

Irene said...

SFC B said:

In the military the appearance of impropriety is against the rules.

That's also a good rule for good lawyers. It's the old "smell test."

It says a lot about the President's radar.

Martha said...

Geoff Matthews said... are there any enticements for the other 9 congress critters that attended that meeting? If not, I'd be willing to accept that this was not connected.

We do not yet know if there are any enticements for the other 9 congress invitees to Obama's arm twisting soiree. But by offering Matheson's brother the judgeship ON THE DAY OF THE MEETING Obama just might have been signalling to the other 9 invitees that if they had any sibling, offspring, or relative who was "qualified" for a federal appointment Obama was in the mood to make it happen.... if they voted the right way on his healthcare legislation.

Alex said...

Steve Benen is an even worse left-wing hack then Kevin Drum used to be when he ran the Washington Monthly blog.

Alex said...

And you damned well if this were Bush instead of Obama, you would be scrambling to write how this is all so crazy! Tedious indeed.

Speculation. Althouse has a nice record of cruel neutrality.

edutcher said...

Barry thought this was Chicago. The papers there wouldn't dream of mentioning such a deal. So gauche.

He is, however, learning from the Li'l Rock crowd, there's nothing in writing this time.

SFC B said...

In the military the appearance of impropriety is against the rules.

It also applies in civilian politics if the supposed offender is Conservative or Republican. Remember Bush 41's brother, Neil? No wrongdoing, it just looked bad, but he was supposed to sign a paper apologizing and promising never to do it again. George, wisely, told him to tell the Feds to cram it someplace.

Opus One Media said...

The republicans tend to tell a lot of lies on Fridays, specially when the sun is shining. Cavuto is a convenient place for republicans to lie. Michelle Bachman is the black hole of stupidity. She appears particularly braindead on Cavuto on Fridays when the sun is shining.

It may not be facts but it is evidence.

tim maguire said...

Sorry Opus, but none of them are evidence. They are bald assertions requiring evidence.

Peter V. Bella said...

Hey House,
Today is Friday, the sun is shining. That Democrat paragon of stupidity stated today- "It's a big day in America. Only 36,000 people lost their jobs today."

That was Harry Reid, the second dumbest White man in America. The first being Joe Biden.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

"Michelle Bachmann is stupid" (and variations thereof) has got to be the least supported assertion that I have ever heard. Time after time, with no evidence provided and on the apparent assumption that none is needed, I hear "arguments" that begin and end with Ms. Bachmann's stupidity.

Any time I have seen the woman speak, she appears perfectly intelligent. I have never heard a story of something she did or said that made her look dumb. Other than the fact that she dares to be conservative while having a vagina, what makes lefties so convinced of this particular woman's lack of intelligence?

At least with Sarah Palin, they could falsely attribute Saturday Night Live quotes to her.
- Lyssa

Joe M. said...

And you know damned well it would be the talk of the liberal world if Bush were still President and... man, that point is tedious. But it's so apt! Politicos are so boring. Blech.

Amen! What a depressing game these people play.

peter hoh said...

Speaking of how things look, this blog now looks like the large print version of Reader's Digest.

The comments page still looks like it used to look.

LYNNDH said...

The more the "move along nothing to see here" apologist say that, the more people will look and say there is something to see.

d-day said...

John McCain would never, ever have done this.

madawaskan said...

Here is the timeline.

Rep. Matheson votes no on Health Care.


Rep. Matheson publcly declares-I'm undecided on Health Care.

Obama can't get the votes, the Summit is a bust, he calls for an up, down vote in the House....

Next day-

Boom!

Matheson's brother is nominated to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

What's the Liberal take on all of it-

Those sleaze buckets-Republican blogs, John McCormack and Neil Cavuto-FOX News!

Because you know, it's FOX news that runs the country.

madawaskan said...

Gawd I love Althouse angry in the morning...

[angry is probably not the right term but I can't come up with anything else.]

Big Mike said...

John McCain would never, ever have done this.

Of course he would have. Only being more experienced he'd have been more careful to avoid the fairly obvious appearance of impropriety, e.g., by offering up the judiciary appointment much earlier or much later.

This administration needs to get a clue.

c3 said...

This is the usual "appearance of conflict of interest" argument. The side under the microscope usually vehemently denies a conflict of interest, though what they mean to say is there is no "quid pro quo".

The accusing side says there is a conflict of interest meaning that there are conflicting interests that create, at a minimum, an appearance of impropriety.

There's more politics than substance here. Besides, we already know a health care bill vote can be "bought" (see under "Nelson, Bill; Senator Nebraska")

madawaskan said...

A federal judgeship is a fucking valuable thing. You just don't give it away for nothing.

and Balfegor channeling Blago that's pretty damn good too.

Took me a minute, I thought it was a Rahmism at first.

Bruce Hayden said...

My theory is that the Democrats at the top, and particularly, closest to President Obama, and Obama himself, really do not care about the appearance of impropriety. If they did, an admitted tax cheat wouldn't be running Treasury, and the guy who traded pardons for cash at the end of the Clinton Administration wouldn't be running Justice. In Chicago, this is just how things get done, and everyone knows it, so it doesn't have to stay hidden, like it does in much of the rest of the country.

That said, I suspect that it will backfire, as others have suggested. Utah is not Chicago, and the mores are quite different there. So, I expect that Rep. Matheson must vote nay on this.

Also, by all evidence so far, his brother is well respected, and the legal community seems to think that he would do a good job with that move over to Denver (where the 10th Circuit sits).

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

Every time an Obama supporter justifies something the Administration does with the "Well, W did it too" God kills a kitten.

Garage, please, think of the kittens.

avwh said...

"We do not yet know if there are any enticements for the other 9 congress invitees to Obama's arm twisting soiree. But by offering Matheson's brother the judgeship ON THE DAY OF THE MEETING Obama just might have been signalling to the other 9 invitees that if they had any sibling, offspring, or relative who was "qualified" for a federal appointment Obama was in the mood to make it happen.... if they voted the right way on his healthcare legislation."

This is an excellent point. Obama may have cost himself the Matheson vote (given he's a Dem in UT, and the obvious apparent impropriety), but he may really have been after the other 9 votes, with the quid pro quo yet to come for them, if they vote correctly.

DADvocate said...

It's the observation of facts that create an appearance of impropriety.

Duh! and Double Duh!

That the libs argue otherwise make them look even dumber and more unethical than usual.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Please tell us, Mr. Benen, what you would have said if George Bush had done exactly this much."

David Byrne got it all wrong when he sang, "the world moves on a woman's hips", because it's clearly W's actions that really set things in motion.

The Macho Response

Titus said...

Love Bachman, so fab.

Just pinched a tremendous loaf. Shot out of me like a cannon, Like Pachabel's Cannon.

Thanks so much.

Have a great day, weekend, month and year.

Titus said...

You know Bachman shaves her beave...that's hot.

madawaskan said...

lyssaalovelyredhead said-

He is so egotistical that he thinks that he can just do these things and no one will call him on it.

Well actually here he is making a pretty good calculation most of the Liberal media won't report it, then someone in Hollywood will make a tape of themselves in a three way and what little reporting was done on it will be forgotten.

Methadras said...

Denying the obvious that is right in your face only bolsters that being willfully ignorant is a self-imposed condition. Leftists are the worst sufferers of this condition.

Squid said...

I think that assuming the brother was offered the appointment in return for an "aye" vote is jumping to conclusions. It's quite possible that the brother was not denied the appointment in return for a not-"nay" vote.

Milwaukie guy said...

During the 90s, before he was governor, Blago was a darling of the IVI-IPO [Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization]--kind of an Elvis for the progressive and good-government crowd. When Axelrod ran his campaign for governor, Blago ran as "the real reformer." In the primary, with Roland Burris siphoning off votes, Blago/Axelrod beat an arguably genuine reformer in Paul Vallas, who had been fighting for more accountability in the moribund Chicago Public Schools.

Once in office, a Blago, a Deval Patrick, an Obama along wit da guys someone sent, revert to the mean of Chicago machine behavior.

John said...

This may be standard political procedure in Crook County, Illinois.

But this garbage needs to be out of DC.

How do you think this congressman is going to vote on ObamaCare?

I have no patience for this and I suspect there are a LOT of people across the heartland who feel exactly the same way.

NewHam said...

@ GarageMahal, who wrote: "I just noted Althouse was doing precisely what she was accusing someone else of doing."

Yes, Garage, but why don't you bring your estimable talents to bear on the issue under discussion: The Presdient of the United States appears to have illegally used enticements to swing the vote of a public official, an illegal act.

There is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed.

Talk to us for a few minutes about how you feel about this specific topic.

Is it right for the President to bribe Congressman?

Do you think it's legal? Is it moral?

Do you think it's just the ordinary horse-trading that goes on between congressmen?

Or is this an example of how the President manipulates the Congress to pass legislation against their constituents' best interest?

Quit bitching about what Ann Althouse is doing for a moment (you've made your point about that) and instead, address yourself to the allegation that your President is a felon who is bribing Congressmen.

Can you do that?

MrBuddwing said...

The Perfesser wrote:
And you know damned well it would be the talk of the liberal world if Bush were still President and... man, that point is tedious. But it's so apt! Politicos are so boring. Blech.

And garage mahal responded:

And you damned well if this were Bush instead of Obama, you would be scrambling to write how this is all so crazy!

To which I say (to garage mahal):

Care to cite any actual examples that would support your point? Can you recall an instance in which President Bush did something dubious and Prof. Althouse dismissed it as much ado about nothing?

I'm as capable as anyone of accusing people of hypothetical hypocrisy, but sometimes you really do need proof.

Word verification: omegrano.

Anil Petra said...

How about this?

41 Republican Senators commit to filibuster the nomination, on a principled basis: appearance of conflict of interest. No comebacks.

bagoh20 said...

"The reason this isn't what it looks like it is is if it really were what it looks like, he wouldn't do it." ~ Neville Chamberlain

garage mahal said...

Can you recall an instance in which President Bush did something dubious and Prof. Althouse dismissed it as much ado about nothing?

Many. How about this one on the U.S. Attorney firings from 2006:

And don't forget: Rove is at "the epicenter of the imbroglio"! So, I see: there's a big aura of suspiciousness to all of this. All I'm saying is, let's unpack the parts and try to understand what happened.

Alex said...

garage - and you were trolling back in 2007 as you do now. You're life is one sad, pathetic broken record! Enjoy life man! Smell the roses!

NewHam said...

"... and you were trolling back in 2007 as you do now."

GarageMahal is a horrible advocate for Democrats. In fact, he's so bad he may be a Republican plant, designed to post in such a way as to be immediately easily rebuttable with fact and reason.

If so, I say: "Bravo, sir. Well done, mate!"

garage mahal said...

I can see why making an argument and providing a link might confuse you two chronically stupid motherfuckers. But you're not the only two people that post here.

submandave said...

"Perks can include chairmanships and positions on plum committees. Defense appropriations congressmen think are important may be 'important,' because they involve massive payouts to their donors. "

I believe there is a difference, though, in offering a trade of something that has explicit monetary value (a job or money, for example) and offering a trade of support or a desirable position for a vote. In the former, the value of the commodity traded resides within that item itself. In the latter, while it may provide the recipient an oportunity to enrich themselves through influence peddling or graft, that is not a certain goal or intent. The choice to misuse the special position offered lies with the recipient and may constitute wrong-doing or illegal activities. The receipt of explicit monetary benefit is, however, itself the wrong, making the offer wrong as well.

Simon Kenton said...

"The reason this isn't what it looks like it is is that if it really were what it looks like, he wouldn't do it."
>>>>>>>>>>>>
From an attorney friend, an egregious case years ago in Wyoming. They were high, or drunk, and wanted to screw, and the woman's baby kept crying. So the boyfriend poured antifreeze down the child and stuffed it into a posthole outside the cabin, in the middle of a Wyoming winter. And did it while the baby perished.

The judge directed a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, though there was no support from the mental health people for the finding. He decided that nobody sane could do something so evil.

Nobody so fatuous could be a judge, and he was a judge, so he couldn't have been so fatuous.

JorgXMcKie said...

Garbage posts a link. The link demonstrates, well, pretty much nothing. I mean, an assertion that "Rove's at the epicenter" of something is hardly evidence of any kind of misbehavior [in the real world, I mean, not in the world in which Rove is actually Satan].

In addition, of course, the whole attorney firing thing was nonsense on stilts, since no President needs any reason whatsoever to fire them, no matter what the heated imaginations of the Left may believe.

Garbage once again proves to be "stuck on stupid".

Thor's Dad said...

I've gotten so used to the left's willingness to turn a blind eye, delude itself or whatever intellectual contortion its willing to do to maintain power, I'm no longer shocked or appalled. If so I would be at it 24/7. BO could give his family members away for house pets to some pet-loving, "no" vote on health-care congressperson and it would be deemed an act of compassion. Move along nothing to see here....

garage mahal said...

Garbage once again proves to be "stuck on stupid".

I posted a link showing Althouse took to Bush and Rove's defense on accusations of impropriety on the U.S. attorney firings. Which is the complete opposite of what she is doing here.

MrBuddwing said...

garage mahal: I take your point, although I'm not 100% convinced that the example you cite is directly comparable.

Still, the prof did say, "All I'm saying is, let's unpack the parts and try to understand what happened."

To which I agree - then and now.

From Inwood said...

I dunno.

I think I'll wait to see how the NYT or MSM covers this in an investigative report & how Jon Stewart & Letterman joke about it.

Right.

Old Jewish joke (C4 alert: stop reading) about the Jewish funeral service for a thoroughly rotten guy where the Rabbi can't get anybody to give a eulogy until one guy stands up & says "His brother was worse".

Moral preener Obama defenders are now reduced to saying "De Lay/Rove was worse"

Patm said...

Yes, it IS getting tedious to hear/read/think "if BUSH did it, you'd be screaming..."

But we have to keep hearing/reading/thinking/saying it.

Otherwise, we're obedient sheep.

From Inwood said...

Patm

schadenfreude is never tedious.

NewHam said...

"I posted a link showing Althouse took to Bush and Rove's defense on accusations of impropriety on the U.S. attorney firings. Which is the complete opposite of what she is doing here."

Garage, you defended Harry Reid's racist comments about Obama (he doesn't speak with a Negro dialect unless he wants to) by saying that Harry Reid has a history which demonstrates he should be given the benefit of the doubt.

And so, the template that you set out is that criticism of a politicians actions or words should be compared to a person's past history to judge their intentions.

George W. Bush (as the facts have been borne out) never had a history of the sort of bribe-making that Barack Obama has; and so Althouse was, like you did with Harry Reid, considering his past actions in the context of the allegations against him (which, later bore out that Althouse was correct to defend Bush against scurrilous accusations).

Obama's history is full of the sort of bribery that we see on display here. He approved of the Cornhusker Kickback and he also approved of the $100 million payoff to Mary Landrieu to secure her vote for his health care reform.

Obama has a history which we can compare to see if his current activities comport with that history.

Lo and behold, his current bribing of a US Congressman is of a piece and in total keeping with his past practices and history.

Nobody is allowed to offer bribes to Congressmen for their votes. Individual congressmen can legally "horse-trade" amongst each other (i.e., agree to vote on each others proposals), but that is totally different than what Barack Obama is doing.

The Constitution sets the Legislature separate from the Executive for a reason. The founders did not want them cooperating and they did not want either to be corrupted by the other.

What Barack Obama is doing is bribing Congressmen for their votes. That shit is illegal and it is in total keeping with his past practices and his history.

He should be investigated for this crime. Your insistence that this criticism is out of bounds is unwarranted and not consistent with your past assertions when the shoe was on the other foot.

And that's why people don't take you seriously.

From Inwood said...

Newham

Garage's "the other guy was worse" argument is less effective when the fact is that 'twas his guy who was worse!

Not to mention that the comparison (Obama obvious bribery vs Bush simple firings) is a spurious comparison.

Waste of time to feed the trolls.