August 19, 2014

"A rash of relatively convoluted, thoroughly unsexy political scandals involving governors is moving through the country."

A reader pointed me to what he called "A very intellectually dishonest column by Catherine Rampell of the Wash Post," and I'm stuck on the second sentence. A convoluted, thoroughly unsexy rash moving through the country.

I think Rampell's point is something like: Sex scandals are attention-getting and easy to understand, and complicated, unsexy matters are not, so governors accused of nonsexual misdoings have been getting away with things. 

She ignores the alternative that governors have opponents who would like to drag them down by making accusations that will wreck the governor's momentum whether there are any real crimes in that convoluted, unsexy mess or not. And ordinary people don't want to look at the convoluted, unsexy rash anyway, so the opponents are counting on the instinctive aversion. Ick! Find someone else. This guy is tainted.

(Criminalization of politics is a new tag, and I can't go back and add it everywhere it belongs.)

49 comments:

khesanh0802 said...

Have to agree with Ann's comment about intellectual dishonesty. We have learned that Walker's investigation is an illegal witch hunt, that the indictment of Perry is a farce and that the Christie scandal is pretty small potatoes compared to "you can keep your doctor if you want to keep your doctor." Not much effort went into this piece. Maybe she's a summer intern that wanted to publish.

Brando said...

Scandal inflation. Enough of them going around and they all lose value. Remember when Gary Hart went down over an infidelity scandal? That would earn a big yawn today. Same goes for the Reagan judicial pick who had to be pulled due to marijuana use (our current president being a former coke user, the guy before him all but admitting he'd used coke, and the guy before him being a repeat sex offender).

The Clinton years really made scandals low value. Everything he did ended up having a "-gate" added to it. We are now at a point where anyone without some "scandal" in their past would seem suspiciously clean. Surely there's got to be something they're hiding!

Matthew Sablan said...

Poor governors. If they'd just armed some drug cartels so they could kill a bunch of people, no one would think it was a scandal.

Nonapod said...

Most of these "scandals" are the desperate, flailing attempts of Dems to sling as much mud as possible in hope that some sticks. A cornered animal is dangerous.

Hagar said...

It is not "witch hunts" either. The people who hunted witches believed there were witches.

Thiss is fraudulently manipulating the legal system for political purposes, which the Professor needs to think up a legal term and tag for.

Skeptical Voter said...

Intellectually dishonest? That's giving that bucket of sleaze and innuendo more gravitas than it's worth.

She speaks of governors whoare "indicted" or are "implicated". It's all innuendo.

But this twit at the Washington Post doesn't allude to the fact that several recent Illinois governors have been convicted--and spent some time in their state's big house.

Little Miss Sweet Cakes at the Post doesn't realize that there is a country mile's distance between "indictment" and "conviction".

There's an even greater distance between "implicated" and indicted.

But then a party and a national press that gives Bill Clinton a pass for his creative use of a cigar knows all about innuendo.

garage mahal said...

She ignores the alternative that governors have opponents who would like to drag them down by making accusations that will wreck the governor's momentum whether there are any real crimes in that convoluted, unsexy mess or not.

But those opponents will remain unnamed. Wonder why?

The Godfather said...

She asks, how could all this have happened and nobody noticed? These are all highly publicized accusations that everybody who's paying any attention has noticed. In some cases, the publicity is out of proportion to the evidence of wrong doing, but it's entirely proportionate to the political interests of a party (usually the Democratic one) and its wing men (and women) in the media.

garage mahal said...

Most of these "scandals" are the desperate, flailing attempts of Dems to sling as much mud as possible in hope that some sticks.

Which Democrats, specifically?

Larry J said...

Matthew Sablan said...
Poor governors. If they'd just armed some drug cartels so they could kill a bunch of people, no one would think it was a scandal.


Or if they'd weaponized their state's bureaucracy to punish and inhibit their political opponents, no one would think it was a scandal (if they were Democrats).

dreams said...

The crooked Dems have done their part in the criminalization of politics and she is doing the liberal media's part. The Dems and the liberal media do make a good team but its our country that loses.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


It was well known that Obama's operatives smeared his political opponents (leaking sealed divorce records, for example), and yet our law professor hostess voted for him anyway.

That takes a little off her sincerity in condemning like tactics now. seems to me.

Brennan said...

Catherine Rampbell was an intern with the Washington Post. It was a long time ago. Back when Barack Obama didn't know how much he would oppose his future self.

MadisonMan said...

It's odd to read a column with very few facts, and a lot of speculation, and then read that the author strives for data-driven journalism.

What data is she using here?

richard mcenroe said...

If it's a convoluted scandal, it's probably manufactured. See: John Doe Investigation, Veto Indictment, Scooter Libby

richard mcenroe said...

I'm enormously more upset that Christie is not backing the NYS GOP gubernatorial candidate (Christie is the freaking heading of the Republican Governor's Association) than with anything he might have done with a traffic cone, up to and including a Thai hooker.

It's his damned job to support GOP candidates in that capacity.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Whack for my daddy-oh there's whiskey in the jar-oh. I am a bold deceiver.

richard mcenroe said...

"But then a party and a national press that gives Bill Clinton a pass for his creative use of a cigar knows all about innuendo."

They were all over the cigar, then and now.

But they BURIED the perjury for which he was convicted and impeached.

Hagar said...

I read somewhere (Plunknett?) that the last time an American lawyer was sanctioned for barratry and maintenance was in 1871 (or '73?). It was a long time ago I read that, but I bet it still holds good.

Drago said...

MadisonMan: "It's odd to read a column with very few facts, and a lot of speculation, and then read that the author strives for data-driven journalism.

What data is she using here?"

The database field right after "Last Name" and "First Name" is labeled "Party Affiliation" <"D" or "R">.

The "Party Affiliation" data is what she is using.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

barratry and maintenance

Thanks Hagar. I love learning new words, especially those originating in Middle English.

tim in vermont said...

You could start with your Ted Stevens tag.

tim in vermont said...

John Doe too.

garage mahal said...

Has there ever been a legitimate investigation into a Republican? I can't think of any aside from Nixon.

Krumhorn said...

Which Democrats, specifically?

Your kind of Democrat, Garage. It's the faceless shiny-pants'd wonder who works maybe half a day at a public employee union job and spends the other half at campaign headquarters. It's the kind who draws a check for a phony disability and community organizes all day. It's the kind who is elected district attorney and spends every waking hour figuring out how to abuse and misuse the prosecutorial power of the office. It the kind who gets an inside job at the Federal Election Commission, wrecks havoc there and then does the same at the IRS.

It's your kind of Democrat for whom the working principle is that the ends always justifies the means because you feel oh-so strongly about your own righteousness and saintliness......and then can never understand why it is you keep getting the same awful results....assuming you even care.

- Krumhorn

Birkel said...

McCrum is a Democrat, "garage mahal".

I named one, as requested.
Any other questions, smart guy?

Krumhorn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Krumhorn said...

Has there ever been a legitimate investigation into a Republican? I can't think of any aside from Nixon.

Generally, you will have noticed that Republicans have the good grace to resign when they misbehave. In contrast, I recall the Gerry Studds story about the Dem librul who took an underage congressional page outside of the US so that he could bone the boy in the ass with his Studds poker. When the censure was read on the floor of the House, he turned his back on his fellow legislators.

He was reelected to the House 6 more times and was welcomed back with open arms. (In Barney Franks' case, it was open cheeks).

Republicans don't play that game.

- Krumhorn

Saint Croix said...

It's fascinating how one-party states (or counties) make people stupid. When you're not used to pushback, this is what happens

While details of Lehmberg's arrest are well-known in Travis County, over the weekend Perry reminded people across the country why he vetoed money to the state's Public Integrity Unit. Perry wanted Lehmberg to step down after she pleaded guilty to DWI. Lehmberg stayed in office and the Governor kept his promise.

Now they are wailing about all the bad publicity their district attorney is getting.

He even pointed to a video of Lehmberg the night of her arrest

oh no!

"She's done amazing work in that office, and it's really sad that this is going to be her legacy," said Travis County Democratic Party Chairwoman Jan Soifer.

"She has truly done her time, and she doesn't deserve to be drug through the mud again," she said.


Oh, poor baby!

The drunk idiot, when she sobered up, decided to file criminal charges against the governor of the state. This is a train wreck of bad press for your whole county. And yes, the videotape just puts a fun spectacle on youtube. You know, for the kids. But the real disgrace is what she does when she is sober!

Rockport Conservative said...

I'm from Texas so I've had that tag on my blog for a long, long time. A search showed I first used it in Nov 2010 with the conviction of Tom Delay and a link to the WaPo editorial on it. I find it interesting they thought it was a legal stretch in the same way they think of the Perry indictment.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/28/AR2010112804066.html

Saint Croix said...

oops, wrong thread, my bad

garage mahal said...

Your kind of Democrat, Garage.

Okay. Names?

garage mahal said...

I named one, as requested.

McCrum is a Democrat?

tim in vermont said...

The IRS investigation is a partisan witch hunt, but this one is Simon-pure desire for good government because Benghazi!

tim in vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

I just saw a CNN ticker that said "Rick Perry indicted" and talked about him being fingerprinted this afternoon.

This is obscene. It's willful underreporting of information, done intentionally to smear a Republican governor. You know and I know and everybody who is paying attention knows this is a farce.

But people who are not paying attention have no idea. They just know Rick Perry was indicted for a crime. They think it's serious, because CNN is taking it seriously. Which makes CNN a farce.

Every Republican who talks about this should say "drunk DA" and say it repeatedly until it becomes a household word. CNN can pretend it's doing journalism, but this is a lie of omission, and they know it.

tim in vermont said...

"But people who are not paying attention have no idea. They just know Rick Perry was indicted for a crime. They think it's serious, because CNN is taking it seriously. Which makes CNN a farce."

The real money in running a news operation is in doing favors for the powerful. That is why nobody but Fox cares about ratings, really. They all know how to get ratings, just not how to do it and still make their cronies in the Democrat Party happy and themselves rich.

Saint Croix said...

Here is CNN. They lead with indictment and Rick Perry, and then buried in the 14th paragraph, the drunk D.A.

Shameful.

And note her conviction for drunk driving has been demoted to an "arrest" for drunk driving. And "She stayed in office" as if that's a badge of honor.

I can only hope drunk Republicans decide to prosecute CNN reporters on the basis of whatever.

"Today Ralph Ellis, CNN reporter, was indicted on two felonies."

"Today the alleged felon, Ralph Ellis, CNN reporter, was arrested and fingerprinted. He is currently out on bail. We are now publishing his mug shot. He could spend up to 99 years in prison."

"Today Ralph Ellis, CNN reporter, was freed from jail as he was acquitted on two felony counts. He is currently unemployed and has little hope of finding work."

Dan Hossley said...

The Travis County indictment of Governor Rick Perry is a scandal only in the sense that malicious prosecution is illegal or immoral.

The allegations that he did anything wrong as adolescent.

Dan Hossley said...

The Travis County indictment of Governor Rick Perry is a scandal only in the sense that malicious prosecution is illegal or immoral.

The allegations that he did anything wrong are adolescent.

ken in sc said...

NPR on Sat morning didn't even mention the DA's DWI--they did a day later. They only mentioned Perry's felony indictment at first. They sounded really happy about it.

Gerry Daly said...

"...have opponents who would like to drag them down by making accusations that will wreck the governor's momentum whether there are any real crimes in that convoluted, unsexy mess or not."

We call these opponents, "Democrats."

And they thrive on the votes of those who think the parties are equally dirty.

jkmack said...

Democrats

Steve Mostyn
Matt Angle
or how about the democrat that sat on the grand jury and voted to indict Rho Chalmers.

as well as Good ole George Soros.

https://tinyurl.com/ojces9x

Lee Reynolds said...

She mentions the Criminalization of politics, which is precisely what precipitated the unraveling of the Roman Republic.

Civil society will not long endure when running for office means your political opponents will manipulate the criminal legal system to indict you for non-crimes. When losing an election carries criminal penalties, you can kiss your nation goodbye.

LBJay said...

Whitewater? Phfft nothing to see here ... move along...

Scott Anderson said...

The news media no longer reports facts, and no longer reports to the public. Not even the rabidly partisan shit-flingers. Their audience is one another, as are their sources.

This is why inconceivable incongruity such as this gets tossed out without a thought. This is not "news reporting." This is tribal smoke signals from one fifth columnist to the other and back again. This is masturbatoey performance art stretched between ad holes by assholes.

This isn't even really editorializing anymore. Editorials are about real events. They're constructing the rain dance and then going out to find the stories which ape the script.

No wonder the institutional left can control the narrative. There is no longer any requirement that the narrative sync up with reality. None at all.

I'd feel less violated if I got all my news from television wrestling. Wrestling had to stop pretending it's real.

Brian G. said...

It doesn't matter what the criminal Rick Perry was indicted for. The fact is he deserves to be indicted for his crimes against women, children, minorities, and gays for over a decade. Perry has impeded access to pro-choice health centers and has harmed countless women as a result. That's why Wendy Travis is surging in the polls and will beat that no-good Republican cripple in the election.

Unknown said...

----But those opponents will remain unnamed. Wonder why?

Hey, weren't there going to be some big explosive revelations in Walker's John Doe 2,3,4,5,6… emails? Have you read them all yet, precious? Why aren't you filling us in on the dirt?

Unknown said...

-----Which Democrats sea garage..

http://nypost.com/2014/07/28/scandal-hobbles-cuomo-chances-of-running-for-president/

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/lara-brown/2014/05/01/illinois-gov-pat-quinns-corruption-scandal-will-hurt-democrats

http://www.allenskillicorn.com/3225/subpoenas-issued-7-democrat-staffers-il-gov-pat-quinns-now-defunct-neighborhood-crime-prevention-scam/