Friday, January 27, 2006

The Blogs Are Alive With the Sound of Democrats

All that’s missing is Julie-Andrews, floating through fields of wildflowers, wearing a sash across her pretty bosom declaring Democratic purity.


Doing the Google Blog Search on ‘Jack Abramoff’ earlier in the week (before the Abramoff-Bush photos hit the news), I got the weirdest conglomeration of liberal-blogs-in-denial that the imagination could possibly create. Page one samples:


  • Native American tribes tend to support Democratic causes so it should not surprise anyone that they donated to Democrats. But these donations are not part of the scandal.

  • At a time when his party and some in the press are still trying to argue that the Jack Abramoff scandal is a bipartisan affair, Rep. John Doolittle -- a California Republican said to be under investigation in the case -- says he always ...

  • Whenever anyone, whether it’s seedy, unethical Republicans or their various media bobbleheads, try to pass off the Abramoff Scandal as a “bi-partisan scandal,” they are lying. This is a Republican scandal, and ONLY a Republican scandal. ...

I really thought the Deborah Howell (Washington Post Ombudsman) critical firebombing of their web site was absurd, but it seems the Dems actually think their minority legislators in the Congress have clean hands.


They are merely un-equal-opportunity co-conspirators in this mess and their having been elbowed aside from the lobbyist money trough is in no way an indication of ethical superiority. A case in point is Montana’s two Senators, one a Democrat, the other Republican. Conrad Burns (Rep) turned back $150,000 that came (directly or indirectly) from Abramoff. Max Baucus (Dem) gave back $18,892, that included $1,892 that he’d sorta forgotten to report for use of Jack’s skybox.


SenconradburnsSenmaxbaucusThis tale of two senators says far more about access than it does integrity. Burns was in and Baucus out, when it came to access. One of the major aspects of the scandal is that Republicans had tied up access to money because they had control of both houses of congress and that allowed them to do it. They could deliver the vote. Democrats had a hard enough time even getting behind the closed doors, as Republicans divvied up the spoils and crafted the legislation accordingly.


But not being invited to the bank doesn’t mean you’re not a robber.


And so that portion of the blogosphere inhabited by the truly naïve, or that portion of the country that is so incensed by George Bush that they are blinded, has gone entirely nuts. In that context, the debacle that sent the Washington Post a-running from their ombudsman is entirely understandable, even if it's not very courageous newspapering.


The country is flinchy. It has a great deal from which to flinch. But snap-judgment, based upon party politics and a certain amount of rage at the direction of the country, is hardly a firm place from which to declare the moral high ground.
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