Sunday, December 14, 2008

Not the Christmas Present You Expected

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I suppose, after the deranged behavior of some so-called "conservatives" during the Clinton presidency, it should come as no surprise that there is already a large cohort of wingnuts whose burning hatred for President-Elect Barack Obama makes the rage-zombies from the movie "28 Days" look like a bunch of mildly vexed Sunday school teachers.

It must have seemed like an early Christmas present to them when Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich got arrested for trying to sell Obama's now-vacant Senate seat.

Unfortunately, when you look at the facts alleged in U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's indictment of Blagojevich, that "Christmas present" seems a lot more like the cheap polyester socks you found under the tree when you thought you were getting a new bike.

Not that this is any defense of Blagojevich. The guy was not only a corrupt sleazeball, but a particularly brazen one. He let it be known far and wide that the Senate seat (which, as governor, he was empowered to fill) was up to the highest bidder, and if he didn't like what was being offered, he'd just appoint himself.

He did everything but put the seat up on eBay.

He also tried to tie state aid to the embattled (and now bankrupt) Tribune Company to the firing of Chicago Tribune editors who had criticized him.

But tying Barack Obama to Blagojevich's corrupt ways is going to take a lot of s stretching, even by the relaxed standards of truth and nonexistent standards of logic currently in place in the Republican Party.

When the president-elect comes up in the allegations, it's in the context of Blagojevich either speculating about how he may try to leverage a Cabinet post or ambassadorship out of the new administration, or cursing them bitterly for refusing to play ball.

To quote the affidavit that's attached to the indictment: "Rod Blagojevich said he knows that the president-elect wants Senate Candidate 1 for the Senate seat but 'they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Bad word] them.'" Fitzgerald noted in his inevitable press conference touting Blagojevich's arrest that "We make no allegations that he (Obama) was aware of anything."

Let's sum up: There's no evidence that President-Elect Barack Obama was in any way involved in Blagojevich's schemes or even knew of them. Blagojevich even calls President-Elect Barack Obama and his staff rude names because they won't play along or offer him "anything but appreciation" for appointing President-Elect Barack Obama's favorite candidate. President-Elect Barack Obama has now called for Blagojevich to step down.

Clearly this is a huge blot on the reputation of the president-elect. How can he possibly govern now?

(And yes, I know I used "President-Elect Barack Obama" a lot in that last paragraph. While the frequent repetition of that phrase may seem a bit clumsy, prose-wise, I'm just tickled by the thought of wingnut heads exploding whenever they read those words. But I'll quit now.)

But, you say, this just shows that Obama is tainted by the corrupt political environment of Chicago. After all, when you swim in waters this polluted, certainly some of that pollution sticks to you.

Oh, really? Seems to me that two of the GOP's "rising stars," Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, preside over states with a fair amount of political corruption. Louisiana is as legendary for political corruption as Chicago ever was, and recent revelations out of the previously little-known corridors of Alaska government have led some pundits to christen it "the Louisiana of the Arctic."

If we can assume that some high-profile politician being dirty in a state taints all other high profile politicians in that state, then the indictment and conviction of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens and Louisiana Sen. David Vitter's recent hooker-related scandal ought to doom the political futures of Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal.

Funny, isn't it, how the GOP gets all indignant when you bring that up.

It's like I've said before: The Republicans may have thrown down and danced upon every principle for which they once claimed to stand, but they are rock-solid on one core belief: Everything's OK if you're a Republican.

Oh, I'm sure the Republicans will attempt to spin this as an "Obama scandal." They've already started, judging from RNC press releases. It's just like when they tried during the campaign to make Obama out as a terrorist because he was on a committee with a washed-up Sixties radical.

To the Republican spin doctors, guilt by osmosis is an article of faith. You can be tainted by being in the same room with an unsavory character, whether or not there's any evidence you even knew the guy was a scoundrel. Unless, of course, you're a Republican.

Well, we all saw how well that trick worked.

Someday, maybe, the Republicans will actually come forward with some reasons to like them, rather than tying themselves in knots trying to find reasons to hate
and fear the other guys.


Anonymous said...

I didn't know this was a Republican hate site, so please disregard any comments I made in your previous posting. Even being a Democrat, I'm an American first and an onslaught barrage of hate against fellow Americans is shameful. We will not better this country with an ideology that institutes hate.

J.D. Kilpatrick

Anonymous said...

The Republicans are being dishonest, and Dusty calls them on it. "Hate" doesn't enter into it.

JD Rhoades said...

I didn't know this was a Republican hate site,

Oh, please. Listen, my friend, after years of being branded as a traitor and a terrorist sympathizer for failing to kowtow to the Dear Leader, I really don't have a lot of sympathy for your fake-Democrat concern trolling. If you didn't stand up then, you can sit right the hell down now.

so please disregard any comments I made in your previous posting.

Since you ducked the question I asked you in the previous posting, I'll be pretty much disregarding you for good.

So let me remind you of the question: should there also be investigations of Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin because officials in their states have been shown to be corrupt? Is Republican rising star Jindal a non-starter becuase "everyone knows" how corrupt Louisiana is?

Anonymous said...

Oh, but pointing out Republican dishonesty and hypocrisy is always hate and bashing when a Democrat does it! Funny how the reverse never seems to be true, and how protesting Republican hate tactics gets spun as "being a Republican hate site"... which is exactly the point Dusty made, well-illustrated by our first commenter.

Who I do not for one minute believe is actually a Democrat; Republicans have learned the crossover lie so well that they do it as naturally as breathing.

JD Rhoades said...

Who I do not for one minute believe is actually a Democrat; Republicans have learned the crossover lie so well that they do it as naturally as breathing.

Mr. Kilpatrick claims in his response to his previous posting that "he voted for Obama" yet chastises me for 'looking the other way" about the corrupt environment from which he came, an environment which, he implies, makes Obama corrupt as well. Ergo, Mr. K claims that he voted for a candidate he knew was corrupt. Does anyone really believe this? If so, I have some very nice beach front real estate to sell you....

Toni McGee Causey said...

You know, I really think it would be a smart move strategically as well as politically for Democrats to start isolating what they mean by "Republicans" when we're pissed off at the shenanigans -- not all Republicans are extremists, not all are right-wingers, and we'd be hella smart to remember that, because there's a huge middle group of moderates in this country who don't participate in the mud-slinging. [They voted Republican for whatever fiscal or moral reason and the vast majority of them do not like the man they voted for and do not think he did a good job. Nobody really likes to admit they made a mistake, especially if the other side keeps pointing out that they were 'stupid' about it.] They *do* hear themselves getting tarred with the same brush, and if someone's busy tarring you, you're gonna get defensive and you're not going to hear the very valid point.

Dusty, this is not an accusation toward you--this is just an issue I've been thinking about for months now. This is a search for a different term. Extremists. Right-wing extremists. Or something else that specifies the rabble rousers from the middle-class voters who are just trying to survive. And there *are* a lot of people out there who are hopeful toward Obama, both Republican and Democrats. Just because a few idiots in the RNC are trying their dead level best to manufacture an outrage doesn't mean we have to give it to them.

Let's remind people that the whole point of democracy is that you can get the facts and change your mind and no group is in control of that. That you don't have to go along with a party's mouthpiece if they don't have the facts.

As for Jindal, I've watched him in office since he was 23, and while not a perfect human being, he's pretty damned good and I'm not a Republican. He's got several important issues that I vehemently disagree with (the abortion issue being primary), but on the whole, I have not seen his religion pushed onto anyone else and I have seen him clean up some pretty corrupt stuff already.

It's kinda shocking to have a governor who's not corrupt or just business-as-usual. I think we ranked somewhere around #2 for a national survey of how reporters viewed which states were most corrupt. (sigh)

JD Rhoades said...

This is a search for a different term. Extremists. Right-wing extremists. Or something else that specifies the rabble rousers from the middle-class voters who are just trying to survive.

I still like "wingnuts."

It's time for those middle class, reasonable Republicans to stand up and take control of their party. I actually would like to see an opposition party that says "this is what I believe and why I think it will work" rather than one whose entire argument is based on fear, accusation, and innuendo, which is all they seem to have these days. The GOP has abandoned every principle they once stood for, and if the moderates and reasonable members of the party aren't part of the solution, they're part of the problem. I had actually hoped that, after the ass-kicking they got in November, the GOP moderates would finally realize that the extremists and the smear artists were leading their party to disaster and that they'd push the party to start acting like adults. Sadly, this hasn't happened, and we get crap like the RNC press releases desperately trying to link Obama and Blagojevich, aided by lying ratfuckers like this Kilpatrick fellow. (And before Mr. K gets the usual concern-trollish case of the vapors over the "dirty words and name-calling", it's an actual political term, coined by leaders of the Republican Party. See: )

I'm interested in your comments about Jindal...but the point I was trying to make (one which Mr. K and his ilk have steadfastly ignored) is that if Obama is presumably corrupt because Chicago politics is, why can the same thing not be said about Jindal? Answer? It can't, because neither accusation makes any sense.

Toni McGee Causey said...

Yeah, I totally agree that the moderates in the GOP have got to do something or they're going to lose their party and their voice. It's probably too early for a real takeover to happen, though I would not be surprised to see the tide change there over the next two year period, *particularly* if Obama succeeds.

I think it's a glacial change, but you're right--if they're not a part of the solution, they're a part of the problem.

Yeah, agreed on your point about the presumed corruption by association. Meant to mention that. But here, we just sort of assume everyone's corrupt. There used to be a bumper sticker about Edwards (form Gov still serving time) that said, "Sure, he's a crook. But he's *our* crook." As if the fact that he was of Cajun birth someone meant that he wasn't stealing from that group of people. Just all the "other" ones. It pissed me off to see it, because it was a popular sticker and it was the equivalent of saying, "sure he screws us, but at least he gives us cigarettes afterward." Geez. Anyway, everyone here is pretty much presumed crooked. It's actually more of a shock when they're not.

JD Rhoades said...

Wasn't there an election in Louisiana where one candidate was under indictment and the other one was David Duke? I seem to recall there were bumper stickers reading"Vote for the Crook. It's Important."

Fran said...

If the only voice attached to the Republican party is that of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, then that's what people believe the Republican party to be. If moderate Republicans are going to sit quietly and wait for someone else to make the necessary changes, then the Republican party's face is going to be one of hatred. That's just how it is.

And I'm not a Democrat either. Generally, I think crabgrass is more organized than the Democratic party, and certainly has a better spine and action plan.

Still, they're worlds ahead of where the Republican party stands right now.

The GOP (which has certainly lost any grandeur it once had) has let itself be led by extremists, generally right-wingnut religious ones, and if they're not willing to step up and clean up their own mess, then they're going to get called for wallowing in it.

That's not hatred. That's just being adult. You made your choices, now you have to suffer the consequences.

It's time for the Republican party to be run by adults. The bullies have had their turn, and it didn't work out well. But until moderate Republicans are willing to stand up to the bullies in their own party, they're going to be called the party of hate. Because that's the only aspect of them we see.

Toni McGee Causey said...

Wow, yeah, Dusty, I had forgotten that one. (I think that was probably selective amnesia at work. I was so horrified to be from this state.)

(Fran, you cracked me up with the crabgrass comment.)