Sunday, December 28, 2008

Beating a Dead Horse

The Rod Blagojevich scandal is continuing to drag on with no end in sight. He US Attorney Fitzpatrick is refusing to release the wiretapped conversations of Blagojevich, which are the backbone of the case against the Governor. Therefore any planned impeachment hearings against him are basically stalled because they don't have the primary evidence needed to remove him from office. The Obama camp has released their internal investigation which shows that at least two of members of the President-elect's staff had contact with Blagojevich. The nature of these contacts is basically what is being questioned by the more desperate elements of the Republican Party and the press. Fitzpatrick has already stated that nobody on the Obama team is under investigation and the facts that have been released to date seem to point to the fact that they never offered or seriously discussed any sort of payoff for the Governor for the Senate appointment. That doesn't seem to be enough for those who are hell bent on trying to stain the incoming President.

The internal Obama report said that his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel spoke with the Governor on two occasions. The Fitzpatrick report seems to suggest that they may have been a couple of more instances than that. That discrepancy should not scream COVER UP to any rational person, especially when the nature of the contact is not in dispute. However the Right Wing would have you believe that the discrepancy is evidence of a lack of transparency from the Obama team. The release date of the Obama team report was itself a cause of a great outcry because it was delayed at the request of the US Attorney's office. The press tried to make a story out of this along with the usual suspects on the Right.

All accounts of Blagojevich's contact with the Obama team confirm that no one was willing to offer him anything other than "appreciation" for the appointment. His recorded conversations include some profanity laced tirades in which he blows off Obama and his team because they are unwilling to offer him anything for the seat. This is clearly a national story because it involves corruption at a high level and it impacts the Senate seat from Illinois, however this story is not about Barack Obama. The press and the far right continue to try to play the guilt by association game (which worked so well for them during the campaign) but there is literally nothing there.

I have even heard the ridiculous claim that if somehow Obama had been more forthcoming initially, this would no longer be a story. First of all, Obama delayed the release of his report at the request of the US Attorney and secondly that is just a bunch of nonsense. The Obama name is like gold for a news starved press and there is no doubt that regardless of the speed of his response, there would continue to be "questions" raised in order to maintain the appearance of a scandal. If this is the level of nonsense that we can look forward to in the coverage of the President-elect, then we are in for a long four years indeed.

1 comment:

Jack Jodell said...

SJ, your logic is flawless and all this outrage from our right-wing fools is insane. They have justifiably just had their asses kicked really hard in the last election, and they're looking for anything they can to throw at the Democrats and Obama. As I have said many times, these hardcore GOP conservatives are bitter, mean-spirited, and paranoid people. Thsnkfully, 80% or so of the public view Obama's transition in a very favorable light. So this latest barrage of right-wing bs will fall far short of its intended outcome. These people won't get it until they're finally all voted out of office---they're just too prejudiced and dumb! If they were REALLY concerned about corruption in government, they would have screamed about Cheney's and Bush's shenanigans long ago!