The excrement leaking from corrupt government may soon hit the fan

[Italicized text corrects a misstatement in my original publication, which implied that the Obama team planned the paint balls.]

Peter Ferrera has speculated that Obama may be forced to resign before the end of his term.  My email group rolled the idea around a little bit and then decided that it wasn’t likely.  News today, however, makes it more likely that Obama will be embroiled in a scandal that, in terms of ripeness, melds the Teapot Dome and the Iran-Contra affair.  The rot might seep beyond the tight lock the media has on the dissemination of really bad information (as opposed to their willingness to let their pique show at being ignored), and be sufficiently bad to outrage the public, drive in a Republican Congress, and open the investigation.

The Teapot Dome part is that yet another Democratic Congressman (this one from Colorado) has come forward to say that he was offered prestigious jobs in the administration in exchange for dropping out of the race:

The Obama administration dangled the possibility of a government job for former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff last year in hopes he would forgo a challenge to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, officials said Wednesday, just days after the White House admitted orchestrating a job offer in the Pennsylvania Senate race.

These officials declined to specify the job that was floated or the name of the administration official who approached Romanoff, and said no formal offer was ever made. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not cleared to discuss private conversations.

“Mr. Romanoff was recommended to the White House from Democrats in Colorado for a position in the administration,” White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton said. “There were some initial conversations with him but no job was ever offered.”

The new revelation of a possible political trade again called into question President Barack Obama’s repeated promises to run an open government that was above back room deals.

You’ll notice that, in the last sentence I quoted, the AP coyly makes this sound as if it’s just an image issue, a backroom deal at odds with Obama’s long-ago broken promise of transparency. In fact, these allegations, if true, are major — and felonious — violations of federal law.  The end result that can that people close to Obama, or even Obama himself, take a nice vacation in Club Fed.  (And, just to get you sitting on the edge of your chair, I have it on very good authority that more stories such as this one are probably going to be breaking this summer.)

The Iran-Contra part of the coming scandals involves the fact that it looks as if the Obama administration was somehow connected to the flotilla fiasco.  Bruce Kesler raises the possibility that the insane paintball gun strategy that the Israeli commandos used as they boarded the ships resulted in part from pressure from the Obama administration.  Combine that with the fact that Obama’s buddies, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, helped organize this “terrorist on the sea” cruise, and, as Ricky Ricardo would say, Obama has some ‘splaining to do.

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  • Oldflyer

    I remarked to my wife yesterday that it would not be surprising if Obama did not run in ’12.  It is probably an unlikely scenario, but one that could develop if the GOP does gain control of the House and a strong position in the Senate this year.  I just don’t believe that being President is as much fun as Obama expected.  If he is agenda to change the country in his image is blocked, it could be the last straw.  Much like some of the old time Congressmen who bail when they have to give up their Chairmanships. (Of course giving up AF1,  all of the lackeys at his beck and call, along with the other perqs is no small matter.  Michelle would not like it.)
    I can dream can’t I?  Still, I know  the manner of his departure will be important.  He is already a divisive figure, but nothing on the scale we could see if a sizable minority thought he was pushed out unfairly.  (Am I talking in code here?)

  • suek

    “In fact, these allegations, if true, are major — and felonious — violations of federal law. ”
    You know…I just don’t see this.  Yes…I know…something of value in exchange for a position.  But it really depends on how it’s offered.  In this case, it appears to me that there might be a case, because when the candidate chose to run for office and didn’t win that position, the offer of a WH position was withdrawn – giving the definite idea that the job was a quid pro quo.  With Sestak, on the other hand, a position was offered – and they apparently _said_ “if you drop out of the race”…which again, makes it a quid pro quo.  But it doesn’t _have_ to be.  If – knowing A is running for office, they simply offer a desirable job, A can’t be in two places at once and they both know it.  He has to quit the run – but it doesn’t _have_ to be offered as an “if you drop out” – “A” simply is unable to take the position if he runs.  So…why would they offer it as an “if you drop out”?  That’s really stupid.  And is _everybody_ offered the job a felony because it could be considered a political favor??
    The other one that blows my mind is the “he didn’t break the law because everybody does it”.  Think about that one for a while!  If everybody does it, why is there a law against it?
    I find the mess really confusing.  I understand the illegality of “If you do this, I’ll give you that”, but preference is always given to those known to the person offering the job.  The only way to change that would be for someone completely outside the government to interview and hire.  Heh.  Wouldn’t that mess things up!   or they could draw names out of a hat…!
    I think this is going to be much ado about nothing – much as I’d like it to be his downfall.  I think the oil mess is going to taint him much more…

  • Danny Lemieux

    The other one that blows my mind is the “he didn’t break the law because everybody does it”.
    I believe that this line of argument will soon be known as the Gov. Blagojevich defense (the trial is about ready to start). Everything this administration does is just so transparent, if you are from Chicago.

  • gpc31

    If you think of politics as a game of mutual extortion, then it is significant that the rats, as in democrats, are jumping ship.


    A few random thoughts and  facts on the topic:
    The Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, which has been working for racial, social, and economic justice since 1967, is serving as fiscal sponsor for Viva Palestina USA. Your donation to Viva Palestina – IFCO is fully tax deductible under IFCO’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.”
    Viva is the ‘bad seed’ brain child of George Galloway. It speaks for itself.
    Hamas/Hezbollah are designated terrorists organizations (so far) on America’s list and as far as I know on the UK’s as well.
    I wrote our dear leader last year in May and asked: How does this organization (ugh) enjoy tax exempt status since they fund and fuel terrorists who seek to destroy a sovereign nation who is an ally of America and as a result we are aiding and abetting Hamas.
    Home base for the fund raising is America is where …  Chicago, of course.
    I am still waiting for an answer to my email.
    While I wait for an answer that will never come and while I wait for gov’t to withdraw the 501(c) maybe a foreign national will offer the ‘foreign’ president something to do somewhere else, other than here.

  • jj

    Sue, it doesn’t depend on how it’s offered, it only matters (in law) that it was offered.
    I agree, though, that it’ll go nowhere.  The press would have to be all over it, and they aren’t – and won’t be.  Nixon did virtually nothing – and they had virtually nothing on him: what would have been the first count in an impeachment – obstruction – was the whole case.  The second count was “lying to the American people.” And that was it: two counts.  But the press was on it, so he had to go.  Clinton, on the other hand, obstructed justice, likely suborned perjury, lied to congress (I know, I don’t much see it as a crime, either – the bastards have been lying to all of us only forever, but there it is), collected bribes, and most certainly and memorably lied to the American people – but the press didn’t care.  And, if anybody had looked at Clinton in too unfriendly a manner, then that horse’s ass Gephardt would have led the democrats out of congress.  (Which, you may recall, he did more than once.  I wrote to him and pointed out that I had no problem with the democrats walking out of congress, my issue was that he – and the rest of them – kept walking back.)  The point is, Clinton was at least four times as guilty as Nixon, but the press didn’t care, so nothing happened to Clinton.
    I don’t know what makes Peter Ferrera- or anybody else – think this is likely to be any different.  It’s a crime, of course, and even Bill O’Reilly’s fairly large megaphone has said so – but it needs to be in the newspapers, and on the networks before it gets any traction.  It never will be.  The press will mention it, and forget it.  They won’t pursue it, and without that there’s nothing.  And yes, it is perfectly true: republicans, presidents or otherwise, are expected to obey the law.  Democrats are not.  Lying to the American people is only an impeachable offense if you’re a republican, not if you’re a democrat.  This simple fact cannot possibly be a surprise to any of the adults in the room.
    On matters illegal, I have to admit -with great guilt – I kind of enjoy Rod Blagojevich.  He has a raffish, whacky, Snidely Whiplash villainous attitude about him that’s somehow oddly refreshing.  (And is much easier to live with than the usual attitude from the rest of those sour, crooked Chicago bastards – who are obvious criminals.)  I used to be quite sure that Patty Murray was the leading moron in public service (my God – that woman’s dumb!), but then when Blago went to work on Harry Reid and demonstrated for all the world to see what a dope he is…  I got a lot of innocent pleasure out of it.  Really enjoyed watching Blago take Reid’s pants down and spank him for the moron that he is – and do it with his own rule-book, yet!  A lot of fun.  And I’m not sure about putting him on trial for corruption, either.  It smacks of putting him on trial for being from Chicago.  If he’s guilty of corruption, then what the hell is Daley guilty of?  Jesse Jackass Jr.?  Our esteemed president?


    I am not the only one to have noted some facts.

  • Spartacus

    I’m having the same reaction on hearing about these please-don’t-run-gate scandals that I had when I first heard about Zippergate:  “Huh?  After all the damage he’s done to this country, and after five years of an extraordinary level of corruption, they’re calling this a big deal?”  True, in ordinary and decent times, adultery by someone supposedly exemplifying our values — not to mention improper use of pizza-bearing interns in the Oval Office (and Rush was offended by the abuse of fine cigars) — should be a big deal, but in the context of the times, to me, it almost failed to make the Weekly Top 10.  Similarly, bribing potential primary challengers would seem wrong in normal times, but these aren’t normal times, and in many ways, this seems to blend into the continuum of back-scratching which we call DC.  The problem with making a formal to-do about it all is that there is a danger in bogging down.
    Consider: Fewer than 1% of the American people ever got tired of the Iraq War.  They didn’t get tired of waking up at 0430 to PMCS a Stryker and all associated weapons and equipment.  They didn’t get tired of 16-hour days in 130-degree heat while wearing full body armor and battle rattle.  They didn’t get tired of the constant fear that any rooftop might contain a sniper, any parked roadside vehicle might contain a VBED, and any culvert under the road might be packed with high explosives.  They didn’t get tired of seeing friends blown up, shot up, and burned up.  They didn’t get tired of the biting flies or the constant stench of country with underdeveloped sewer systems.  They didn’t get tired of the combination of standing in formation, standing in line, standing to, standing by and standing around to the point of hardly being able to stand it.  They didn’t get tired of going for an entire year without family; creature comforts of home; any semblance of privacy; or the feeling of ever being “off duty.”  The American people didn’t get tired of the war; they got tired of hearing the negative spin on it from the legacy media.
    Between Zippergate and Iraq, we can see a common denominator:  the issue was in contention in the center of the public arena for long enough that the MSM was able to leverage its natural advantages and exhaust the public patience with those prosecuting the issue.  If it’s a quiet little investigation that the MSM doesn’t deign to cover, that may be the best case:  if it goes nowhere and nothing sticks, nothing is lost; on the off-chance that felonies are made to stick, then similar to the previously-ignored Van Jones affair when he resigned, the MSM will have to go back and cover it.
    If it doesn’t affect the typical voter in his wallet, or is not completely outrageous on its face to a swing voter, it seems it is usually better to hit and run than to be drawn into a protracted general action.
    I agree with suek and jj that it will likely go nowhere, but it’s important to keep collecting “rocks in the box” as a geologist would say; there may yet be a chance to pull the republic out of its nosedive through normal elections, so we should at least try.

  • Mike Devx

    I’m in agreement with Spartacus on this one.  Keep the investigation(s) going, but quietly.  I think this way, because the issue revolves around Democrat primaries, which makes it insider baseball.  Illegal, yes, but impeachable, almost definitely not.  Much like Clinton lying under oath – in his case to hide tawdry extra-marital sex details – it should be enough to get Obama disbarred as part of a plea bargain. I don’t think it’s enough to force impeachment or resignation.
    Republican Nixon’s henchmen didn’t spy on other Republicans – he went after Democrats, and *that* is not insider political baseball.   It shouldn’t matter, of course, because the law is the law, but it does.  Your average voters aren’t going to see this as worthy of impeachment.  But they will see it as worthy of punishment of some sort, because they do respect the law, so by all means, keep the investigations going.

  • Libby

    Sorry, I just don’t see Obama resigning – his single-minded pursuit of HCR passed shows us how determined he can be. However, given his history of job hopping, it would not surprise me at all if he decides that one term is enough. Lord knows how many career opportunities will be available to him, whether he chooses to go international/ humanitarian like Clinton, or into business like Al Gore (just think how many companies will want him and Michelle on their board of directors).
    As to the Sestak/Romanoff scandal, he and/or members of his staff broke the law. It doesn’t matter if everyone does it, or it isn’t that bad compared to other crimes, we don’t get to enforce laws based on their popularity. And this attitude reminds me of the “it doesn’t count as perjury when you lie about an extra-marital affair” justification for Clinton. I hated that episode, but we can’t let popular presidents break the law just because we like them.  And the handling of Sestak and Romanoff are symptomatic of this administration’s thuggish tactics in other areas,  such as the threats to banks and health insurance company’s if they didn’t cooperate (“I’m the only one standing between you and the pitchforks.”).  I would bet that there are a lot more cases of this behavior, such as with Governor Patterson (didn’t the affair stories leak to the press right after he declined Obama’s request not to run?).  And I’m still wondering about Colorado governor Bill Ritter – out of the blue he announced that he would not run for reelection so that he could spend more time with his family. Was he convinced to make room for mayor Hickenlooper to take his place?

  • garyp

    I agree that this issue will never gain any traction because the media will downplay these crimes, and any further revelations.
    The news media (at least the MSM) is clearly in the pocket of the current administration and will twist all events to Obama’s advantage.
    Without a steady drumbeat of criticism and a constant stream of new allegations, it will be impossible to awaken the American people to the crimes of  the administration and put pressure on other politicians to investigate and force prosecution.
    I suppose it is naive to think that journalists were ever uninterested purveyors of the “truth” but at least in the past there was enough variabilty of outlook to ensure some serious attention was paid to “high crimes,” regardless of which political party was involved.
    Today, the mass media is a virtual monolith of liberalism, with the single exception of Fox (note the threats, intimidation, and attempts to shut Fox out of access to information).  “News” is what the MSM deigns to share with us.  The MSM response to the ACORN tapes is clear proof of their bias and refusal to dissiminate information unfavorable to the Obami.
    Talk radio and internet are effective means of spreading information to people willing to seek it out, but are relatively ineffective at arousing public ire, as the “great unwashed” are not listening.  However, talk radio, internet reporting and Fox are the only tools available to combat the disinformation pushed by the MSM, and all are valuable.   Because of this, all are feared by the totalitarians, and under attack from this administration (efforts such as “local” input for license renewal for radio stations and the “net neutrality” are directed at silencing talk radio and the internet, respectively).  The intention is to muzzle sources of information not controlled by the government.
    The effectiveness of propaganda on the bulk of the population is seen in the Soviet experience were, while the educated knew that the picture of the free world painted by Pravda et al was false, most of the population actually believed that Soviet living standards were higher than US living standards for the working class until the final years of the evil empire.
    In short, expect little but obfuscation and misdirection from the administration on this subject (seen a Robert Gibbs interview lately?), only token efforts by the MSM to probe further, and no attempt (by the MSM) to hold the Obami accountable.
    America is in a fight for its existence, expect no help from mainstream journalists.