The Attorneys: How a “Scandal” Can Become a Scandal

I’ve already asked, “How is Firing Government Attorneys a ‘Scandal’?” Well, it ain’t. I agree with Andrew McCarthy:

The politicians on Capitol Hill theatrically castigate the politicians in the administration for making political decisions about political appointees based on political considerations. The politicians in the administration reply, “That would never happen,” before conceding that it precisely happened … without their knowledge, of course. And the political press is aghast.

Thus, was the “scandal” born. But, thanks to the by-now expected political ineptitude of the Bush Administration, the “scandal” has been turned into a scandal. To boil it down:
1) The Administration had every right to fire those attorneys, no matter what. Even if it looked vindictive and partisan, that’s politics.
2) The Administration tried to say that they were being high-minded. But instead of simply stating that these attorneys “serve at the pleasure of the President,” there was some effort to denigrate the performance of those fired. Stupid. As McCarthy said on Boston’s Michael Graham show (to paraphrase), these are highly motivated lawyers, wouldn’t you think they’d fight back?
3) Which brings me back to the title of the first post. The only controversy is in the way that the Administration has failed miserably to deal with this.
The Democrats and press alleged scandal over the initial act. In my opinion, there was no scandal. No matter who brought it up–the White House or the AG–or why or whatever. It was politics. It ain’t purty, but it’s still legal. But now, instead of just playing it straight and/or being surprised that the Democrats and the press would take them to task for just about anything they do, the Bush Administration was caught off guard. Now hearings are in the offing and the made-up “scandal” has become one in actuality. Nice job.
ADDENDUM:: Incidentally, to some of the commenters to the last post: you see how–as a story changes and more information comes out–a position can also change? (Even if it that change may be a bit too nuanced for some.) I’m the first to admit that I have politically and ideologically based biases. But once initially formed, they aren’t static and locked in for all time. How about you?

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klaus
klaus
14 years ago

OK, so it’s legal. Then why did they feel they had to lie about it? Repeatedly?
A fake scandal is when the media reports (erroneously) that air traffic at LAX was held up because the Pres was getting a $200 haircut.
And that one got way more coverage than this has. As of the middle of this past week, neither ABC nor NBC news had reported on this.
You are correct that, in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a big deal. The big deal is that it fits into a pattern very characteristic of this Admin: warp the policy for maximal political gain, then lie about it.
The difference is that now that the pattern has been very, very well demonstrated, they can’t get away with it the way they could in 2002/3/4.
The so-called liberal media is lazy. It has a pack mentality. They wait for a brave soul to take a chance, see which way the wind is blowing, then pile on.
And I am more than willing to change opinions, once I see real, hard, definitive evidence supporting the need to change.

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