It appears that the Republican Party and the conservative chattering classes are determined to identify Barack Obama with every famous conservative disaster of recent history. BP's Gulf Oil spill, we are told incessantly, is "Obama's Katrina," presumably because of the common geographic location, and now we hear that the silly, contrived "scandal" over alleged job offers to Democratic primary candidates will be "Obama's Watergate." What's next: Obama's Iraq? Obama's U.S. Attorney Scandal? Obama's Plamegate? Obama's Illegitimate Election? (Oh, sorry, I forgot, Republicans have already used that one!).
In any event, the "Watergate" analogy is insane, unless maybe you are too young or too poorly read to remember what Watergate entailed. As Joe Conason explains at Salon:
"Watergate" was the place where the president's henchmen staged a "third-rate burglary" of the Democratic National Committee headquarters on a June night in 1972, but its historical definition is the vast gangsterism of the Nixon regime. Watergate involved no political job offers, but a series of burglaries, warrantless domestic wiretaps, illegal spying, campaign dirty tricks, and assorted acts of thuggery by a group of goons whose leaders included G. Gordon Liddy and the late E. Howard Hunt. Watergate meant a coverup of those felonies with more felonies, set up by lawyers and bureaucrats who collected cash payoffs from major corporations and then handed out hush money and secret campaign slush funds. Watergate implicated dozens of perps, from Hunt and Liddy all the way up to the president, his palace guard, and his crooked minions at the highest levels of the Justice Department, the FBI and the CIA.
The allegations against the White House today involve alleged discussions of administration jobs for Democrats running in two Democratic primaries, who turned them down without consequences. Does that sound like Watergate in any way, shape or form?
But that even assumes there was anything wrong with the discussions, other than their political clumsiness. Yes, one defense is that the same thing has been done by federal, state and local executives from time immemorial, but even that concedes too much to the critics. The federal statute being invoked by conservatives in this situation makes it a crime to offer a job in exchange for "a political act." But in this case, "the political act" is simply taking the job. If that's illegal, then it's illegal to offer appointments to anyone who is or might be running for office.
4. This misses the entire point of the OP, which is:
"The administration has a lot to deal with, but one thing it cannot focus on is the 24/7 baseless media reports. If there was a department focused on addressing bogus media reports, it would like be accused of censorship or propaganda.
So a lot of what the media pundits spit out becomes de facto reality. Of course, "Obama's Watergate" doesn't qualify because it's beyond silly."
6. "cannot- proactively shape the dynamics" Not the point.
Edited on Sat Jun-05-10 02:42 AM by ProSense
The administration cannot address the media's insistence on sticking to their talking points. It's not like they don't have the facts. They choose to make these analogies and pass them off as critical analysis. Saying that they are creating their own reality, doesn't mean they're being effective.
Also, "media regulation," to address talking points?
May 11, 2010 Oil spill science: The jellyfish graveyard
...Here at MC118 we found much more of the dispersed oil and occasional clumps of thick, gooey, intact oil. Beyond that the most striking thing is the presence of countless small dead jellyfishes known as by-the-wind sailors, or Velella vellela, and known to be susceptible to oil. Normally these animals, about the size of two fingers together, are blue and float on the surface with a triangular sail rising above the water t. But those we see here are transparent and floating upside down, many stained with oil.
After finishing here late tonight, we'll move nearby to drop a device called the high-frequency acoustic recording package, or HARP, to the seafloor, about 1600metres below. There it will sit and record marine mammal sounds in the region before retrieval by other researchers a few months from now....
8. Given the examples in the OP, let's look at some of the media/RW talking points
Obama's birth certificate. Obama is a Muslim. Obama was born in Kenya.
Yes all of that creeps into the media, albeit mostly via Fox. What should his response be?
No the response isn't the point.
The point is, as stated in the OP: The administration has a lot to deal with, but one thing it cannot focus on is the 24/7 baseless media reports. If there was a department focused on addressing bogus media reports, it would like be accused of censorship or propaganda.
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