Robin: Those I kill die from misusing the trust that Richard left with them. And the worst of these is Richard’s own brother.
King Richard (in disguise): Oh! Then you blame Prince John.
Robin: No, I blame Richard.
The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938
But I want to say one thing to the American people, I want you to listen to me, I’m going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss. Lewinsky. I never told anyone to lie, not a single time, ever. These allegations are false and I need to go back to work for the American People. Thank you!
President Bill Clinton
Yesterday on DaTechGuy on DaRadio during Da Magnificent Panel we were (surprise, surprise) discussing Chris Christie and the bridge business. The subject of the neverending press conference came up and the question became what this the right move. It created an incredible contrast to the president so much so that Media Matters literally argued that the GOP would use that contrast to attack the president, which by an odd coincidence is exactly what I had already advised them to do.
The consensus was that politically Christie did what he had to do. A strong denial and answering questions to the point where no member of the press could pretend he was ducking.
In the middle of the discussion a terrible thought occurred to me. What Christie did was clearly the right political move if he was wasn’t involved, but what if he was up to it to his neck?
What if Christie is just a self centered bastard who only wants to save his job and his possible prospects for a White House bid at all costs? If that was the case and his goal then politically, what is the right move?
I asked the question and the general agreement was the right political move was exactly what he did..
The move would be to do what he did, use the power of his office to delay any disclosure, insist he already answered all the questions (and point to the length of the press conference in his case to back it up) and count on any party officials who know otherwise to keep silent and aides to do so to on the theory that pols don’t hire people who sell them.
Now there was a time when such a brazen dishonorable calculation was extremely rare. James Curley for example used that calculation to keep Tip O’Neill quiet after stealing a party election from him. That silence paid off for Tip. It launched O’Neill rise in leadership first in Massachusetts, turning it blue and then in the House leading to his speakership.
But even in Curley’s case his actions (he arranged for the numbers in a party election to be transposed so O’Neills results were reported as Curley’s & vice versa) wasn’t public knowledge, O’Neill dropped the fight before it became public knowledge, Curley was never put in the position to lie directly to the general public over his acts.
Instead of grand denials those under suspicion tended to keep silent to see if the evidence would come out or a party leaders or big donors would approach the person privately and say something like:
“Listen you can’t take the party down with you, make your apologies, resign and at best we can slowly rehabilitate you and at worse will take care of you.”
Maybe that conversation would come at the start of the scandal if the party knew there was some there there, maybe it would come father down the road when it became clear that the press or investigator would find the truth or, maybe like with Nixon when the smoking guns proving direct lies to the people came out backers would approach him and say bluntly: Sorry we just can’t back you up anymore …
…then came Bill Clinton.
Bill Clinton for those too young used an impressionable young intern for sex in the white house abusing his position as president (what in the private sector would be considered sexual harassment). When it came out he lied directly to the American people, lied under oath in court and even lied to his advisers (if you believe his advisers that is). When Kenneth Starr was appointed to investigate his and his advisers obstructed the investigation at every turn the party energized activists to defend him (That where Move on.org came from) and you actually had the Newsweek blog (sorry I mean magazine, it wasn’t just online then) sitting on evidence that was eventually leaked to Drudge.
Yet when the Starr Report came out and the vote for impeachment was coming, while republican after republicans took the time to read the report and the evidence that was submitted to them but not the public at the time, not a single democrat in the house did the same. They didn’t want to know.
And when the impeachment vote came and went against him in the house ( coincidentally the president decided that was a perfect time to launch a missile strike on Iraq) Democrats en masse lined up behind Bill Clinton as Al Gore pronounced him “One of our greatest presidents” in a press event at the while house.
The party didn’t tell him to leave, the Democrats many still in congress didn’t reject him and he not only survived his trial in the Senate but is still celebrated by the left and the media to this day.
Remember this was the president. If sexual harassment in the White House lying to the American people’s face and doing the same under oath to a grand jury doesn’t disqualify you from the White House or the support of your party & activists why would any such behavior disqualify a person from any lesser office.
And people wonder why folks like Filner & Weiner figured they could get away with it and why the occupant of this White House doesn’t worry about the scandals from Benghazi to the IRS?
I don’t know if Chris Christie was directly involved in those lane closures in New Jersey. His decision to fire principles involved rather than like Nixon in Watergate becoming involved via a coverup would suggest otherwise.
But if he was involved, and got up and lied through is teeth to the American people and you wonder why he thought he could get away with it, you need to look no father than President Bill Clinton and all those who enabled him, including the American People.
Update: The video for those too young to remember:
It’s Sunday, a new week which is a good thing because the last two weeks have not been very successful.
Well that’s not entirely true, we’ve had fair traffic but not only have we failed to make goal to secure the mortgage and pay DaMagnificent Seven plus our new villager the first two weeks combined didn’t manage to come up to a single week’s goal
But we’re back again, with a $345 goal for the week to try and start to move the ball forward toward getting the mortgage and the writers paid this month.
Once we manage that then we’ll worry about catching up on the ground we’re behind.
Of course if we can get 58 1/4 more subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills will be paid every week and the problem will be solved on a more permanent basis.
What do you say?