MICHELLE MALKIN: THE SUMMER OF CORRUPTION
In Chicago politics, thereâ€™s an old term for the publicly subsidized pay-offs and positions meted out to the corruptocratsâ€™ friends and special interests: boodle.
In the age of Obama, Hope and Change is all about the boodle. So it was with the stimulus. And the massive national service expansion. And the health care bill. And theÂ financial reformÂ bill. And the blossoming job-trading scandals engulfing the White House.
Thereâ€™s always been an ageless, interdependent relationship between Windy City politicos and â€œgoo-goosâ€ (the cynical Chicago term for good government reformers). Chicago-style â€œreformâ€ has always entailed the redistribution of wealth and power under the guise of public service. And it has inevitably led to more corruption.
In March 2010, this column first took note of allegations by Democrats Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff that the White House had offered them jobs in exchange for dropping their respective bids against Obama-favored incumbent Sens. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania and Michael Bennet in Colorado. White House legal counsel Bob â€œThe Fixerâ€ Bauerâ€™s attempt to bury questions about the Sestak affair with a Memorial Day weekend document dump failed. So has the attempt to make Rahm Emanuel-enlisted former president Bill Clinton the sole scapegoat.
Bauerâ€™s memo mentions â€œeffortsâ€ (plural, not singular) to woo Sestak. But the White House refuses to divulge what offers besides Clintonâ€™s were extended to Sestak. Moreover, White House spokesmanÂ RobertÂ GibbsÂ has now denied that Team Obama was involved in the one Clinton offer that has been publicized â€” an unpaid appointment on an intelligence board for which Sestak was ineligible.
After months of silence, Romanoff finally stepped forward last week to acknowledge that theÂ White HouseÂ had dangled several positions before him, too. He released e-mails detailing not one, not two, but three different paid positions offered by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina â€” whose boss, Emanuel, was subpoenaed this week by impeached former Democratic Gov.Â Rod Blagojevich of Illinois to testify in his Senate pay-for-play corruption trial.
So, can I say â€œI told you soâ€ now?
In July 2009, when â€œCulture of Corruptionâ€ was first released, liberal critics scoffed:
How could you possibly write a 400-page book about Barack Obamaâ€™s rotten administration when heâ€™s only been in office six months?!
When I proceeded to rattle off case after case of Chicago-style back-scratching, transparency-trampling and crooked special interest-dealing in the new White House, liberal critics such as â€œThe Viewâ€™sâ€Â JoyÂ Behar interjected:
B-b-b-but what about Bush? Why donâ€™t you write a book about Bush? Wha-â€™bout-Bush? Wha-â€™bout-Bush? Wha-â€™bout-Bush?
When I pointed out that I had reported extensively on cronyism in the Bush era (see Harriet Miers, FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security), and when I further pointed out that while the Bush-bashing market overflowed, there remained a massive vacuum of critical analysis of Obama, liberal critics sputtered:
So what? Doesnâ€™t every administration have corruption?
When I patiently explained that no other administration in modern American history had set itself up as loftily as the Hope and Change reformers had done, or when I cited endless examples of Obamaâ€™s broken promises on everything from lobbyists to transparency to Washington business as usual, liberal critics changed the subject again:
RACIST FASCIST EVIL FOX NEWS RIGHT-WING HATE MONGER!
Two major job-trading scandals plus the start of the Blago trial this past week â€” on top of a yearâ€™s worth of uninhibited White House wheeling and dealing, broken transparency pledges, Justice Department stonewalling and brass knuckle-bullying of political opponents â€” have finally turned the once-derided thesis of my book â€œCulture of Corruptionâ€ into conventional wisdom.
Obama sold America a Chicago-tainted bill of goods. A nation of slow learners is finally figuring it out.
Michelle Malkin is the author of â€œCulture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Croniesâ€ (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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