In general, I'm going to try to avoid covering either the latest tempest in a teapot being pushed by the news networks, or the more substantive complaints like this:
So it turns out that there is a "culture of ethical failure" in the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service. The Inspector General's reports "portray a dysfunctional organization that has been riddled with conflicts of interest, unprofessional behavior and a free-for-all atmosphere for much of the Bush administration's watch." It's all there: sex, drugs, cash--just the sort of thing that makes a good scandal. Wow--just the sort of thing that would have called for vigorous Senate oversight during this time. If, say, the chair of one of the committees with jurisdiction over all this didn't uncover it, then you might say that such a person would be unfit for national office. You certainly wouldn't call him a candidate for change. If he was also getting millions from energy companies, you might suspect that any claim to be a change candidate might stink like fish in a newspaper--or even look like lipstick on a pig. And who was the chair of the Senate Commerce Committee during most of this time, which has jurisdiction over (among other things) pipelines, interstate commerce, and coastal zone management? You peeked, didn't you? PS Commerce obviously isn't the only committee with jurisdiction, but the MMS sells oil and gas on the open market. That's an interstate commerce issue if there ever was one. And last I checked, oil goes through pipelines.
If you're in office for long enough, it is a mathematical certainty that some scandal will occur in an institution that you are at least partially responsible for. I frankly cannot believe that the people pushing these sorts of stories care about them, or that they would experience the slightest worry about them had Barack Obama been chairing Commerce. Conversely, if McCain had referred to Hillary's health care plan as attempting to put lipstick on a pig, I doubt any Republicans would feel a twinge of outrage. The hysterical flinging of everything to hand in the hope that it will stick is, to be sure, a staple of politics. But I don't need to be the conduit for it.
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