Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Better Scandals, Please

When Karl Rove complains that the Obama White House is interfering in the political process by offering Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) a job rather than run against Arlen Specter, you know that you have sailed into the wonderful world of Unconscious Irony.

Karl Rove told Fox News last night that the job offer may have been illegal, because the law “prohibits a federal official from interfering — a government employee — with the nomination or election for office.” Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” openly speculated this morning — without a hint of humor — about whether the job offer may have been an “impeachable offense.”


Every White House for decades — even Ronaldus Magnus — intervened in key elections and used possible job opportunities when negotiating with candidates. Literally criminalizing politics is ridiculous, even by contemporary Republican standards.

But of particular interest is Karl Rove’s whining. If White House intervention in an election is illegal, Rove should prepare for a life sentence.

Aside from the point that this kind of dealing goes on all the time and not just in Washington politics but in every office and every business in the world — it’s called bargaining — the idea that this is some kind of scandal is so breathtakingly silly that the reason Mr. Sestak seemed taken aback by the grilling he got from David Gregory on Meet the Press last Sunday was because it is just that: silly.