December 14, 2008

The Blagosmear on Obama.



Does O deserve that? Once, new Presidents got a "honeymoon" -- even after they took office. But there's no honeymoon for Obama, who's been plagued all along by one bad friend after another.

(Video via Andrew Malcolm, via Instapundit.)

58 comments:

chickenlittle said...

But there's no honeymoon for Obama, who's been plagued all along by one bad friend after another.

President Bush warned Obama about having mani pulite. He didn't listen.

oldirishpig said...

No honeymoon for Obama?! They gave him one all through the election, for Christ's sake....

BJM said...

Plagued? Come on, Althouse.

Chicago was not inflicted on Obama. Although your imagery is spot on. Chicago/Illinois is indeed infested with flea-ridden political rats. It is the people of Illinois who suffer from this plague, not Obama.

Obama chose Chicago and a given set of acquaintances, power brokers and associates to serve his ends. We know he is not stupid or politically naive, therefore one can reasonably deduct that he turned a blind eye to the corrupt system in which he chose to make his political bones.

The media avoided investigating Obama's unsavory Chicago connections during the primaries when they could have been discussed and somewhat defused, thereby insuring an eventual scandal. It is indeed unfortunate for the legions of Obama's hopeful followers, and the nation at large, that the Chicago political sewer blew up before his inauguration.

However it is, in the end, of his doing by choosing this particular path to power.

Dennis said...

BJM said:
"It is the people of Illinois who suffer from this plague, not Obama."

Pah, I say, if I may quote MST3K for a moment!

The people of Illinois get the politicians they deserve. If they would stop supporting crooked politicians, rather than voting for them whilst clapping themselves on the back for being sophisticated enough to overlook their corruption, they might get a better class of public servants rather than these craven cretins like Blago.

Or Obama, I'm sure.

Trooper York said...

Ness: I want to get Capone! I don't know how to do it.
Malone: You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That's* the *Chicago* way! And that's how you get Capone. Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I'm offering you a deal. Do you want this deal?
(The Untouchables, 1986)

bearbee said...

He needs to stock up the White House bathroom medicine cabinet with lots of Grecian Formula.

While I'm not a fan of O the country is faced with too many problems for the new administration to be continually dogged by Illinois politics.

It is not only the massive financial mess which keeps morphing with no end in sight, housing and rising unemployment but energy which has fallen off the radar with the drop in crude prices. It will rear its ugly head with a vengence.

And who knows what international surprises are in store.

EDH said...

Does O deserve that?

In O's 2002 words (see video @ 0:07):

"You betcha."

How ironic!

I agree with not rushing to any judgment before the facts are in, but the questions raised are obvious ones.

SNL's weekend Update tried to pin a similar rap against Fox News last night. Evidently, it was sufficient humor to tell the Manhattan in-studio audience that Fox News did a story that dared ask if there was a connection between Obama and Blago.

When did obtuseness become a journalistic virtue?

paul a'barge said...

Obama is being plagued by his own poor judgment.

In the words of the famous Michelle Malkin, "We're F'ed 2008".

PatCA said...

Well, you all beat me to it. Obama had a 2-year honeymoon prior to the election, resulting in one of the most banal, dishonest campaigns (by both candidates) that I can remember. Now with a juicy story, the media suddenly wakes up the next morning, hung over, in bed with a...politician and has regrets.

And let's use the active voice here: he is not plagued by bad friends, he has chosen bad friends.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Obama, who's been plagued all along by one bad friend after another.

How is this video a smear? It is merely showing clips of Obama speaking in his very own voice support for this corrupt slime.

Obama voluntarily swam with the sharks and made friends with the most unsavory characters. There are only two things to conclude.

1. He is the stupidest and most clueless person in the world not to see the unsavory characteristics of his "friends" and the negative impact that it would eventually have on his own self.

or
2. He is just as corrupt and venial as the rest of the slime that oozes from the Chicago machine and from Illinois politics. He just was able to hide it better than the rest of the scumbags.

Either way, we are in deep deep trouble as a Nation. The media covered all of this up with the fervor of a cat covering up crap in a litter box and now we have to deal with this nasty situation. Media people should be lined up and shot for dereliction of duty.

Richard Fagin said...

It seems to me the President-elect is getting no less of a honeymoon than was given his predecessor. To the extent previous Presidents got a honeymoon, they certainly didn't include Bush. I don't recall them including Reagan, either.

Trooper York said...

Mahi Mahi: My name Mahi. Mahi Mahi.
Jack Singer: Like the fish?
Mahi Mahi: Yeah. My father was a fisherman.
Jack Singer: My father left home when I was 5. That's why I'm named Jack, as in, "Jack tell your mother I'm just going out to get the paper. Oh and tell her the honeymoon is over.
(Honeymoon in Vegas, 1992)

Oligonicella said...

"... who's been plagued all along by one bad friend after another."

Which is whose fault?

Chip Ahoy said...

* puts fingers in ears *

lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala ....

( Secretly knows: Did Obama's transition team have contact with Blagojevich? Of course they did ! Why else would Blagojevich refer to him as that [FM word used to describe one who found concourse with one's maternal parent]?    Huh?)

...lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala

I'll brook no interference with this myth you guys are creating. It's far too important. All counter-narrative narratives are automatically rejected. Until further notice.

Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin' town
Chicago, Chicago, I'll show you around
Bet your bottom dollar you'll lose the blues in Chicago
Chicago, the town that Billy Sunday could not shut down

TosaGuy said...

"But there's no honeymoon for Obama, who's been plagued all along by one bad friend after another."

This would only be unfortunate if he was not actually able to choose his friends.

s1c said...

Of course "the One" deserves a Honeymoon. With a little luck he may get one just as long as the GWB Honeymoon.

Glen said...

Obama's chickens are coming home to roost.

David said...

Harry Truman: "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

Kirk Parker said...

"Obama, who's been plagued all along by one bad friend after another"

Wow, that's so wonderfully . . . passive.

Yeah, if those bad friends would just leave him alone.

gcotharn said...

"Plagued"? LOL. One is "plagued" by something uncontrollable. Locusts. Shingles.

I fail to see how that video, of Obama speaking his own words, is unfair.

"Presidential honeymoon" never referred to corruption. It always referred to giving the new President some time before attacking his policies. It's not a condemnation of conservative spoilsports that Barack either is corrupt or has flirted with the corrupt.

jdeeripper said...

Interview guy - "You workin' hard for Rod?"

Obama - "You betcha!"


Hey, that's Sarah Palin's line 6 years before she used it in the 2008 campaign.

Where's the outrage!!!

Youbetchagate!

SteveR said...

If you lay down with dogs, you're going to get fleas

The Drill SGT said...

The media avoided investigating Obama's unsavory Chicago connections during the primaries when they could have been discussed and somewhat defused, thereby insuring an eventual scandal.

I would point out that The MSM did much more digging in Alaska for scandal than they ever did in Chicago. Whose fault is it that they didn't? the MSM

If I were Rahm, I would not resign my seat yet. When the FBI tapes between Blag and Rahm come out and they eventually will, Obama will throw Rham under the buss in a Chicago second.

Ann Althouse said...

"How is this video a smear?"

I'm not saying the video is dishonest. I think there is a "blagosmear" on Obama, but not that the RNC put it there. It's there, and the question is whether we will give O the benefit of the doubt, give him some breathing room, while we see what emerges -- out of consideration for all the many things that he needs to deal with right now, or do we want his political opponents to go ahead and jump all over him and try to make his life difficult -- for the sake of partisan advantage.

The Drill SGT said...

Ann said...It's there, and the question is whether we will give O the benefit of the doubt, give him some breathing room, while we see what emerges

If you look at that great timeline that Jim Lindgren published, it's pretty clear that there is a cover=up in the Obama camp and that Obama's initial statements that:

1. Nobody talked to Blag about Obama's seat
2. I knew nothing...

are likely lies.

They don't understand that cover-ups always fail. particulary when by implication your Chief of Staff is going to be featured in the wire taps.

Maguro said...

Can't Obama just eat his waffle?

The Drill SGT said...

-- out of consideration for all the many things that he needs to deal with right now, or do we want his political opponents to go ahead and jump all over him and try to make his life difficult -- for the sake of partisan advantage

and these things that he hasn't had to start doing yet are different than the problems Bush is actually dealing with?

and god knows nobody is attacking Bushy for partisan advantage.

so Ann, the MSM should go back to the "See nothing, Hear Nothing, Speak Nothing" approach to covering Obama for the next 4 years, the way they covered him for the last 2? Cause the job is hard?

Michael said...

And the incessant whining continues.

McCain and Princess Palin LOST.

Get the fuck over it.

Michael said...

Drill Bit: "1. Nobody talked to Blag about Obama's seat
2. I knew nothing...are likely lies."

He said nobody tried to make any deals...and he never said I knew nothing.

YOU'RE LYING.

Twin said...

there's no honeymoon for Obama, who's been plagued all along by one bad friend after another

Blagojevich and Obama are not friends.

Twin said...

Media people should be lined up and shot for dereliction of duty.

Wow.

dick said...

Let's see, Bush was inaugurated in Jan and by March 15 he was blamed for the whole recession and converting a surplus budget to a deficit budget and he had not even named his whole team nor did he change any spending bills left by the previous administration. Given that, precisely why should Obama get any honeymoon at all. The media has had 2 years + to investigate his friends and political associates and they were far more interested in whether Sarah Palin was actually the mother of her son or if it was her daughter's. The media went on and kept publishing "facts" about Sarah Palin that were disproved by the bloggers to the tune of over 90 items and the media did no investigating of the friends and associates of Obama. These friends and associates were treated as if they meant nothing at all. Now the whole mess blows up and we are supposed to give him even more of a honeymoon? I don't think so. I think it is long past time that the media does the investigating of this man who is going to be our next president and tells us all the things they ignored for 2 years. That is the least they can do. I also think that the whole Chicago political scene needs to be opened up so that we can see the cesspool that The One skimmed over to get elected and where he got trained in how to run for office. Once they have done that (fat chance that they will but one can only hope), then talk about a honeymoon.

William said...

It remains to be been if the Blagoglobs are part of the afterbirth or part of the umbilical in the birth of our new President. (NB: Finally, uterine imagery that does not involve Sarah Palin.)

Cardboard FLOTUS said...

I do not grant Althouse’s assumption that anyone is “jumping all over Obama and trying to make his life difficult — for the sake of partisan advantage.” And it’s not a question of “giving O the benefit of the doubt, giving him some breathing room, while we see what emerges.” It’s a question of why didn’t Obama crack the whip on his inner circle, where all the contacts appear to have taken place, and immediately report his findings to the American people, which should have happened within 24 hours of Obama’s initial denial of any contact.

Obama knows, as we all know, that he, or high-level members of his team, communicated with Blago about his replacement. Obama’s problem has nothing to do with benefits of the doubt or breathing room. Obama’s problem is the falsehood that emerged from his lips when he denied any knowledge of any communications with the Blagobonic Plague.

Larry said...

Does "honeymoon" include trashing offices, destroying keyboards and such?

When is it OK to start talking about criminal behaviour then?

AJ Lynch said...

A smear refers to something that is unfair or wrong Althouse.

I have not seen either; Obama supporters claim Rahm has been cleared, Obama says in effect no deal was made.

Some detractors suspect there was some backroom bargaining going on and maybe Rahm or others may have crossed the line. And now the coverup occurs.

Where is the unfairness and how is it wrong?

Mark said...

Ms. Althouse wrote: ...the question is whether we will give O the benefit of the doubt, give him some breathing room, while we see what emerges -- out of consideration for all the many things that he needs to deal with right now...

But I don't particularly WANT him dealing with things. Given that government, in my opinion, almost always makes things worse that would resolve themselves if left alone, and given that few politicians in the last 70 years have been more enthusiastic about getting government involved in "solving" our problems (funny how the problems that previous Democrats were going to "solve" - poverty, etc - are still around) than Obama, I would be delighted if he was tied up trying to explain how he rose so fast in a corrupt political environment like Chicago and how come he or his people didn't report that he was being approached by the Governor to give something for the senate seat. The more he's hindered from implementing his plans, the better off we all will be.

Issob Morocco said...

Ann, partisan advantage is what the Democrats have been playing since 1974 with each sucessive year worse than the one before. Have you forgotten how W was treated, how his nominees were held hostage? The Democrats are now reaping what they have sown.

If you don't like it, run for office and change it by being someone who wants to make the country better, not your party fatter and sassier as the Democrats have done.

That ad is no smear, it is factual, and like was warned, when Obama stumbles, many will be there to push him back down, when he tries to get up. Backing down on Obama stumbles cannot be a unilateral action. Democrats saw to it that that will never happen in the near future as we won't forget their actions over the last 30 years.

Meade said...

chickenlittle said...

"President Bush warned Obama about having mani pulite. He didn't listen."

Interesting to look back at the comment thread in that first link where Ann Althouse said...

I thought the anecdote really made Bush look bad. You shouldn't use hand sanitizer right in front of someone you just shook hands with. If you're really afraid of germs, just be careful not to touch your face with your hands until you've had a chance to wash/sanitize them.

As for telling the anecdote, I think the decision to do that was to make Bush look bad, and possibly to (deniably) make him look racist.


Yep.

Now THAT is smear.

Ever since Watergate, the only presidents receiving honeymoons have been Democrats.

"...for the sake of partisan advantage." Are you serious? Imagine McCain had won and this same thing was found to have happened with his Arizona Senate seat. But you must understand - it's the Phoenix Way. Give the new president his honeymoon. Now imagine the same thing only with Palin winning the presidency in 2012.

It would be more like a honeymoon rape.

Deb said...

If you lay down with dogs, you're going to get fleas

If you play with a puppy, it'll lick you in the face.

PatCA said...

Obama is a politician, though, about to assume the highest and most stressful political post in the land--world, maybe. So this is fair. Even liberals in the media say they were asleep at the switch on the story (now that he's safely elected).

Maybe if the RNC can "use" this to their political advantage, they can get the traction they need to stop the new WPA. So I'm glad they are using it.

Mark said...

I was and am willing to see how Obama settles into the Presidency; he's my President even though I didn't vote for him, and I owe it to the majority that did to hope that I was wrong.

But geez, he's botched the crisis management on this one. The right answer was out there ("my campaign/I [choose whichever is honest] discussed who should have Obama's seat, but at no point were we willing to give the Governor anything other than our gratitude.")

So frickin' obvious. And if some flunky is heard on tape doing anything else, burn the flunky as hard as possible. [And if necessary, use the powers of the President to make it right with said flunky quietly if necessary.]

The Drill SGT said...

AJ said...I have not seen either; Obama supporters claim Rahm has been cleared, Obama says in effect no deal was made.

Some detractors suspect there was some backroom bargaining going on and maybe Rahm or others may have crossed the line. And now the coverup occurs.


I, for one, don't think Rahm was part of a Blag auction. Meaning, I don't think he put a bid in promising favors in support of an Obama candidate.

However, based on the wiretaps we know, and the implication that there are many wiretaps not released yet, I strongly suspect that Rahm was on the receiving end of a Blag corrupt/illegal proposal and that Rahm didn't make a counter offer. That is precisely what pissed Blag off.

The scandal in the WH as it were, is that Rahm may not have reported same, and now Obama is digging a cover-up hole. They would be besy advised to stop digging and get as much out as fast as possible.

The Drill SGT said...

Mark,

I agree with everything you said, except that the flunky is likely the White House Chief of Staff, which will mean Rahm shouldn't resign from Congress, cause ultimately, If my scenario is correct, Obama is going to have to throw him under the bus. Better now, than after he quits his day job in Congress.

Roger J. said...

Team Obama is not handling this particular political contretemp very well--its only down hill from here--I dont think Obama or his minions are involved in any significant way, but they seem to be unable to come up with a straightforward answer an d are looking both incompetent and dishonest in the process. Does not look good if this is their starting position.

amba said...

I don't care about making Obama's life difficult -- the job is going to make his life difficult. He asked for a difficult life. I do care about not tying the government in knots for partisan revenge, AGAIN. There would be nothing surprising or inappropriate about Emanuel or even Obama talking to Blago about his replacement. The question is whether they were applying the screws or dangling rewards. In the latter case, at least, the answer appears to be no, as Blago was pissed at him.

You're not going to find a politician free of any taint. The pattern is to forgive and play down the taints on one's own guy while being shocked, shocked at those on the other party's guy. Oh, come on. Enough of this false innocence. The question is whether Obama crossed the line between getting normally dirty and being truly filthy, like Blago. But don't conflate one with the other just for partisan advantage NOW, of all times. It looks desperate, like there isn't a moment to waste if you're going to have even a crack at 2010. Have some trust -- faith in God, or the free market, whichever or both you believe in. Times are going to be bad, and the incumbent is going to be blamed for them, unless you get anxious and intervene too forcefully in that natural process and end up diverting some of the blame your way.

amba said...

The Democrats are now reaping what they have sown.

Glad to know you guys can be just as childish as the Democrats. Where are the grown-ups? Where are the patriots? Who'll be the first to stop playing this mindless game at the country's expense?

Yes, we need to know if Obama is up to his hips in filth. We can assume that his hands and feet are dirty, like every other successful pols. That does not rise to the level of outrage and investigation except for the purposes of petty revenge.

dick said...

Amba,

So you are saying that the Republicans should just shut up and go along with the Democrats on this even though we know that the Democrats will do everything they can to derail Republicans.

Republicans should become adults but Democrats have not been and can not be expected to adults - just check out their actions for the past 8 years? When do we see the Democrats try to work with the opposition party. They have not so far and don't look as if they are going to. Your solution is that Republicans go along? WHY!!

Mark said...

Well, dick, for one thing, Blags was obviously pissed at the Obama camp for not ponying up.

That is good for Obama.

What boggles the mind is that Team Obama hasn't found a way to use that.

Joe said...

The press, will aided by one's opponents, usually digs up and publishes every bit of dirt they possibly can on whoever is running for office. This has the combined effect of getting most everything out into the open, leaving nothing else to dig up and fatigue on the part of reporters and readers. A "honeymoon" period for politicians is the natural outgrowth of this, it's not something given to them artificially.

The media not only didn't do the same thing for Obama, they pointedly refused to even try to dig up dirt. Obama's campaign went along with this (and who can blame them?) The end result is that Americans elected a man to the office of president who is still largely a blank slate ripe for reporting and given the financial state of many papers and other news outlets, self-preservation is more important than carrying water for some egotist politician.

Paul Zrimsek said...

That does not rise to the level of outrage and investigation except for the purposes of petty revenge.

In the absence of investigation we don't really know what level it rises to, now do we?

Pogo said...

In the Holy Book of Obama, the subsection entitled "Not-the-colleague-that-I-knew" is expanding every day.

If Obama's paradigm is Harry Truman, the honest man escaping from the clutches of corrupt machine politics, he's not playing this latest chapter very well. Yes, he'll wriggle free again, but this one is gonna leave a mark.

And what do you think National healthcare is going to look like?
Maybe a little Chicago pay-to-play? You betcha!

M. Simon said...

I agree with Ann. Any one who can rise to the very pinnacle of Chicago politics in 20 years deserves the benefit of the doubt.

The only question is which doubt?

Is he part of the Blago faction or the Daley faction?

We deserve to know who the crook in chief is working for. Who paid $600 million to get him elected?

M. Simon said...

Blagojevich and Obama are not friends.

So true. He just worked for Blago's election and re-election for the money Blago paid him.

Obama's real friend is Daley. Who is as honest as the day is long. On Dec 21st.

M. Simon said...

Althouse says:

out of consideration for all the many things that he needs to deal with right now

Obama needs to make a deal as soon as possible. Is Fitzgerald on the take?

AJ Lynch said...

Has Obama promised he won't fire Fitzgerald?

M. Simon said...

If Obama wanted a honeymoon he should have married the daughter of a Chicago politician.

He did? Never mind.

Bruce Hayden said...

Has Obama promised he won't fire Fitzgerald?

I predict that this will go down exactly as it did with Clinton - all the AAGs will be asked for their resignations immediately, so that they can dump the one (Fitz here) who is causing their team problems without running afoul of what happened under Gonzales.

And, thus, when Fitz is dumped, along with the rest of the less dangerous AAGs, the probe will quietly go away.