Thursday, June 03, 2010


I don't care if the White House offered Joe Sestak one job or Andrew Romanoff three jobs or anyone any jobs in the course of trying to lining up Democratic candidates for upcoming elections. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. To put it another way, it doesn't corrupt my government -- it's just a way of arranging game pieces on the electoral board. If it's illegal, it's an offense on the level of a traffic ticket; spitting on the sidewalk is illegal too, but I damn well hope we never impeach a president for it, even one I hate.

Steve Benen quotes a Norman Ornstein blog post from last week:

If what the Obama administration did was impeachable, then Rep. Issa might want to consider retroactive impeachment action against Ronald Reagan, whose White House directly suggested to S.I. Hayakawa that he would get an administration position if he would stay out of the Republican primary for Senate in California....

And if Democrats had the alley-fighting instinct of Republicans, they'd actually pursue this. Well, maybe not impeachment -- the guy's dead, after all, and the penalty for impeachment is removal from office -- but certainly retroactive censure. (Why not? The Romans did it to Nero.)

No, I'm serious: If Democrats were Republicans, a Democratic House member would introduce legislation to censure Reagan, right now, for precisely this incident -- and it would reach the floor of the House, because the party would be united around it. Republicans would be compelled to vote on it.

Well, obviously that's not going to happen. So, as citizens, let's demand that Reagan be censured for his job offer to Hayakawa. Let's spread the meme far and wide. Let's devise logos. Let's have a Censure Reagan Day in the blogosphere.

Because we know the right-wing noise machine and the mainstream press are going to ensure that the Sestak/Romanoff story never, ever, ever goes away. So let's at least establish a single standard for White House conduct.

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