The Honeymoon Ain't Over

This post could also be entitled: “Or, Why The Republicans Lost.”

Let’s look at a few of the bigger things that have emerged since Obama won in November, just regarding his Cabinet secretaries. Thusfar, his pick for Treasury Secretary was found not to have paid a large sum in taxes he owed from his salary at the International Monetary Fund. Now his Health and Human Services choice, Tom Daschle, has admitted that he also neglected to pay $128,000 in taxes stemming from a variety of income sources and write-offs to political groups that he shouldn’t have taken. His Commerce nominee Bill Richardson had to withdraw his name from contention only after the news media reported that he was zero degrees of separation from a “pay to play” grand jury investigation in his home state. And on top of that, the governor of the state that the President hails from was thrown out of office for the first time in that state’s history because of everything he has done in the past eight years there, and there are many questions still unanswered about the extent of Obama’s transition team and their involvement with him. And that is before we even begin to talk about Hillary Clinton’s coronation at the State Department.

If this was a Republican administration, John McCain’s for instance, Nancy Pelosi would be getting front-page space in the Washington Post saying things like: “Well the fact that all of these nominees so close to the President and others from the President’s own intimate political background are having these difficulties tells you just how deeply embedded the culture of corruption is within the Republican Party.” The New York Times would be running one of those interactive, follow-the-money features on each one of these characters, in a special five part series entitled: “President John McCain’s Troubled Transition.” Op-ed writers from one end of the country to the other would be declaring that McCain’s administration was already stillborn, and Eugene Robinson would be writing things like: “If McCain thought he could ride into office on a mandate of reforming American politics and then try to pull the wool over people’s eyes yet again, he’s totally mistaken. It now looks more like John McCain should call for a do-over of this election, and we should too.”

Instead, nothing remotely approaching that level of opprobrium is occuring — either in the MSM or in many cases from the Republicans on Capitol Hill. The honeymoon isn’t even into its first weekend.

And these are just the top four serious issues of background, credibility, integrity and lawfulness that should be defining the incoming Obama administration, but are being actively prevented from sticking to him. Daschle is going to be confirmed. The President has been totally insulated from Richardson’s troubles. Geithner sailed through the hearings, as did Clinton. Blagojevich was stripped from office and the Obama administration successfully waltzed out of that catastrophe as though it was happening in another country. And so on and so on…

I look at these things and wonder what Mitch McConnell can possibly be thinking?