Friday, June 04, 2010

Lightning Round 060410

Have to go fast again:

  • David Broder, who has been reporting on politics in Washington since about the Taft adminstration, gives Barack Obama a warning:

Nothing is going to help Obama unless and until the engineers come up with a method for shutting down this gusher of pollution. He clearly couldn't prevent it, and he was slow in signaling its severity. But he owns it now, and until it is over, the man who aspired to be the next John Kennedy or maybe Franklin Roosevelt will have to hope he doesn't end up as Jimmy Carter.

That's putting it mildly.

  • Meanwhile, Satveer Chaudhary gets a wrist slap from the Senate Ethics Committee. Apparently the Ethics Committee couldn't figure out the blindingly obvious conflict of interest, either, since the thing that Chaudhary apparently did wrong is that he "threatened public confidence" in the legislature. So it's not about doing the right thing, really: it's about perception. No surprise there, since it comports with what I've been seeing in the various comment sections in online articles concerning Chaudhary. From many commenters, it's pretty clear that what bothers them about Chaudhary is not his behavior so much as two other things: (a) he's apparently not been loyal enough to the DFL apparat, doing things like supporting Mark Dayton; and (b) the real issue isn't that he deserves to lose, but that he could lose and that keeping the seat is of paramount importance. I'll be working on a post with a few relevant examples in the coming days. Let's put it this way: as is often the case, the use of "ethics" is profoundly cynical.

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