Yesterday, President Obama nominated a veteran of the Bush Administration to head up the FBI. There has been a lot of chatter about the choice–the nominee is apparently highly regarded on both sides of the aisle, something we don’t see much of these days. But I was struck by an observation posted to Maddowblog:
If the president and his team had any reason to worry at all about ongoing investigations casting the White House in a negative light — or worse — there’s simply no way Obama would choose a Republican lawyer with a history of independence to lead the FBI. Indeed… just the opposite is true — if Obama were the least bit concerned about any of the so-called “scandals,” he’d almost certainly look for a Democratic ally to lead the FBI.
But the president is doing the opposite — Comey is not only a veteran of the Bush/Cheney administration, he also donated to the McCain/Palin and Romney/Ryan campaigns, in the hopes of preventing Obama from getting elected. If the president thought the “scandals” might lead to the Oval Office, he’d never choose someone like Comey to take over the FBI right now.
Another indication that there is no “there” there.
The real problem with the persistent, ongoing hysterical efforts to prove that Obama’s Administration has done something criminal, of course, is that it has utterly distorted what ought to be the critique of this or any administration. Rather than focusing on the misplaced policies or bureaucratic inefficiencies that are always fair game, drummed up (and sometimes wholly fabricated) accusations simply feed the appetites of GOP partisans who want to believe the worst. That in turn generates knee-jerk defensiveness by Democrats who might otherwise disagree with administration policy.
Partisan pissing contests have taken the place of potentially productive conversations about how we might govern ourselves better, or how we might grow the economy or improve education or balance the right to privacy against the needs of national defense.
We are governed by two-year-olds.