What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 7, 2010

Jack Kelly Sunday

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Jack Kelly is plays "concern troll" in this week's column. For those unaware of the term, Time magazine has a pretty good definition:
Noun, derived from "internet troll." A more subtle beast than your standard troll, this species posts comments that appear to be sympathetic to the topic being discussed but who, in reality, wishes to sow doubt in the minds of readers.
Not an exact fit to what Jack's trying to do in this column, but it's pretty darn close.

I want to start here:
The key thing to remember about Mr. Obama's aides is that he chose them. Shaking up a troubled presidential staff is mostly an exercise in reshuffling deck chairs on the Titanic because each administration takes on the characteristics of its chief. There is a reason why Richard Nixon's chief aides were conspiratorial; that so many in the George W. Bush administration were mediocre; that so many in the Clinton administration were corrupt.
First, note the adjectives. Remember, Jack said that each administration takes on the characteristics of its chief. So if that's true, then according to Jack, Nixon was conspiratorial, Bush (43) was mediocre and Clinton was corrupt.

No mention, of course, of Ronald Reagan. As Haynes Johnson pointed out in "Sleepwalking Through History" that:
By the end of his term, 138 Reagan administration officials had been convicted, had been indicted, or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations. In terms of number of officials involved, the record of his administration was the worst ever. (p. 184)
Granted, Johnson wrote this in 1991 (though there was a reissue with no correction to that sentence published in 2003) and so could not have possibly missed the rampant corruption of the two Clinton Administrations.

Nevertheless it's strange, isn't it, that Jack would omit any mention, for example of:
  • The HUD scandal
  • The S&L Scandal
  • The Iran-Contra scandal
Considering he was there, at least part of the time. He was appointed, doncha you know, as a "deputy assistant secretary" of the Air Force during the first Reagan Administration.

No wait. That might explain why he'd omit that part and all of the other 138 Reagan convictions.

And yet it was Clinton who gets tarred as corrupt by Jack Kelly.

Not surprising at all.

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