01/06/2006: Thought for the Day:
You'd think, as the Jack Abramoff scandal burned its way through the Republican establishment faster than the space monster's blood dissolved the Nostromo's bulkheads in Alien, that the Journal editorialists would be exercising their own fangs.
All the traditional themes that populate an outraged Journal editorial can be counted. An out-of-control majority party; dishonest lobbyists; a president who looks the other way; kickbacks and bribes; "shells" laundering political money; influence peddling; corrupt members of Congress; self-dealing; campaign flimflammery; questionable junkets; colorful scoundrels; principals in the scam copping pleas (Abramoff and Michael Scanlon); well-known politicians and political operators being implicated; and tendrils reaching into the White House.
Alas, no scathing "Who Is Jack Abramoff?" editorial has appeared on the Journal page. In fact, none of the four editorials retrieved in a Factiva search keyed to the words "Abramoff" and "editorial" indulge in the page's old shoot-the-wounded style. They examine the issue with tweezers. They are considered. They are thoughtful. They tut-tut. They assure readers that it's not a Republican scandal, but the inevitable product of Washington power. "Alleged crimes aside, even their legal influence peddling shows how Washington power can corrupt absolutely," said the page about Scanlon and Abramoff on Nov. 25.
The page demonstrated more outrage back in the late 1980s slamming the comparatively clean Jim Wright in a single paragraph than it has in the entire Abramoff disgrace.
Why the measured, slow, and wimpy response? Has the editorial board gone … vegetarian?
--Jack Shafer [on the Wall Street Journal editorial page's tepid treatment of the Abamoff scandal]
Len on 01.06.06 @ 06:23 AM CST