Ethics Quote of The Week: Washington Post Blogger Jennifer Rubin

“How about this for a new communications plan: No one investigates themselves. No one take the Fifth. No executive privilege is asserted to protect anyone in the White House from testifying. Everyone tells the truth. And Holder goes. Otherwise it just looks like more spin and more prevarication from a White House determined to do everything but tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

—-Washington Post conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin, discussing the Obama Administration’s defensive and evasive posture in response to the various scandals within.

Good sign!

Good sign!

I was torn about how best to raise the issue of why Eric Holder’s removal as Attorney General is an ethical imperative. Labeling President Obama an Ethics Dunce in his ridiculous decision to leave the investigation of Holder’s conduct in the various news media investigations to the Justice Department itself was fair, but obvious. Noting the apparent dishonesty of Holder’s denial to Congress that he was involved in the surveillance of James Rosen—

“In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material — this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.”

—-seemed too easy, and I also do get tired of the word-parsing employed by the seemingly impenetrable Obama defenders here, for which this would be blood in the water. “But Jack, Rosen has not been prosecuted…Holder only said he wasn’t involved in any journalist’s prosecution. Naming him as a conspirator to get a warrant* isn’t a prosecution!”  Yes, yes, I know. It’s deceit again. How clever. How dead wrong to be coming from an Attorney General testifying to Congress and the American people. And how typical of Eric Holder.


Rubin’s quote, however, captures the point, and more. She also quoted CBS’s Bob Shieffer, notable for breaking ranks among the President’s “Praetorian Guard” ( thank-you, James Taranto!)  among media heavyweights and being openly critical of Obama’s minions in all three (or four) scandals, who said this week,

“It’s reached the point that if I want to interview anyone in the administration on camera—from the lowest-level worker to a White House official—I have to go through the White House Press Office. If their chosen spokesman turns out to have no direct connection to the story of the moment—as was the case when U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was sent out to explain the Benghazi episode—then that’s what we, and you the taxpayer, get, and it usually isn’t much. So I am glad the President has asked the attorney general to review whether his investigations into leaks is having a chilling effect on journalists,” said Schieffer in closing. “But it shouldn’t stop there. The president needs to rethink his entire communications policy top to bottom. It is hurting his credibility and shortchanging the public. And to head the review, how about someone other than the attorney general whose department is so deeply involved? That makes no sense to me.”

Nor me. I really don’t comprehend how anyone who is being honest and objective can disagree with Shieffer or Rubin, or how the President’s refusal to ask for Holder’s resignation can be seen as anything less offensive than cronyism, weak leadership, or stubbornness, and probably all three.

* Earlier, this read “subpoena,” which was both wrong and careless.


Pointer: Instapundit

Source: Washington Post (Jennifer Rubin)

Graphic: Pat Dollard

15 thoughts on “Ethics Quote of The Week: Washington Post Blogger Jennifer Rubin

  1. Has Barack Obama ever fired anyone? I don’t think so, Jack. I’ll bet you a beer or two that excepting departures in the last few months for law firms and Goldman Sachs and lobbying outfits, all the senior administration and cabinet people will remain firmly in place for the next three years. Sure, a few underlings will be made to walk the plank, but not someone like Holder.

  2. 1) you know me Jack – I’m no fan of Obama. 2) But comparing these “scandals” per se to the previous administration – everything you complain about is almost a mirror image of all the bitches we had from 2000-09. Except, the Scale of the crimes of the previous admin dwarf anything Obama’s has done.
    3) Sorry – it’s a false equivalency of the highest order, no matter how big your font or your giant graphics display.

        • I see some big differences. I read the Slate article and if you notice, most have to due with the “war on terror”. They are mostly about stretching the definition of what is legal when you are fighting a new kind of war. There is no doubt the Bush administration was seeking to stretch that as far as they could, that they were trying to use technicalities to get around legal restrictions (Guantanamo Bay, “enemy combatant”), and that they needed to be reeled in. However, the press was on his tail the whole time and was not having any of his arguments. The public knew what was going on and it was a problem.. This didn’t really frighten me as much as make me angry.

          This administration took the civil liberties of Americans (they don’t like) on US soil and threw them out the window from day 1. One of the first things this administration did was decide it would drop an investigation of voter intimidation because they didn’t want to prosecute minorities for civil rights violations. This attitude foreshadows everything that has happened in this administration. The attitude that the laws don’t matter and rights are only for people I like is frightening. All government services can now be levied against the new “enemies of the state”, and make no mistake, I am considered an enemy of the state now. This is building up a resentment. It is building up a “laugh it up now, liberal boy, wait ’till MY guy is in the White House” attitude that will destroy this country.

          • I disagree with your first paragraph’s ending that “Everyone knew what was going on, and that was a problem..” Not true. A very large % of the American public is Still Duped into thinking Sadaam Hussein is responsible for 9/11. They were misled by the Bush Admin and the Press, and the large # of current and former generals who went on the airwaves and spread mass propaganda about this new war. The best one was when Rumsfeld was on Meet the Press with Tim Russert –

            “Oh you Betcha!” Give me a break. Google “The Power of Nightmares” by Adam Curtis for a dose of truthiness about the “the Why behind the Why” of the real hidden agenda of the illegal war-profiteering Bush Admin & their cronies… because that was what it was about- war profits.

            As for “Liberal boy” you reference – I hope your’e not talking about me. Because I am not laughing. Plus that label doesn’t really suit me, just as I am sure “Tea Bagger” doesn’t really describe you.

            And what do the conservatives have to be so upset about right now, tell me. Why are you so pissed off, if that is indeed the case? Your agenda is in place – nothing is getting done. Banks and Corporations are making record profits. The Stock Market is as high as its ever been. You can still buy a gun anywhere you want if you look hard enough. The poor and Minorities are even poorer and have less power. Unions are busted. Obama is basically to the Right of Nixon, and is as a NWO Corporatist Fascist with is slamming down on Whistleblowers and truth-tellers – if you pull a “Deepthroat”, they come after you, not the corporation you’re trying to expose.

            If you’re not raking in tons of profits yourself and living the high life right now, well, you’re not in the “club” as George Carlin would say. So you’re voting against your self interest – you are being a “useful idiot” as TurdBlossom used to call the Religious Right. But I know you’re not that… you read this blog. Good people of all ilks hang out here.

            • Let me see:

              1. Nothing is getting done. I don’t think that’s a fair characterization of the conservative agenda. If nothing is getting done that will do more harm than good, then that’s an accomplishment. If a President who comprehended horse-trading and compromise were in place, lots of good things could get done.
              2. Banks and Corporations are making record profits. Nothing wrong with that.
              3. The Stock Market is as high as its ever been. Nothing wrong with that either.
              4. You can still buy a gun anywhere you want if you look hard enough. If by “you” you mean me, good. I may want to buy one some day.
              5.The poor and Minorities are even poorer and have less power. Clearly not, since they just elected a President whose only clear virtue was that he was a minority and makes speeches about caring about the poor. But no conservatives want the poor to stay poor. They want them to have ways to stop being poor, which means motivation other than getting paid not to work.
              6. Unions are busted. Largely beneficial, in that most of them were corrupt, and the public unions should never have existed in the first place.

              So #1 and #5 are bad, though also not accurate.

              On the other hand, the debt is out of control and heading for disaster, foreign policy is suicidal, immigration reform as structured is nuts, the infrastructure is crumbling the IRS is untrustworthy, Justice is corrupt, the schools stink, and healthcare is a mess getting messier. I’d say there’s ample for anyone to be unhappy about.

              • The poor and Minorities are even poorer and have less power. Clearly not, since they just elected a President whose only clear virtue was that he was a minority and makes speeches about caring about the poor.
                The objective facts are that 80% of the US populace have gone backwards – including the poor. That’s what both the numbers and anecdotal evidence says.

                As regards power – when there are no candidates able to get through the primary process (due to large scale money flows) who do more than talk, then no, they only have the illusion of power, not the substance.

                But no conservatives want the poor to stay poor.

                No True Scotsman.

                They want them to have ways to stop being poor, which means motivation other than getting paid not to work.

                Many are working – but not being paid more than a pittance. Look at the number on Food Stamps. It’s more of a case of working but not being paid than being paid but not working.

                In theory, the economy has been so stimulated that it should be overheating. Instead we have lack of demand, as most people don’t have the money to pay for stuff. All the economic improvement – and some more besides – is going to those who are able to bribe their way into getting laws passed to make them even richer.

                Historically, “trickle-down” economics has worked. By not taxing those at the high end unduly, they have more money to invest, making the economy grow. A rising tide raises all boats.

                In the US however, it’s far more profitable to invest in lobbying, not plant, to get subsidies, tax breaks, and regulations to limit competition. By having fewer and fewer organisations in dominant positions in the market, when they reach a tipping-point they become “too big to fail”,and beyond effective reach of the law.

                Laws – and Taxes – are for the little people, not the Friends of Angelo.

                The process is accelerating too.

                It’s been almost three years since Congress directed the Securities and Exchange Commission to require public companies to disclose the ratio of their chief executive officers’ compensation to the median of the rest of their employees’. The agency has yet to produce a rule.


                Canaries in the coalmine.

                • 1. Obviously, it is an economic low point and everyone is relatively poorer other than the very richest. I was speaking of the power question. The elections showed a larger proportion of the American public than ever accepting and endorsing wealth-distribution and results-based policies rather than opportunity-based policies. Illegal immigrants now have political power, though they deserve none. Blacks, a historically disadvantaged minority voting in a solid bloc for racial identification reasons, have never had more political influence. BBA’s statement was patently false.

                  2.”But no conservatives want the poor to stay poor.” No True Scotsman.
                  Nope. Overstatement. I’m sure some conservatives, like, say, Mr. Burns, want the poor to stay poor, just as some think they are the Lizard King. The assertion was “conservatives want the poor to stay poor.” I regard that as bigotry, like saying “blacks don’t care about obeying the law” or “transgendered people are all perverts.” The poor are a drag on everything—costly, non-productive, prone to crime and illness. Why would anyone want them to stay poor? BBA is prone to paranoid fantasies. This is one of them.

                  3. This is crap. People aren’t working because businesses don’t know what the rules will be, and because there is an anti-business, pro-debt administration. On the low end, many can’t get jobs because there’s nothing they can do that’s worth what the employers will have to pay, and they won’t take the jobs that are artificially low-paying because of cheap illegal labor. More people are on food stamps because this crowd has gone out of its way to eliminate the stigma of being on public assistance. The “stimulus” was a fraud and a failure, because it was distributed in ways that didn’t stimulate anything. Every cent of it should have been put into infrastructure renewal.

                  4. The biggest chunk of the budget is devoted to income transfers, entitlements and social programs, eating up productive investment.

                  5. CEO salaries are a disgrace, bad business, corrupt and immoral. But it’s only part of the perception problem, not much of the real ones.

    • If the previous administration behaved unethically, would it make this administrations unethical behaviour OK ?
      I don’t think so, it is the ‘everyone is doing it fallacy’.

    • I really don’t think so, except in the case of the Justice Departments, both of which were untrustworthy, incompetent and political. Using the IRS to help rig an election is in a whole new orbit, and nothing in the previous administration comes close. Nor was Bush, whatever his flaws, anywhere close to this disconnected and inept as a manager and leader. He may have been a strong misguides President, but this is a weak and misguided President, and that’s worse, because it lets the ideologues run amuck.

  3. I don’t know (so won’t comment) non whether this admin tries to control the press more than previous ones but, as for Holder, he has to go.

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