I don’t know when William Salatan jumped the ethics shark at Slate; I used to find him fair, reasonable and perceptive. Now he has apparently gone over the Dark Side, the shadowy, ethics-free realm where the Clintons are victims of a vast right wing conspiracy. Too bad.
There is some compensation for Salatan, though. He just penned the perfect example of the Shameless Left’s attempt to exploit the fall of former GOP Speaker Dennis Hastert to exonerate Bill Clinton, and by extension, his Lady MacBeth, Hillary, as she tries to complete her rise to power fueled by the public’s acceptance of her husband’s corrupt ways.
You can read it here, and I would hope that most of you would be able to spot, and quickly, the multiple blatant ethics bait-and-switches that Salatan employs. But for those deceived, let me provide some guidance.
Many commentators have made the point that Hastert’s prosecution looks politically motivated and unfair. He is not being prosecuted for the alleged sexual misconduct with a student believed to be the source of an extortion attempt, and paying a blackmailer is no crime. He is being prosecuted for lying to the F.B.I about the reason for his large cash withdrawals. Says Salatan:
“The critics have a point. Lying under oath and evading transaction surveillance are derivative crimes. Usually, they’re prosecuted only if the underlying offense is serious and demonstrably true. You can argue that if the core allegation hasn’t been proved, or if the core issue isn’t grave enough, it’s cheap and abusive to proceed with prosecution based purely on derivative charges. But Hastert can’t make that argument, because he made the opposite argument 17 years ago. He threw the book at President Clinton for lying about sex.”
Thus Slate’s misleading and ignorance-seeding headline, “Hastert’s Hypocrisy.” There is no hypocrisy. Moreover, like Professor Kerr, Salatan mistakenly says that Clinton was impeached for “lying about sex.” That was a Lanny Davis/Clinton spin talking point, and it is false.. Continue reading