As Rush and the rest of the rebellious right do a 180 by rallying ’round the Maverick (nothing says “common cause” quite like hatin’ on teh librul Grey Lady), Greg Sargent conducts a little thought experiment:
Let’s take the meat of the big New York Times story and substitute the words “Dem Presidential Hopeful” for “John McCain”:
Early in Senator Dem Presidential Hopeful’s first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers.A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.
When news organizations reported that Mr. Dem Presidential Hopeful had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s client, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement.
Mr. Dem Presidential Hopeful, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship. But to his advisers, even the appearance of a close bond with a lobbyist whose clients often had business before the Senate committee Mr. Dem Presidential Hopeful led threatened the story of redemption and rectitude that defined his political identity.
If these words had appeared on the front page of The New York Times, wouldn’t we all be yelling and stamping our feet about “panty sniffing” and condemning the use of anonymous sources who suggest a possible affair that may or may not have happened and wasn’t directly alleged by anyone?
That’s a sincere question. Wouldn’t we?
Conversely, would the wingnuts be circling the wagons in the name of journalistic integrity? IOKIYAR, natch. Regardless, even if there’s no substance to allegations of sexual impropriety, Stephen Bainbridge wonders if the “values” wing will eventually grow tired of GOP relativism:
The social conservatives in the base already have problems with McCain. Don’t you think that someday that part of the base is going to get tired of the “values” party being led by divorced womanizers?
Now that is a sincere question.