I assumed that on the right, the Blagojevich scandal would be dismissed with airy contempt as more of the same old same old. Sure enough, here’s George Neumayr, identified as editor of Catholic World Report, doing the honors for the American Spectator. “Perhaps,” says Neumayr, “one public benefit from Blagojevich’s cuckoo corruption is that liberal special-interest politics is exposed once again for the utter sham that it is.”
By positing Blagojevich as a liberal special-interest politician in good standing, Neumayr can use him to expose the species. He observes, “Liberal special-interest pols are dedicated to ‘public service.’ But according to the wiretaps, Blagojevich hated public service. Liberal pols are dedicated to press freedom; according to the wiretaps, Blagojevich wanted editors at the Chicago Tribune fired. Liberal pols itch to solve the problem of poverty; on the wiretaps Blagojevich is only interested in solving his own.”
These observations would help someone else understand why liberals are appalled by Blagojevich. For Neumayer they are all the more reason to be appalled by liberals. And under the impression that some jests never grow old, he laments “the erosion of standards….Not even corruption is performed competently anymore.”
Except that Neumayr obviously thinks it is. He asserts that “many of those around” Barack Obama spring from the same “cradle of corruption” as Blagojevich, differing “not by kind but by degree. They just weren’t stupid enough to get caught, doing covertly what Blagojevich has done openly.”
A troubling sign of the erosion of standards among the smart set Neumayr hopes to entertain is its indifference to its own contradictions.