Supplemental: Maddow discusses McDonnell’s conviction!


We get a new impression:
To us, the prosecution of Bob McDonnell seemed like a shaky idea.

He doesn’t seem to have done very much to help businessman Jonnie Williams. We thought the prosecution was a bit of a stretch, with a bit of a banana republic feel.

We’d prefer to see progressives learn how to win fights with such governors at the polls. Unfortunately, as our new progressive world unfolds, we keep getting saddled with leaders who don’t seem well suited to this approach.

We also weren’t crazy about the coverage in the Washington Post. That extends to this morning’s reporting, where Justin Jouvenal asks the jurors how they felt, not how they reasoned; where Rosalind Helderman, in our view, still tabloids it up just a tad.

McDonnell didn’t seem to do very much for Williams. Meanwhile, the amount of money Williams gave him in money and loans is a very tiny amount, as compared to the mountains of cash which go to some of the journalists who clowned about this case the most.

Rachel Maddow clowned incessantly. In our view, she betrayed the ethics of her profession to a larger extent than McDonnell seems to have done.

That said, we got a new impression last night about the reason for Maddow’s animus toward McDonnell. Our new impression began to take form in this part of her discussion of McDonnell’s career:
MADDOW (9/4/14): The Lord and Pat Robertson, in part, did open up other doors for Bob McDonnell and his family values crusading conservative career. It ascended from there.

I mean, as a state legislator, he had been a crusading antiabortion activist. He sponsored or co-sponsored 35 different antiabortion bills. As attorney general, he authored that anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment and he got it put on the ballot. As a candidate for governor, he had a little hitch when the Washington Post reported on the thesis that he’d written as an adult student at Pat Robertson’s university because that thesis explained his view that public policy should be designed to punish cohabitators, homosexuals and fornicators—in favor of straight married people.

But he overcame that hitch when that was reported, and he did win election as governor of Virginia in 2009. Once he was elected, in no time, he used his new authority as governor to rescind the state’s hiring protections for gay people. He overtly changed state policy to remove protections that previously were in place that said you couldn’t be fired for being gay. Bob McDonnell got elected government and immediately moved to change that policy to overtly say, “Yes, you can be fired for being gay in Virginia.”
Over the past few years, we’d seen Maddow focus on the “Governor Ultrasound” part of McDonnell’s tenure. Last night, we were surprised to see how much of her animus seemed to stem from McDonnell’s anti-gay legislation and ideology—a part of his tenure we’d didn’t recall seeing Maddow discuss.

We’re not saying she hasn’t discussed that part of McDonnell’s tenure. We’re saying that, in our recollection, her focus on the ultrasound bill seemed to form the basis for her loathing of the man she wanted to see “humiliated and ruined.”

We agree with Maddow on the substance here. Like Maddow, we don’t think McDonnell should have “used his new authority as governor to rescind the state’s hiring protections for gay people.” We think it’s a shame that he did.

That said, we were surprised by the obvious anger in Maddow’s voice in this and other parts of her discussion. She had always seemed to focus on “Governor Ultrasound.”

We think the ultrasound law was hideous too. That raises the basic question:

What do you do about it?

Maddow seems to be spending a lot of time praying for people to get thrown in jail. That’s pretty much the way banana republics function:

We try to throw their people in jail. They try to lock up ours!

Our question today would be different: Why can’t liberals and progressives learn how to win these fights among the voters? Again, we’ll state an unhappy impression:

Emerging liberal leaders like Maddow don’t seem especially well equipped to change average voters’ minds.

Maddow clowns and snarks and shouts and mugs and generally makes a spectacle of herself on the air.

She clowns for the choir in ludicrous ways. As a general matter, this probably isn’t a very good way to change the minds, or influence the views, of the general public.

Maddow clowns for the choir, then tries to get The Others thrown in jail, preferably for the rest of their lives. She wants to see people thrown in jail because they once took a ride in a white Ferrari.

All around the emerging liberal world order, we think we see emerging leaders who may not know how to approach average voters. Over at Salon, Brittney Cooper’s willingness to die seems like a prime example.

Professor Cooper is willing to die. Reading her piece, she wondered this: Is she willing to win?

Average voters are going to vote. How do we plan to persuade them?


  1. So I'm curious as to what you yourself are doing to persuade average voters that the causes Ms. Maddow champions, and that you broadly purport to support, are good causes. Someone needs to rally the choir, and by your description, Ms. Maddow addresses that need. Nothing wrong with that, right? But there's still a need, as you note, for someone to convince the rest of the public to support our our shared liberal cause. So what are you doing to address that need?

    I'm not sure that merely raging against your allies does much to help the cause. Perhaps you'd get better results if you led by example.

    1. A-Men. But Bob doesn't do positive, he only does anger and snark and sneering. In that, he reminds me of nothing so much as Fox. The difference, of course, is that Fox knows which side it's on.

      Somebody should also clue Bob in to the face that Rachel Maddow doesn't decide who gets prosecuted for what. All she's doing is indulging in a good bit of well-deserved schadenfreude over McDonnell's fall. Nothing wrong with that. I indulge in it myself

      (disclaimer: I am NOT a fan of Rachel Maddow. I can't stand the woman. But she was 100 percent right, early, about McDonnell's sleaze. That's what Bob doesn't like.)

    2. Proaction requires research, thought and work.

      Reaction only requires sitting at a keyboard and typing whatever thought crosses your mind, as well as the ego to delude oneself into thinking those thoughts are always brilliant.

    3. Oh dear! gyrfalcon, the third of the commentators drive away has returned. Trolls are not doing their job.

    4. driven away, not drive away.

  2. Here is what I find ironic.

    In the middle of his long-promised expose that winds up to be All About Meredith Vieira, on the day after McDonnell and wife stood convicted of multiple counts, Bob still can find "not much" that they did wrong.

    Well, Maddow ended her segment with an interview with the Washington Post reporter who was handed a story about a fired chef and turned up a pattern of thousands of dollars of "gifts" from a pill pusher in exchange for official favors including the use of governor's mansion to roll out the product and a proposal to use state employees as guinea pigs to test the pill's effectiveness.

    When Maddow asked the reporter what lesson this story has for journalists, the reporter said, and I paraphrase: "Keep digging. If it looks like a story, it probably is. Keep digging until you find out."

    That God we still have some reporters with those instincts rather than the instincts of Bob Somerby. Otherwise, we'd be flooded with stories about the lifestyle of Meredith Vieira, books written 31 years ago, the powerful influence of Maureen Dowd, and of course, all tying into the 14-year-old War on Gore.

    1. It never ends, and the past isn't even past yet.

      I'm glad Bob keeps bringing these things up. He's right too about so many of these people. They're clownish. They also engage in the same behaviors as their right-wing counterparts. All this phony umbrage of theirs is wearying

    2. You mean, the phony umbrage against clearly corrupt governors selling their political favors?

    3. IIRC, talking to my Uncles who fought in The Big One (WWII),
      there are two kinds of war veterans:

      There are the ones who fought in it, witnessing first hand the horror. They usually never talked about the war.

      There were the ones, whether in uniform or not, never saw
      a puff of smoke but relive their favorite tales from the terrible conflict with more frequency and greater embellishment as they age.

      Bob is a veteran of the War on Gore. It doesn't matter if it existed mostly in his own mind. He manned a keyboard throughout this terrible time of conflict and can't help but revisit
      the carnage.

      Because of his service on a keyboard during the war, and his brief service in the front lines of journalism from days on the editorial page in Baltimore, Bob knows the heroism involved in
      real journalism and the values built by that service and sacrifice.

      BTW, for DinC, one of my uncles passed away last year. They played the Marine Corps Hymn at his funeral. He fought at Iwo Jima. My other uncle is still alive, barely. He was shot down in the Pacific. Neither ever mentioned what they did in the war.

    4. Bob did us a service by exposing the Washington Post reporter who crucified the McDonnell's for petty gifts that would take a utility infielder a week to buy.

      She is dour.

    5. Your uncle was right, but you are totally wrong. There absolutely was, as Bob says, a "war against Gore." A pretty good number of us were keenly aware of it, and a portion of us found our way to Bob's site, where we were reassured that we weren't crazy.

      I'm very much NOT a fan of what Bob has been doing here for the last few years, but to say that the "war on Gore" existed only in his own mind is.... the kindest thing I can say is that it's a totally grotesque idea.

    6. And just to be clear, yes, I'm heartily sick of having it revisited over and over and over and over again here.

    7. But gyrfalcon, Bob grossly errs in thinking that the War on Gore was so totally unprecendented in the annals of U.S. political journalism, and it marked a turning point in human history not witnessed since perhaps the birth of Christ.

      Plus the fact that he never blames the grossest perpetrators such as Rush Limbaugh and the recently born Fox News. Instead, he blames the likes of E.J. Dionne (named quite frequently) for their alleged "silence" in not taking up a fight that Gore should have fought himself.

      And this is why I am heartily sick of having it revisited. As the truth of Campaign 2000 fades into memory, Bob doubles down on the pleasing story he tells to the point of obsession and fictionalization.

    8. gyrfalcon there was no "war against Gore" in 2000 any more than there was a "war against Nixon" in 1960. Both elections were close and few have argued press for both Gore and Nixon was unfavorable. But to call unfavorable press a "war" is as fallacious without being as fatuous as FOX suggesting there is a "War Against Christmas."

    9. Apparently you don't remember it very well.

    10. Propotion, urban, proportion. If you want to talk about the absolute lowest, worst episode in recent U.S. political history, that would be the sliming of John Kerry's service in Vietnam based on absolute lies.

      At least there was a grain of truth -- albeit a small one -- in taking "I took the initiative in creating the Internet" and turning it into "I invented the Internet."

      What we had in 2004 was absolute lies spread by hired surrogates to the extent that the GOP delegates were wearing Purple Heart Band-Aids at their convention, while the candidate himself could pretend to be above it all, while the press corps felt obligated to cover "both sides"

      And that was a very close election as well. But when was the last time Somerby mentioned it?

      What I find amusing, because that's all it is, is how Somerby himself is those "See? He's not like us" elements from the "War on Gore" -- particularly, "Don't trust him. He's not like we are. He's privileged and rich and always has been" -- and is applying him to his favorite targets.

      You can read all about it in his "War on Vieira" -- of all people to choose to pick on.

  3. Bob should also follow the advice he is so quick to offer to others and stop playing amateur psychiatrist in search of Maddow's "animus."

    Yes, Maddow mentioned McDonnell "anti-gay" agenda. She also mentioned his short-lived proposal to force pregnant women to undergo, not just an ultrasound, but a transvaginal ultrasound before they could have an abortion.

    This was done in the broader context (willfully ignored by Somerby) of recounting McDonnell's rise to power as a "family values" darling of the Pat Robertson set who would stand firm in defense of "traditional marriage."

    And what does McDonnell do with his back against the wall? Throw the wife under the bus.

    Sorry, Bob. But there are many more reasons besides his "anti-gay" agenda to consider McDonnell to be a lying, cowardly, greedy hypocrite.

    1. He may be, but enough's enough about him. Maddow acts so silly so often now that she's become unwatchable.

      I think she's also disingenuous (meaning she lies through her teeth) because I don't believe her at all when she says (for example) that she never met Alec Baldwin, back when he slammed her along with management. And she was snarky as hell about it.

    2. Yeah, enough about corruption in government, let's refocus on the important stuff: how silly is Rachel Maddow today?

    3. I have no reason to disbelief Maddow about whether or not she met Alec Baldwin. And I have even less reason to care.

      But you go on and worry about what you want to worry about.

    4. After all, 2:06, Rachel Maddow is "the most influential journalist of the past thirty years."

      Or was that Maureen Dowd? Or Meredith Vieira?

    5. Meredith Viera lied about her dogs and cats destroying her home. She and her husband did it themselves, the scruffy hillbillies.

    6. I've always sensed that Rachel took McDonnell's anti-gay politics personally.

    7. 1:12 I applaud your sense of a very basic reaction of human nature. It demonstrates you have an understanding of the very simplest of constructs.

    8. The question is how does that effect her journalism. I've heard it said she's more of an entertainer than a journalist. I count on Diane Sawyer to break the big stories.

    9. Well, if you saw the segment in question instead of taking Bob's word for it, Maddow briefly mentioned his anti-gay agenda in the contest of McDonnel's rise power as a champion of social ultra-conservative "family values" who quite loudly vowed to "defend marriage."

      I submit that her homosexuality affects her journalism far less than your heterosexuality affects your view of Maddow.

      Or in your view, should gay and lesbian reporters be forever forbidden to even mention gay issues while making a far broader point lest a heterosexual vanity blogger like Somerby and flock find a much deeper, darker psychological forces driving her.

    10. Have you ever listened to Stephanie Miller or Michael Signorile? Maddow most likely doesn't want to be pigeonholed as a gay pundit.

    11. And what is really sad here is Bob's lame effort to pigeonhole her as such.

      Much easier for him to sink to that depth than to say, "I was wrong about the McDonnell case."

    12. Is Somerby a "heterosexual vanity blogger"? I have seen little to no evidence of anything other a proclivity toward the imaginary inhabitants of his imaginary campus.

    13. Somerby has to find something to explain away why Maddow was right and he so foolishly wrong.

      So he plays the "G" card.

    14. And what does McDonnell do with his back against the wall? Throw the wife under the bus.

      Bob McD was convicted of three counts of honest-services wire fraud (that's using the telephone to do shady things) and six counts of obtaining property under color of official right (that's legalese for bribery). He was always going to be convicted of those nine counts. Because of the intangible nature of "honest services" and the lack of much quo returned for the quid he got, the judge instructed the jury that good character alone was enough to raise reasonable doubt. The jury disregarded his character witnesses because of his venality on display during the trial.

      Maureen McD was convicted of two counts of honest-services fraud and four counts of obtaining property under color of official right. She was as venal as he, but she wasn't a public official, so she had no services to defraud people of and carried no authority to demand bribes. What got her convicted of these counts were the two conspiracy charges, one for the fraud and one for the bribery.

      Bob McD didn't throw his wife under the bus; he tried to push her out of its path.

    15. "Bob McD didn't throw his wife under the bus; he tried to push her out of its path."


    16. What about the conspiracy charges don't you understand? I'll be glad to explain it.

    17. Totally unnecessary. BWAAAAAHAHAHAHA!

    18. Totally unnecessary.

      And probably totally a fool's errand to try.

  4. baldspotwithakeyboardSeptember 5, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Note to blogger: Wapo is owned by Jeff Bezos, who just installed a raving Reaganite as publisher. You can stop pretending Wapo is still Pravda on the Potomac in order to beat liberals over the head with its excrement.

  5. It's human to be scared. ✌️

  6. Wow! Governor Ultrasound was convicted? Damn. Last time I read about him in Howler headlines he hadn't even been charged!

  7. It is tragic Governor amd Mrs. McD were villified and ruined by tribal hate.

    On the bright side, devoting as much resources as they did to the case, the Jihadi Post is slow on the uptake on this bit of Hillarymania.

    I am glad Clinton chose to generate this tidbit of news in a way which
    indicates she has learned how to avoid invocation of the recent script used against her based on false reports her growing wealth makes her
    "not like one of us."

    1. Cudos to Carlos Slim for knowing how to garner attention from Clinton. And cudos to Clinton for showing she cares about our
      growing Hispanic population and their educational progress.

  8. I think that I finally understand what you're aiming at with critique of "liberal leaders." You're under the misapprehension that politics today is about swaying the median voter. It is not. Elections are about turnout. Plain and simple. There are no voters out there who might change.


    1. "There are no voters out there who might change."

      Since some politicians obviously have changed (see, among other topics, the rights of gay people to marry), it looks like you're saying only politicians can change their minds, never voters.

      In other words, it looks like you have no idea what the fuck you're talking about.

      A Different S

  9. OMB (Degrees of Liberal Leadership Presented by the OTB)

    "Pseudo-liberal god Rachel Maddow" by BOB his own self

    Emerging liberal leaders like Maddow...

    multimillionaire “liberal” leaders cream over such worthlessness. Like Maddow...

    fiery liberal leaders look right past the lives of black kids....

    our sanctified leader behaves quite oddly on the air...

    our pseudo-liberal pseudo-leaders supply us our tribal comfort food. So too with Rachel.....

    Bold leader since earliest youth: As a young person, did Rachel Maddow think she might be on her way to the Olympics?

    Pseudo-liberal god Rachel Maddow

    1. Rachel is the front and center corporate media lib. I enjoy Somerby's ongoing critique of Maddow and her multimillionaire pals, who else is out there doing it?

  10. Rather than gloat, Somerby expresses mercy. Mercy used to be considered a liberal trait. Gloating combined with Maddow's act is just bad form. Libs need to check themselves on this.

  11. The McDonnells are sad people, and you can feel sad for them and their limited vision without discounting that they were corrupt, as found by a jury, and that that corruption is a very serious challenge to our commonweal. Bob seems confused, per usual, on this kind of obvious point.

  12. So poor George Zimmerman just "went for a walk," and look what the mean liberals did to the poor man. And now poor McDonnell just "took a ride," and look what the mean liberals are doing to him!

    Bob McDonnell sells the favors of his office for at least $135,000, and Bob is wringing his hands with angst over America descending to the level of a banana republic -- not because of bribery at a time when people are more and more worried that their government is owned by rich people, oh no!! -- but because he was prosecuted for it, and then Rachel Maddow gloated over his conviction! You can't make this shit up. Imagine what Bob of 10 years ago, before he became addicted to the crazy juice, would have done with a journalist who wrote a story or went on the air with something like this post. It's almost sad.

  13. Anyone check out the Brittney Cooper link? Just another lib cause no one is going to buy into.

  14. Bob Somerby is way off base on this one.

    Bob thinks that -- somehow - the McDonnells were treated unfairly...he says the indictment, trial and conviction had "a banana republic feel."

    Has Bob forgotten basic civics? The McDonnells were duly indicted by a Grand Jury. The indictment papers can be read at this link (has Bob actually read them?):

    The McDonnells asked that all charges be dropped. The presiding judge, appointed by conservative icon Ronald Reagan, determined that the charges were serious enough for the McDonnells to stand trial.

    The McDonnells asked that they be tried separately. The judge declined, noting that they were charged together and that they could be tried together and receive a fair trial.

    The McDonnell jury was selected from a pool after careful scrutiny by two teams of defense attorneys. The final panel included seven men and five women. Two of the women (one acknowledged voting for McDonnell) jurors said in an interview that each member of the fury "went through each count meticulously, assuming Bob and Maureen were innocent at the beginning of deliberations." That's precisely what the Sixth Amendment requires, "an impartial jury."

    Both McDonnells were " informed of the nature and cause of the accusation;" each was allowed in a "public be confronted with the witnesses against" them; each presented their own witnesses; and each of them had their own defense attorneys

    The McDonnell's defense - however - was atrocious, and frankly, ubelievable. Basically, Bob threw Maureen under the bus, saying he didn't know about her conniving. But as the jurors noted, the evidence against both was "overwhelming."

    Both Bob and Maureen McDonnell were exposed as greedy hypocrites who violated the public trust. They allowed themselves to be bought for what amounts - politically - to small sums. They (and their children) behaved as though they were "entitled" to corporate lucre because they occupied the Executive Mansion. Some family values

    A jury convicted the McDonnells, and the judge will sentence them. They have the right to appeal (and they will).

    There's simply not anything at all that's "banana republic" about their trial - and conviction.

    1. The fact of their trial, not how it was conducted, is the problem. Somerby is suggesting that when you disagree with someone politically, you should go after them politically, not by charging them with minor crimes.

      This is too much like when they tried to use Whitewater and Paula Jones to go after Clinton.

    2. Well said, and Bob should look at the way leaders are deposed in "banana republics" before he makes such an overwrought misstatement designed only to further the novel he wants to sell his rubes. And I'm not certain there are very many of those among the remnant remaining that are buying.

      Let us also not forget that McDonnell was offered a rather generous deal that would have spared him conviction on 10 of the 11 counts he now stands guilty, while sparing his wife prosecution altogether.

      And the fact that this trial had whatever "circus" elements it had is quite the fault of McDonnell and his freely chosen defense strategy.

    3. So what level of bribery beyond what the McDonnells grabbed rises above the level of "minor," 8:59?

      You see, this is the one of the hallmarks of Somerby. When in a hole, dig deeper and faster.

      Yes, he calls their crimes "minor". You dutifully agree. And federal prosecutors, a judge and a jury disagree. And, most likely, many of the people of Virginia as well.

      But what does that matter? Bob spoke last December with his mind set in concrete. Why let the truth get in the way of his opinion?

      But here's what's really sad. Bob cares only about the McDonnells to the extent he can use them as yet another weapon in his personal War on Maddow -- a war he is losing badly.

      Never mind, though, that once again he has fallen flat on his face with his pants around his ankles. Bob doesn't even realize how his deep, personal animus concerning Maddow has turned him into an utter idiot. Again.

    4. Sorry, Anon @ 8:59, but your Whitewater/Paula Jones comparison is laughable.

      Whitewater was a political concoction that had no substance.

      The Paula Jones case was thrown out of court on its lack of merit by a federal judge.

      In the McDonnell case, as the jurors noted, the evidence against both Bob and Maureen was "overwhelming." And felonies, by definition, are hardly "minor" crimes.

      The McDonnells broke the public trust and violated the law on multiple, multiple counts. The trial was conducted fairly. There was no hint of anything that might remotely be described as "banana republic."

      Bob is wrong about this, and so are you. Egregiously so.

    5. You can head for the fainting couch to bemoan the fact that the McDonnells broke the public trust. You can even reasonably insist that their prosecution was proper even if they broke no state ethics laws. About half the Circuit Courts of Appeal would agree with you. But the McDonnells' sins are venial if only by comparison. In my state, we had one governor who tried to sell a US Senate seat. Another (when he was Secretary of State) oversaw a corrupt system that gave licenses to unqualified truck drivers, one of whom ended up killing six people in a collision. Scott Walker sold the right to strip mine northern Wisconsin to his political cronies. Chris Christie spent $250M in state pension money on hedge-fund fees. Bobby Jindal does favors for big businesses and they've given over $1M to his wife's foundation. The Jindals are just more careful than the McDonnells. Rick Perry and Nathan Deal tried to derail ethics investigations.

      When bad things happen to bad people, it's hard not to gloat, but try to keep things in perspective.

    6. So demanding that politicians be held to some kind of ethical standards is "heading for the fainting couch." Well, well, well. I guess some of us are just grownups, and understand that part of being a grownup is to shrug off the buying of our politics by the wealthy. Of course, that's what they do in banana republics, but maybe they are just better at "manning up" than we are.

    7. The way to get the right perspective here is to drag all those other corrupt MF's in front of a grand jury, NOT to minimize what the McDonnels did. It was criminal, they got justice, hooray, next.

    8. Don't get me wrong. I think politicians should be held to "some kind" of ethical standard, and I even think that states should enact that standard into law. The Commonwealth of Virginia doesn't agree with me. But the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals does, and the McDonnells had the misfortune to come under their jurisdiction. If they'd had the good fortune like Bobby Jindal to live in the Fifth Circuit's jurisdiction, they would not have been indicted.

      It's possible to keep simultaneously two disparate thoughts in one's mind. On the one hand, that the McDonnells stepped over the line and on the other that their transgressions were relatively minor. So Bob McD deprived the citizens of his state of the good services of their government. That's practically the Republican Party platform. That was acceptable to the citizens of Virginia as were the money and the Ferrari rides he took.

      I can be glad along with Darlin' Rachel that Bob McD was convicted, and I can wish along with TDH that people like Bob McD would get thrashed at the polls instead of in federal court. See how that two-idea thing works?

      Try it. Sure, it takes a little practice, but if I can do it, so can you.

    9. Here are two disparate thoughts.

      1. You stated Bob's case far more clearly and succinctly than he did, both in favor of the McDonnells and their "minor" crimes, and against "Darlin'" Rachel.

      2. You and Somerby are both full of shit to the point that the only thing left to do is laugh at you.

      But you are a very good rube, deadrat.

    10. From Somerby: "She wants to see people thrown in jail because they once took a ride in a white Ferrari."

      From deadrat: "That was acceptable to the citizens of Virginia as were the money and the Ferrari rides he took."

      Yep, nothing to see here but a little bit of bribe money and a few Ferrari rides. That's all this case was ever about. After all, deadrat has determined somehow that the "citizens of Virginia" didn't mind anything the McDonnells did one little bit.

      They simply had the misfortune to choose the wrong federal circuit to get elected first family in.

    11. "See how that two-idea thing works?

      Try it. Sure, it takes a little practice, but if I can do it, so can you."

      Let's suggest Bob try it as well. Instead of.....

      "the prosecution.... seemed like a shaky idea....a bit of a stretch, with a bit of a banana republic feel....Meanwhile, the amount of a very tiny amount."

    12. Anonymous @2:56A,

      Yours aren't two disparate thoughts; they're diametrically opposed. I'm not suggesting that it's a good thing to suppress the cognitive dissonance that should accompany the belief in contradictory things.

      Why do you place "minor" in scare quotes? Do you think that even in the course of the United States Code, Title 18, the McDonnells crimes amounted to much? Why does believing the cringe-worthy McDonnells aren't master criminals make me a rube?

      Anonymous @3:13A,

      Yes, there's nothing to see here but a little bit of bribe money. That doesn't make it right and that doesn't make it not a criminal offense. Is it impossible for you to understand that both those sentences are true?

      I haven't determined that Virginians don't care that much about the McDonnells' crimes. Virginians have. What the McDonnells did is not a state crime in Virginia, and from the reporting I've read, people there were genuinely surprised that their former governor and first lady were convicted. This attitude about graft is wide spread enough in that state to have been given a name, "the Virginia way."

      Please don't mischaracterize what I've said. It's not "simply" that the McDonnells were unlucky to govern in a 4th Circuit state. Their avarice and absent ethical sense contributed mightily to their predicament. But if what they did amounted to much in the annals of crime, it would still be a crime had they been the Jindals.

  15. Hilarious. Mercy for these powerful freaks? It's best saved for the infinitely more deserving.
    I myself love a good gloat when the stupid, powerful greedheads are brought low. I couldn't care less about who thinks it's bad form, or whether it conforms to somebody's tired ideas about about what a liberal is.

  16. Interesting article. Written by a dour reporter, however.