Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Am Shocked, Shocked To Find Premature Criticism of Obama Here

An almost perfect encapsulation of John Dickerson's travails as he's thrown willy-nilly by the group-think of the Washington Press Corps:

12/9 -- Criminal Complaint is released, contains no evidence of any wrongdoing or even awareness of wrongdoing on the part of Obama ("Motherfucker A" in the complaint, I believe). Obama "looks great"!

12/9 -- Within 24 hours, this obvious lack of evidence has magically combined with an "unsatisfying" Obama response to produce the vague outlines of a scandal. Left unsaid is that any response short of "I resign" is unsatisfying to right-wingers desperately trying to push this story into the Clinton Zone of Permanent Suspicion.

12/10-12/15 -- Quick break: "Boy, it must be hard to be Bush."

12/17 -- Hey, lay off Obama, boys! He's had enough from you terrible vultures! Quit telling him his responses are "unsatisfying" and raise unsettling questions!

In the world of criminal law, a member of a criminal conspiracy can avoid being culpable for the acts of his conspirators if he openly withdraws from the conspiracy by disavowing the conspiracy prior to the criminal act. In practice, this means that you get a lot of criminals jumping ship and "disavowing" their cohorts at the point when it becomes obvious that the scheme is going to fail.

I'd like to say that explains why, after a week of Blago scandal coverage utterly failed to dent Obama's popularity, Dickerson has decided to turn and lecture his peers on the irresponsibility of scandal-mongering. But that would be unrealistic -- in real life, criminals don't turn on each other that quickly.