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Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Daschle Scandal Expands

I recently spoke with someone that thought highly of Nixon's Presidency. I asked him why Nixon didn't immediately go to the Attorney General and rat out all the perpetrators of the Watergate break in. He said that these were his friends and colleagues and that he felt a loyalty to protect them. Dick Morris once said something perceptive about the Presidency in this regard. Dick Morris said that Presidents need to be cut throat and ruthless. Presidents need to be able to cut their friends and loyal confidants loose as soon as they become a liability to their own Presidency. This is no easy task. No one becomes President without having a very deep appreciation for loyalty. Yet, once President, nothing is more important than the job of being President.

This brings me to the latest revelation in the scandal surrounding Tom Daschle.

Daschle reportedly waited nearly a month after being nominated to be secretary of health and human services before informing President Obama that he had not paid years of back taxes.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that Daschle paid $140,000 in back taxes and interest to the U.S. Treasury on Jan. 2, and about two days later informed the White House and the Senate Finance Committee, the White House confirmed to the Post.

In other words, Daschle held all of this information back until after being nominated. This is unthinkable and clearly shows that Daschle cares more about his own ambitions than he does about the success of the Presidency.

That's why it should be not only stunning but troubling that President Obama continues to support Daschle. Often it is in the best interest of the President to cut loose those that deserve loyalty. President Bush would have done his Presidency much good by cutting Donald Rumsfeld loose long before 2006. Here Daschle has shown he deserves no loyalty at all. Instead of expressing outrage and immediatley dropping Daschle, President Obama had dug his heals in.

As such, between the nomination of Tim Geittner and Daschle, the Obama Presidency is sending the message that tax impropriety is perfectly acceptable. That isn't new or hopeful but corrupt. This is the worst of politics. It means the powerful can get away with whatever they want and face absolutely no consequences. Both Daschle and Geittner are now a heartbeat away from the most powerful person in the world, even though both committed offenses the rest of us would have faced financial punishments that would have crushed us if we had committed.

Daschle must be removed because not removing him sends a message that the White House accepts corruption, it accepts cheating, and it accepts behavior that would put the rest of us in an untennable position. Such is not the message of a White House that stands for hope, change, and a new kind of politics.


Anonymous said...

So your argument is that Daschle has to go because keeping him would send an accurate and truthful message?

Who needs truth anyway? It just gets in the way of getting things done!

Anonymous said...

Cracks in the pedestal, people. The heights this man was lifted to in the minds of the press was staggering. By backing Daschle, we begin to see what sort of debts he's incurred in getting where he is.

My only question is how far will Barack fall? Will he land on the top of the rubble and be able to rise above it? Or will he crash hard, burn, and collapse from within.

I suspect some powerful people my turn on him. I imagine that even we the people will turn on him, if the Sharia goons hit us again. Only then will we know how hard he will hit the bottom.

Anonymous said...

$5M a year from health insurance cos to Daschle? of course they get to drop me if I don't pay $10,000/ year. what else is the plan, who else is getting paid. Theyv'e just ruined my hopes for reform, and tainted the entire election. We just got fooled agian!

Anonymous said...

I am a CPA and have prepared and filed many tax returns. I find it amazing the number of our "honorable" senators do not pay their fair share. This was not an error but a willful omission which is tax fraud. I would loose my license to practice and have my bank account levied if I did something similar. We do not all live my the same rules. Sad...I thought Obama might be different, but things don't change in Washington.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this is not surprising and is in perfect alignment with how Obama is running things right now. Look for more of the same.