Two Potential Winners From The Blagojevich Scandal

The Rod Blagojevich story is not really the kind of story I like seeing dominate the news as a blogger. The facts appear pretty clear and are covered by so many sources that there is no need for people to read about it in a blog. Even worse from the perspective of blogging is that there isn’t any real controversy here. I think that most people on both the left and right think that Blagojevich should be removed from office, imprisoned, and used as an example of the type of politics that hopefully most people in both parties want to see ended. In some cases a politician involved in a scandal might receive some support from some in their party, but in this case Democrats are offering no support, with Senate Democrats calling on him to step down.

There is one update to my post from yesterday. Rahm Emanuel has denied being the one who gave the FBI the tip on Blagojevich.

Besides the late night comics, I can see two people who might benefit from this scandal:

The complaints that Caroline Kennedy might be appointed Senator from New York based upon her family connections all of a sudden look like far less of a problem compared to Blagojevich trying to sell a seat. Besides, while there is certainly a valid argument here, it also seems less meaningful when we look back at New York’s tradition of electing big names to the Senate, from Robert Kennedy to Hillary Clinton. A Marist poll finds the public to be closely divided between Kennedy and another name-politician, Andrew Cuomo.

The other winner could be Eliot Spitzer. Paying money for a hooker doesn’t seem anywhere near as bad as selling a Senate seat. Spitzer is attempting to regain somewhat to a public role by writing, including as a columnist at Slate. Perhaps he also has dreams of returning to politics. Afterall, sex scandals have not stopped a number of Republicans, as Steve Benen recently pointed out. Spitzer might do well if he could get people to compare him to Blagojevich. Unfortunately Spitzer’s biggest problem is that people are comparing the actual conduct of Eliot Spitzer to the image which Spitzer created, such as in ads like the one I previously posted here.

Jon Stewart Takes on Mike Huckabee’s Homophobia

Mike Huckabee seems like such a nice guy that it is sometimes easy to forget what a disaster it would be if he were ever elected president. Sometimes he even sounds reasonable, such as when he criticized others on the religious right who are pushing for school prayer as he doesn’t see this as the role of schools. If we are ever tempted to think he might be tolerable as president, we got a wake up call from his interview with Jon Stewart last night.

Stewart asked Huckabee about his views on social conservatism and gay marriage in the second half of the interview (video above). Stewart was rightly critical of Huckabee’s view that the state should be making a decision as to whether gay individuals should be allowed to marry. Here is a portion of the transcript from Think Progress:

STEWART: Segregation used to be the law until the courts intervened.

HUCK: There’s a big difference between a person being black and a person practicing a lifestyle and engaging in a marital relationship.

STEWART: Okay, actually this is helpful because it gets to the crux of it. … And I’ll tell you this: Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality. And the protections that we have for religion — we protect religion. And talk about a lifestyle choice — that is absolutely a choice. Gay people don’t choose to be gay. At what age did you choose to not be gay?

Huckabee tried to insist that “60 percent of the American population” opposes gay marriage. Stewart interrupted him, calling it a “travesty” that gay Americans have to plead for their civil rights:

HUCKABEE: If the American people are not convinced that we should overturn the definition of marriage, then I would say that those who support the idea of same-sex marriage have a lot of work to do to convince the rest of us. And as I said, 60 percent of the American population has made the decision–

STEWART: You know, you talk about the pro-life movement [abortion] being one of the great shames of our nation. I think if you want number two, I think it’s that: It’s a travesty that people have forced someone who is gay to have to make their case that they deserve the same basic rights as someone else.

There’s also more on this interview at Pam’s House Blend.

The fact that Huckabee supports using government to discriminate against one group of Americans is reason enough not to vote for him, although this would apply to the vast majority of the Republican Party. There are also other concerns about Huckabee, such has his believe in creationism. Last January, when he was a candidate for the Republican nomination, we were warned by scientists that Huckabee’s views on science were “a way of leading our country to ruin.”