Monday, May 15, 2006

The most corrupt and immoral administration

Clinton's? Not even close

From the May 15, 2006, Letters to the Editor:

Bellyaching by liberal Democrats

Steve Mehlman's May 11 letter "The sinking ship" was just the latest in an endless line of bellyaching by liberal Democrats (both Bee editorial writers and those who write letters) about mean, corrupt Republicans. I think that I can speak for all Republicans everywhere when I say that at least we know what the definition of "is" is. It is amazing how liberal Democrats, who find fault with all things Republican, blindly defended the most corrupt and immoral administration in American history, the Clinton administration.

Jim Michaelson, Sacramento
Welcome to another installment of what David Brock called the Republican Noise Machine. Certain GOP memes like “Clinton was the most corrupt” are transmitted by various right-wing media and then parroted by dutiful conservative citizens who never have a clue how their strings are being pulled.

There is a good chance now that George W. Bush's administration will end up enshrined in history as the nation's most corrupt. Bill Clinton's isn't even in contention. The Nixon years were so saturated with lawbreaking that even his attorney general ended up as a convicted felon. As detailed in a lengthy report in Rolling Stone, Ronald Reagan is the runner-up to Richard Nixon:
By contrast, the most scandal-ridden administration in the modern era, apart from Nixon's, was Ronald Reagan's, now widely remembered through a haze of nostalgia as a paragon of virtue. A total of twenty-nine Reagan officials, including White House national security adviser Robert McFarlane and deputy chief of staff Michael Deaver, were convicted on charges stemming from the Iran-Contra affair, illegal lobbying and a looting scandal inside the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Three Cabinet officers—HUD Secretary Samuel Pierce, Attorney General Edwin Meese and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger—left their posts under clouds of scandal. In contrast, not a single official in the Clinton administration was even indicted over his or her White House duties, despite repeated high-profile investigations and a successful, highly partisan impeachment drive.

No, Mr. Michaelson, Bill Clinton by no means presided over “the most corrupt and immoral administration in American history.” Nice use of a Republican talking point, though.

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