resident Obama says he will address "shortly" Rep. Joe Sestak's (D-PA) claim that a White House official offered the congressman a job as enticement to drop his primary challenge against Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA). The GOP isn't waiting for the report. All seven Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee asked Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to check if any laws were broken, and Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) said such a crime "could be impeachable." The president insists "nothing improper" occurred — but could the Sestak affair become, as Issa claims, "Obama's Watergate"? (Watch a Fox discussion on whether Obama could face impeachment)
This is just "GOP playacting": Republicans are just "going through the motions" with their laughable "impeachment fantasies," says Jay Bookman in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. No neutral expert thinks the Obama team's apparent attempt to "stage-manage" the Sestak-Specter primary is illegal, or even remarkable. Neither do Republicans — this "feigned anger" is just to get their base "stirred up and full of hope."
"Joe Sestak lets loose GOP impeachment fantasies"
Don't dismiss the Watergate comparison: "If Sestak was offered a high post in the administration to abandon his challenge to a U.S. senator endorsed by Obama, this would seem on its face a criminal violation of federal law," says Pat Buchanan in The American Conservative. So yes, we need a special prosecutor. Remember, when the Nixon White House investigated itself, like Obama's has, it similarly found no wrongdoing.
"Was Sestak bribed?"
Stupidity isn't a felony: The only potential crime here is "criminally stupid" politics, says Michael Grunwald in Time. Why would Obama want Sestak out of the race? His challenge from the left was the only thing that kept Specter in line with the Democratic caucus after his party switch. Luckily for Obama, dumb politics isn't enough to get him "frog-marched out of the White House."
"A Sestak offer? Criminally stupid, not criminal"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- 10 things you need to know today: March 9, 2014
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- This energy source could solve all of our problems — so why is no one talking about it?
Subscribe to the Week