Both Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer withdrew from consideration for the positions they were offered in the Administration yesterday, with Daschle's departure making just a touch more news (being a former Senate Majority Leader who, in effect, supposedly helped write the very tax code he had been out of compliance with will do that). And, if I can be frank, let me just take one moment to illustrate a truth we hold to be self-evident: politicians don't write laws. Staffers write laws. They then explain to the best of their often-just-out-of-college ability what the results of any given piece of legislation will be, and send the Member down to the floor with some damn talking points. It's a big lie that politicians write laws. Our government is pretty much run by people younger than me.
The mistake, he said repeatedly in interviews with Charles Gibson of ABC, Brian Williams of NBC, Anderson Cooper of CNN, Chris Wallace of Fox and Katie Couric of CBS, was in seeming to give credence to the notion that one set of rules exists for VIPs and another for average Americans.
That's true and always has been. Blame our monarchical roots — hell, after we fought to get out from under a monarchy, most of this nascent country was still willing to make George Washington the King. Regardless, Obama would like to Change it enough that we all can pretend America is some meritocracy, which is probably part of the reason Howard Dean is being floated as a replacement for Daschle even though, at this point, I'm sort of expecting cat-torturer Bill Frist to make the short list. He has magical powers that allow him to diagnose people in just an hour of watching VHS tapes, you betcha.
Speaking of conservative choices that make no sense, today's head-scratcher is Obama's nomination of New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg to lead the Commerce Department. New Hampshire Governor John Lynch has appointed a Republican to replace him, eliminating the excuse that it could be political, and the dude once voted to eliminate the entire department, which bodes well for his stewardship of it. The only remote thought anyone can come up with is that Sam Stein says it gets him the hell out of Harry Reid's hair and "forces" him to explain the GOP's strategery to Obama which sounds like the biggest load of hysterically stupid optimistic crap I've yet to hear out of anyone, frankly.