People wonder why the media is so thoroughly distrusted and even despised these days.
Mark down this past week as a case study in why so many people are so angry with politicians and the practice of politics.
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), one of the longest-serving and most powerful members of Congress, was forced to give up the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee (a leave of absence, he called it).
Caught in a swirl of allegations involving unpaid taxes and accepting corporate-underwritten trips, Rangel finally stepped aside to avoid a potentially embarrassing vote against him by his colleagues. His case is far from over.
Meanwhile, New York Gov. David Paterson (D) fought to hang onto his office amid rising indignation and calls for his resignation over reports that he intervened in a domestic abuse allegation lodged against one of his highest-ranking aides.
Another New Yorker, Rep. Eric Massa (D), first announced last week that he would not seek reelection, then by week’s end suddenly announced he would resign his seat Monday. The purported reason, he said when announcing he would not run in the fall, was health-related. But the decision came amid allegations that he had sexually harassed a staff member. By resigning, he can end an ethics investigation into the charges.
Got that? Democrats have 1) Refused to pay their taxes and took possible bribes from corporations, 2) Sought to keep a crime from being reported, 3) cornered a staff member and tried to rub them in fun places.
Now for the Republicans:
Meanwhile, Republicans ran from an embarrassment of their own, a controversial Republican National Committee fundraising presentation that was first surfaced by Politico’s Ben Smith. The PowerPoint presentation included a slide with the title “The Evil Empire.” The slide depicted President Obama as the Joker (with a caption that read, “socialism”), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Cruella De Vil and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as Scooby-Doo.
So, someone that was paid to be highly partisan (The Director of the Republican National Committee) – but was not an elected official and held no government power – made funny pictures of people.
Do you get the sense that Dan Balz is trying hard to find something nasty about the Republicans?