Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, now facing 14 felony counts on corruption charges, offered up what may be called the “Obama defense” in his response: “If it were applied as the law of the land, then nearly every elected official, from President Obama on down, would have to be charged for providing tangible benefit to donors,” he said. It won’t fly with a judge, and makes no moral difference. But as an observation, he has a point.
President Obama has done the same thing ever since he took office, the most notorious example being the vast sums of money wasted on “green jobs” projects like Solyndra, where hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in loans and guarantees were shoveled to favored companies destined to fail. Much of the $862 billion “stimulus” of 2009 was a gift to unions, propping them up as a reward for getting him elected–and donating to that effort.
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey must be wondering the same thing as McDonnell, as he is hounded by media over lane closures allegedly ordered by his staff in retaliation against a local mayor for failing to support his re-election. We are reminded today by testimony in the government’s lawsuit against Standard and Poor’s that the White House does the same thing all the time–in this case, apparently retaliating for a ratings downgrade.
Why does Obama get away with it? Partly, because he is a Democrat. Perhaps, too, people give Obama the “benefit of the doubt” for other reasons, as the president suggested recently. But the real reason is that Obama disguises his corruption as being in the public interest, for a greater good. McDonnell was helping himself to the 1% lifestyle, and Christie was playing his part in a bad Sopranos spin-off. They are amateurs. Obama’s the pro.