Bush hypocrisy? Not this time

Look, I like a story about Bush hypocrisy as well as the next guy, but the latest “Lincoln Bedroom” flap is really absurd. [I found it on CalPundit, which refers to Crockmeister. Kos has it, too, as does Tena at Eschaton]

I think Kevin, Kos, Tena, and the Crockmeister are wrong to suggest that the current flap is comparable to the Clinton “Lincoln Bedroom” flap.

The accusation against Bill Clinton wasn’t that he invited people to stay in the Lincoln Bedroom and that some of those people had raised money for, or given money to, his campaigns. There’s nothing wrong with that.

The accusation (whether true or false, I don’t know) was that Clinton’s fundraisers were promising donors, including people the Clintons barely knew, Lincoln Bedroom stayovers as a quid pro quo for specific donations. That’s not as bad in policy terms as doing official favors for donors or crafting regulations to help their companies, but it is pretty damned vulgar. That an old fraternity brother of Bush’s who has also raised money for the campaign got to stay overnight at the White House is simply not the same thing.

The AP story doesn’t cite a single example of someone otherwise a stranger to the Bushes who got to stay in the Lincoln Bedroom because he donated or raised money for the campaign. The story proves, as far as I can tell, the opposite of what it’s supposed to prove: the Bushes have not been selling White House guest privileges for campaign cash.

Yes, it’s fair to ask what they have been selling for campaign cash. But that’s a different story. This story is a bunch of hokum.

George W. Bush provides a target-rich environment for criticism. Stretching fact and logic to score political points is bad morals. Wasting munitions on imaginary targets is bad tactics.

Update 3/12:

More here

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

One thought on “Bush hypocrisy? Not this time”

  1. Soros, Lincoln Bedroom, Etc.

    Mark Kleiman convincing defends Bush from even a hypocrisy charge on the Lincoln bedroom front.Clinton's behavior in this regard is illustrative of a general Democratic party problem. The basic dilemma is that a party needs to raise a lot of…

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