Maguire: “Deceit and denial in the White House”

Tom Maguire can’t defend the Administration on the OPM.

One of the admirable things about Red Blogistan is its message discipline. In particular, while Blue bloggers tend to worry the latest Democratic error or fissure or misdeed to death, Red bloggers are capable of blithely ignoring facts that don’t fit their preconceptions, instead simply riding their usual hobbyhorses. They’ve had a lot of practice at that lately. (Of course, I’m describing tendencies, not a black-and-white difference.) Glenn Reynolds, for example, tried a couple of lame RNC talking points early in the history of the Overblown Personnel Matter, but has maintained tight radio silence since.

Tom Maguire is an exception. Rather than ignoring inconvenient facts, he does the best job he can of explaining them away, or at least burying them in so much inconsequential verbiage that his readers can’t see their significance. (He’s been working the defense side of the Valerie Plame scandal almost since it started, making the best of a pitifully weak case.)

In addition to his willingness to discuss (however tendentiously) facts unfavorable to his biases, Maguire has another valuable characteristic: limits. He’s been doing a good job for his side on the Overblown Personnel Matter, not saying much about it but helpfully sneering about its unimportance.

The latest stupid pet trick with the missing emails has finally crossed Tom’s lines. He’s had it.

Clown show. Expletive deleted clown show.

Naturally, no right-wing performance would be complete without the ritual Hillary-bashing, but in this case Maguire turns it back on the Bushies:

Fred Thompson wouldn’t lose emails! Neither would Rudy. Hillary, OTOH, will lose anything not nailed down. Hmm, I would feel even better if Bush had campaigned on a promise to maintain deceit and denial in the White House.

Maguire is a kind of litmus test. If there’s anything plausible, or even nearly plausible, to be said in defense of Republicans, Maguire will say it. But when the situation is completely, utterly, obviously hopeless, he’ll admit it. In the stopped-clock crowd he runs with, that makes him a beacon of intellectual honesty. Other Red bloggers, please copy.

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