How’s that Hope and ChangeTM working out at Change.gov, the transition website for President-Elect Barack Obama? They seem to have the change part down pat, at least. Ben Smith of Politico notes that the Obamaphiles have tubed comments relating to the scandal surrounding Rod Blagojevich, and that Team Obama seems happy to let them continue:
President-elect Barack Obama’s Transition today launched “Open for Questions,” a Digg-style feature allowing citizens to submit questions, and to vote on one another’s questions, bringing favored inquiries to the top of the list.
It was suggested when it launched that the tool would bring uncomfortable questions to the fore, but the results so far are the opposite: Obama’s supporters appear to be using — and abusing — a tool allowing them to “flag” questions as “inappropriate” to remove all questions mentioning Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich from the main pages of Obama’s website.
The Blagojevich questions — many of them polite and reasonable — can be found only by searching words in them, like “Blagojevich,” which produces 35 questions missing from the main page of the site.
Questions removed from the site:
- Given the current corruption charges involving Blagojevich, will ‘serious’ campaign finance reform that takes money completely out of politics through publicly funded elections be a priority in the first term?
- In light of the recent corruption scandals (Blagojevich, Rangel, Jefferson, Stevens, etc) that have dominated the political scene,is there any ethics legislation being crafted to actually curb corruption and prevent another wave of nixonian cynicism?
- Is Barack Obama aware of any communications in the last six weeks between Rod Blagojevich or anyone representing Rod Blagojevich and any of Obama’s top aides?
On a campaign web site, a candidate and his staff would understandably rid themselves of anything embarrassing so that the candidate didn’t have to answer for it. Obama stopped being a candidate on November 4th, and became the President-Elect. We know this, because Obama has a government website and a big sign that says ‘OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT-ELECT’ with his faux seal at every press conference.
In other words, it’s time for accountability. If Obama doesn’t want to answer tough questions, he should stop trolling for them on official government websites. And since we’re all paying for it, nobody should be able to force those questions off of an official government website.