More than enough attention has been paid to Rudy Giuliani’s comments about Barack Obama not loving America already, but the usual suspects in the media will ride that horse into the ground. Of course, criticizing Giuliani isn’t good enough for the majority of the media arm of the DNC. A story such as this one is far too juicy to be confined to criticism of one essentially retired politician who won’t be running for national office any time soon. The wild shots being fired across the news spectrum are far more useful if they can be directed at a truly dangerous target.
One of the slower gunslingers at the shootout was Dana Milbank, who decided this was an excellent opportunity to take one of the cheapest jabs possible at… Scott Walker.
What Rudy Giuliani did this week was stupid.
What Scott Walker did ought to disqualify him as a serious presidential contender…
This is what’s alarming about the Giuliani affair. There will always be people on the fringe who say outrageous things (and Giuliani, once a respected public servant, has sadly joined the nutters as he questioned the president’s patriotism even while claiming he was doing no such thing). But to have a civilized debate, it’s necessary for public officials to disown such beyond-the-pale rhetoric. And Walker failed that fundamental test of leadership.
You really need to read no further to see what’s wrong this this line of attack and all of the similar ones to come over the next 21 months. The fact that Milbank can publish something like this with a straight face is rather emblematic of how far the Fourth Estate has fallen and the generally sad state of affairs when it comes to mainstream political commentary.
If you want to take Giuliani to task, fine. Have at it. But since when has it become “necessary” for every member of a given party to respond to or disown what someone else has to say? The answer to that one is simple… since the media decided that it was their job to ensure Democrats get elected rather simply reporting on the events of the election. Since when is it the job of every candidate on the trail to monitor each and every syllable uttered by every person out there and either support, decry or disown it? This is no test of leadership, as Milbank implies, but rather a test of the port side media to see if they can sling enough gotcha questions at the wall that one will eventually stick.
It’s tempting to go back through Milbank’s recent writings and see how often he has chased down Hillary in whichever secret fortress she’s currently residing and demand that she respond to every crazy thing Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders has said. Or, failing that, to at least beat on her door and demand to know why she isn’t commenting on anything. How about the current allegations that the DNC chair offered to change a fundamental policy position in exchange for certain favors? Does Hillary support that or will she disown Debby Downer and curse the ground upon which she walks? We’ll never know because Milbank and his ilk will never ask. This is a rule which applies exclusively to Republicans and it has absolutely nothing, zero, zilch, zip, nada to do with informing the public or helping them make an informed decision next November.
This story is about Team Clinton being on the march to victory. And Dana Milbank should at least be honest enough to wear a “Ready for Hillary” t-shirt when he goes to work every day if this is how the upcoming election analysis is going to be handled.