Warner Todd Huston
Obama dirt digger's brand new gig
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By Warner Todd Huston
February 13, 2009

Back in 2007, many media outlets and their co-conspirators on the left were aghast that George W. Bush would try to place an "opposition researcher" for the GOP into the U.S. attorney general's office in Arkansas. In high dudgeon, these folks claimed that Bush was "politicizing" the White House counsel and pinned it all on the evil Karl Rove. Bush's appointment was scuttled to satisfy critics. But, now Obama is doing the same thing — only in a worse form — and the same media and lefty critics are oddly silent.

Barack Obama has been fond of saying that his so-called stimulus bill has "shovel ready jobs" built into it. This would be jobs ready to go, make-work style things of little lasting worth that are reminiscent of FDR's feels-goodism of the New Deal. Regardless of what Obama really means about any association between shovels and jobs he certainly has at least one shovel-evoking job made up of whole cloth and manned by a likely suspect. I am talking here about Obama's new job for his dirt digger in residence, the newly minted job of "White House counsel research director."

It's a grand title for dirt digger, but there you have it.

As the Washington Times reported on February 9, President Obama invented a new position into which he slipped one Shauna Daly. Daly has been what is called an "opposition researcher" for the Obama campaign for some time. It was her job to find an opponent's worst dirt, his most troublesome secrets, so that strategy on how best to destroy him can be planned.

And now, Obama has invented a new job to reward dirty tricks squad member, Daly. The position of "White House counsel research director," one that never existed before, is now attached to White House counsel Greg Craig's office and this has caused some raised eyebrows in the legal community.

You see, unlike staffers of the White House counsel's office appointed by other presidents, Miss Daly has no legal training. No schooling, no past work at law, no law degree. Her sole past work has been that of a political nature.

She is just a dirt digger. Nothing more.

This means, of course, that Obama has just politicized the White House counsel's office. It is no longer one that chiefly concerns itself with the defining legal reasoning upholding presidential decisions, but one that will actively participate in political machinations. It has gone from advisory to participating in campaigns.

This would be bad enough if George W. Bush wasn't lambasted for supposedly trying a similar thing. As the Times notes, in 2007 Bush tried to get a position for Arkansan Timothy Griffin in the U.S. attorney general's office in Arkansas. Griffin was also an opposition researcher, but for the Republicans and Karl Rove at that. When Bush made that move, voices were raised in outrage that a mere "political hack" would be offered such an important position.

In 2007, the Arkansas Times reported the outrage of U.S. Senators Blanche Lincoln (D, Ark.) and her cohort Mark Pryor (D, Ark.) over Bush's attempts to find Griffin a job.

    "I do not know Tim Griffin personally," Lincoln said. "However, I have concerns about his partisan activities over a four-year period under Karl Rove in the White House, which causes me to question his ability to perform the duties of U.S. attorney in a fair and impartial manner."

    "We all know what's going on here," Teague said. "He's being rewarded with this post for his political work."

So, where are Pryor and Lincoln now over Obama's even more outrageous move to slip his own political hack into the counsel's office? Mysteriously quiet apparently.

The Washington Times also points out a major difference between Shauna Daly and Tim Griffin. Griffin is an actual lawyer with government experience at that profession. Daly, on the other hand, has no such qualification.

    "Tim had served on a congressional committee as a lawyer. He also prosecuted cases for 10 years in the Army. He's a real lawyer," Mr. [Mark] Corrallo said. "But because he had worked at the RNC and the White House political office, he was a hack.

Others besides Senators Lincoln and Pryor had their feathers ruffled over the Griffin episode back in 2007. Talking Points Membo, for instance, wondered "now, why would Karl Rove want his top oppo researcher being the US Attorney in Arkansas for the next two years?" The American Spectator also dealt with the situation in 2007 in a story that details some of the other attacks from the media and the left that Griffin suffered then.

Now we have to address another of Barack Obama's oft stated comments, that of the "post-partisan politics" he claimed to be ready to initiate. Yet, here he is putting a leftwing, political hack in the office of the White House counsel? A woman whose only job in the public sphere has been to dig up dirt to hurl at political opponents. A woman that has no legal background, no education, no experience in anything but political hackery.

Is this the "post political" world that Barack Obama is building?

And where are the usual suspects that were constantly exercised over Karl Rove, the evil genius of political doom, whom these folks were sure was "politicizing" everything in government to create an evil reign of political skulduggery that would demean the office of the presidency?

Once again, we see the hypocrisy of these claims from the moonbat left. Clearly they are not exercised over mere politics invading the White House. They were only upset that it wasn't their brand of political skulduggery that was installed perforce by a Machiavellian president. Now that The One has wandered into the White House in his shirtsleeves, with hors d'oeuvres and wine in hand, they are suddenly not so upset that dirty tricks are du jour in the White House.

Imagine that!

This story broke by the Washington Times seems to make for one more example of the myth that is Obama's "new politics," doesn't it?

© Warner Todd Huston

 

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Warner Todd Huston

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