The New York Times editorializes today that
There doesn’t seem to be anything terribly unethical about the White House offer of an unpaid advisory position to Joe Sestak if he would bow out of the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, in which he later defeated Senator Arlen Specter.
The Times‘ only criticism of the offer was that it was an “unintelligent” thing to do.
How far the Times will go in making excuses for its favorite president is no better demonstrated than by its willingness to excuse a prima facie case of an attempted quid pro quo in violation of federal statute 18 U.S.C. 600 - a promise of an appointment to an Executive Branch position in return for the political act by Sestak to drop his primary challenge and pave the way for Specter’s nomination by the Democratic Party establishment.
Taking the White House counsel’s self-serving memo at face value, the newspaper of record concluded that there was all smoke and no fire to the attempts by
Republicans and the conservative blogosphere to hyperinflate it into the grave scandal it turned out, on Friday, not to be.
Sorry, Times editors, but this is a grave scandal which will not go away simply because the left-wing media and the White House wish it to disappear while nobody is paying attention during the Memorial Day weekend. I suggest the editors actually read 18 U.S.C. 600 and look at what even the White House admitted to doing in its counsel’s memo before dismissing the significance of this potentially impeachable offense.