Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Pants Story

So I go around trying to ignore the news and enjoy summer, and suddenly we have this huge story breaking about the former head of the NSA stuffing classified documents down his pants. I suppose I can't pretend I've been ignoring it. And like every other blogger on the planet, I suppose I ought to offer some comments.

The interesting thing to me about this story has very little to do with the actual events and everything to do with how Democrats respond. On its face Sandy Berger's actions stink to high heaven even in the friendliest (i.e. "sloppy") explanation. Additionally, Berger's claim that this was all "inadvertant," simply cannot be squared with the facts. He did this multiple times, and seems to have chosen to remove every draft of a specific document out of the "thousands" he was to have been reviewing. This hardly sounds like a guy inclined to coming clean, again even to the friendliest ears.

So I'm going to use this as a personal litmus test to see how far the Democrats have ethically fallen. Surely the moonbat contingent has already decided that ethics can go out the window in pursuit of victory. But how about the rank and file?

I'm perfectly content for the national figures to adopt a "wait until we know all the facts" position. I don't expect them to be eager to admit the worst about this incident. I'm far more interested in the reactions of the "man on the street." Not that he's being helped by the press coverage of this incident.

As Republican commentators have been noting, there is simply no way on earth this story would be handled so delicately if the accused party was current NSA chief Condaleeza Rice, or even a former official from the Reagan or the elder Bush's administrations. But I already realize rank and file Dems can talk themselves into believing otherwise. That's not so much a test of honesty as a testament to the strength of their world view - which includes the notion that news organs like the New York Times and CNN are centrist and objective. Still, this story is breaking anyway, and the truth will come out no matter how reluctantly.

Republicans will rightly conclude that a crime has been committed which endangered national security, and that it was committed by a high ranking former Democratic official who was an advisor to the Kerry campaign. Those are, after all, the mere facts of the situation. Anything else that comes out as this thing goes along can only make this even worse.

So now, as the story unfolds, we wait and watch. Has the political left become so morally bankrupt that they'll uniformly defend Mr. Berger? Or does enough basic decency remain that they'll have to denounce this scandal at some point, even if it may harm their quest for a Democratic return to the White House?

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