Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Schumer's Plumbers

Not my title, I just liked it enough to stick with it. It is the title of a piece in Investor's Business Daily discussing the role of Senator Schumer's office in illegally obtaining and using personal information about Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele. They come out swinging:

While the media focus on House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's alleged skirting of campaign laws to get Republicans elected, former Education Secretary Bill Bennett's alleged racially insensitive hypothetical regarding blacks, crime and abortion, and Sen. Bill Frist's recent sale of stock, a real crime against a black politician has been committed in virtual silence.

Sen. Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, is chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), and it's his job to get Democrats elected in hopes of wresting Senate control from the GOP. Michael Steele is lieutenant governor of Maryland, and the DSCC, and along with most everyone else, expects Steele to run for the open seat of retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes.

Steele, an African American, is a rising star in a Republican party regularly accused of racial insensitivity if not outright racism, a party that thought so highly of him and his political future that it chose him to be the deputy permanent chairman of the 2004 Republican Convention.
Steele, a Catholic who once trained for the priesthood, was inspired to join the Republican Party by Ronald Reagan's failed 1976 presidential bid. He demonstrated in his appearance at the 2004 convention that he has charisma, warmth and a keen grasp of public policy. He has already won statewide in Maryland.

Apparently nothing frightens the DSCC more than an articulate and charismatic black American who also happens to be a Reagan conservative. How else to explain the behavior of two of Schumer's campaign committee members — research director Katie Barge and junior staffer Lauren Weiner — who dug for dirt using Steele's Social Security number, reportedly culled from court records, to fraudulently and illegally obtain his credit report?

Yes, once again we're forced to play the 'What if?,' game simply because, well, we must. The silence of big media in this and similar circumstances where the player lists a (D) after his name is deafening.

Yet again, we're left to intuit the press's take on this because they son't address it. What of it?

Well, IBD says this: One would think a potential felony by staffers for a top Democrat — a case being investigated by the U.S. attorney's office in D.C. as well as the FBI — would at least get a paragraph of coverage somewhere between the grocery coupons and the obituaries.

And yet again, we're left to wonder why. One conclusion is that they wish to lay cover for a politician they generally, if not specifically, support; a member of the party for which a vast majority of them vote.

Wrong? Off-base? Well, until you can tell conclusively one way or the other, jumpin to conclusions is one of only a few options.

So come on guys, even an attempt at some even-handed and fair coverage would be nice.

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