Monday, January 23, 2006

WaPo ombudsman Deborah Howell: Redefining "dense."

As much as I want to move on to local election-related stuff, there's one more point I want to make regarding WaPo ombudsweasel Deborah Howell's tortured illogic in trying to tar Democrats with what is solely a Republican scandal, since I haven't seen anyone else discuss this particular point.

In her infamous non-apology column here, Howell writes:

I wrote that he gave campaign money to both parties and their members of Congress. He didn't. I should have said he directed his client Indian tribes to make campaign contributions to members of Congress from both parties.

Now, as I already explained back here, Howell has most emphatically not made the case that Abramoff personally directed his Indian client tribes to contribute to Democrats. But even if he had, the proper response would be ... so what?

Think about it: Abramoff arranges with his clients (those would be the clients he was stealing from, by the way) to quietly funnel money to some Democrats. If that were the case, that money would appear to the Dems to be coming, not from Abramoff, but from the tribes themselves, no? In short, a Democrat would see nothing but what appeared to be a perfectly legal campaign contribution. In what way does this implicate the Dems in the scandal?

In any event, Howell's career as anything resembling an objective representative of readers' concerns has effectively gone down in flames and, as Thomas Huxley once famously said, "Life is too short to occupy oneself with the slaying of the slain more than once."

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