The Case Freak Project
Kudos to Senator Barack Obama for refusing to play Pumpkinhead's guilt-by-no-association game. You've already seen the Belafonte exchange, wherein Pumpkinhead tried to earn brownie points from his pal Don Imus, so let's look at another exchange:
MR. RUSSERT: You've been appointed, selected as the Democrats' point man on lobbying reform in the Senate. I want to talk about Jack Abramoff and the scandal now in terms of lobbying and potential reform. According to the Center for Responsive Politics and The Washington Post, Mr. Abramoff and his clients and his associates gave about $3 million to Republicans, about $1.5 million to Democrats. Is this a bipartisan scandal?
SEN. OBAMA: Well, I think the problem of money in politics is bipartisan. I think that all of us who are involved in the political process have to be concerned about the enormous sums of money that have to raised in order to run campaigns, how that money's raised, and at least the appearance of impropriety and the potential access that's given to those who are contributing. That's a general problem with our politics. The specific problem of inviting lobbyists in who have bundled huge sums of money to write legislation, having the oil and gas company companies come in to write energy legislation, having drug companies come in and write the Medicare prescription drug bill -- which we now see is not working for our seniors -- those are very particular problems of this administration and this Congress. And I think Jack Abramoff and the Case Freak Project, that whole thing is a very particular Republican sin.
MR. RUSSERT: No sin for the Democrats?
SEN. OBAMA: Well, with respect to how Tom DeLay consolidated power in the House of Representatives, invited lobbyists like Abramoff in to help write legislation, leveraging those lobbyists and telling them that they can only hire Republicans, manipulating the rules of the House and the Senate in order to move forward legislation that was helpful to special interests. There is a qualitative difference to what's been happening in Washington over the last several years that has real consequences. It means a prescription drug bill that doesn't work for our seniors. It means an energy policy that does nothing to help relieve high gas prices at the pump. These aren't just abstractions, these are problems that have very real consequences to the American people. And my hope is is that, on a bipartisan basis, we can come up with a solution that returns some semblance of responsiveness to Washington.
The Senator shrewdly refused to play Russert's game, knowing it wouldn't stop Russert from repeating G.O.P. lies on Abramoff (as he did in the following segment with the freak Matalin). So he addressed issues voters care about, tying Jackoff to the Bugchaser almost as an afterthought, leaving Russert to blather about inside-the-beltway stuff. Anyone viewing or reading the exchange can see Pumpkinhead got clowned.