It’s Always The Media’s Fault

At least, that’s how Michael Goldfarb is calling it on his latest call for the WHAMBULANCE based off of a NYT story that details McCain campaign manger Rick Davis’ role as owner of a consulting firm for the now infamous Fannie and Freddie entities.

As is becoming rather common from the McCain campaign, this is more blather than anything else, as detailed by Steve Benen:

Today, McCain campaign spokesperson/blogger Michael Goldfarb published a 700-word response to the news, and by any reasonable measure, the statement is a complete mess. In the very first sentence, Goldfarb says the reports charge that Davis “was paid by Freddie Mac until last month,” which Goldfarb insists is false. Actually, the reports charge that Davis’ lobbying firm was the one paid until last month, which is true.

Indeed, it’s almost as if Goldfarb didn’t read the article he was attacking. Davis lobbied against federal regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through the Homeownership Alliance, and once that was done, Davis asked Freddie Mac to put his firm on retainer, for $15,000 a month, for very little work. Not only does the McCain campaign’s official response not dispute this point, it doesn’t even acknowledge this central revelation.

Steve;s post further goes on to show that while Davis never did actually “lobby” as a specific act, Davis’ role as a “consultant” is potentially more damaging given that consultants aren’t forced to adhere to the same restrictions that lobbyists are.

Josh Marshall comes up with three more salient points to take away from this besides the point that Goldfarb actually fails to deny the actual charges of the NYT article, instead knocking down very cleverly dressed up straw-men.

  1. The McCain campaign has the “liar” brand cast upon them.  How trustworthy can their denials be?  Especially when they actually fail to be real denials?
  2. Davis may have taken a leave of the firm in question, but still has holding interests, interests that allow him to benefit from without being a participant in.
  3. And this is the most important one, apparently the monthly $15,000 in question was primarily for better access in a potential McCain administration for Fannie and Freddie.

Thus, Maha points out the petulant, nearly childish tone Goldfarb ultimately ends up with:

Freddie Mac did pay a monthly retainer of $15,000 to Rick Davis’ firm, Davis Manafort, but Davis himself did not take any of that money.

For the record, the New York Times story published a statemen from the McCain campaign saying David [sic] is not receiving income from his company.  The Times also said, however, that Davis “as a partner and equity-holder continues to benefit from its income.”

Goldfarb is having one major hissy fit and complaining that the New York Times has not published any nasty investigations into whatever nefarious things David Axelrod, Obama’s campaign manager, is into.  Press bias!

Further, it just gets more ridiculous considering that the McCain campaign has been desperately trying to pin the Fannie and Freddie tail on the Obama donkey.  When they find it firmly planted on their own asses, however, they don’t seem too terribly fond of that.  Per SilentPatriot at C&L:

How are we supposed to believe McCain will root out corruption in Washington when his campaign is run by the people doing all the corrupting?

What’s even worse is that for the past two weeks, the McCain campaign has been trying to tie Obama to disgraced former Freddie Mac CEO Franklin Raines, arguing that their “relationship” (a single contact from an Obama campaign official that both parties deny amounted to anything) somehow taints Obama. Nevermind the fact that McCain’s most senior campaign official was on Freddie’s payroll as late as last month. The hypocrisy couldn’t be more glaring.

You see, it all comes down to the whole personal responsibility the Republican party claims to be champions of.  McCain lacked the personal responsibility to be on the right side of regulation when it would have helped.  He lacked the personal responsibility to not be beholden to special interests in anything beyond rhetoric.  He lacked the personal responsibility to vet his own team, knowing full well the lobbyists he had in his midst.  And when the media finally got up off its asses and did the vetting for him in a humiliatingly public manner, the McCain campaign failed to take the personal responsibility for its failings, and instead scapegoats what is typically an all too gullible press corps.

And even on that front, the McCain campaign fails to take personal responsibility.  They could have had the press eating out of their hands; they were all too willing to do so.  But they deliberately chose to make the media the bad guy, and they can’t even exhibit the personal responsibility to weather the storm they have created.

Goldfarb can cry me a river, but he better know how to swim–I can swim just fine.


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