A minor, but interesting, aspect of the ongoing US Attorney firing scandal has been this statement last Sunday on Meet the Press by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), questioning the qualifications of Carol Lam:
She’s a former law professor; no prosecutorial experience; and the former campaign manager in Southern California for Clinton.
Now, the interesting thing about that is that it apparently is completely untrue: Lam was never a law professor, had lots of previous prosecutorial experience, and was never associated with the campaign of either Clinton. Hatch wasn’t called on it on the show, for which I guess we can thank the kwality of TV “journalism” these days. (Though presumably Tim Russert will have Hatch back on some day and put the quote up on screen, asking him for his response.)
But I guess it could be worse. I’m willing to stipulate that there’s a smallish chance that Hatch was merely in the throes of creeping dementia. And maybe MTP’s failure to point out the falsehood was the result of mere journalistic incompetence. In the case of the following Rush Limbaugh comment from a few days later, though, I don’t see any way around it: The guy was just flat-out lying:
Carol Lam was a campaign manager! These people would normally be made ambassadors, but Clinton put her in as a US attorney.
Um, no. She was not a campaign manager, or anything else, for Clinton, and was appointed as a US Attorney in 2002 by George W. Bush.
If you want to find people willing to tell blatant lies to support your pre-eixsting biases, you can find them. For those of a right-wing bent, Rush Limbaugh serves the purpose nicely. Just don’t expect the grown-ups to pay much attention to your opinions once they recognize where they’re coming from.
A nice roundup is available from Little Thom’s blog: The Logic of Over-the-Top Suspicion.
Update: Interesting followup from Josh Marshall: I become frightened sometimes… It includes this great quote from Orrin Hatch, released today:
My comments about Carol Lam’s record as a U.S. Attorney were accurate, but I misspoke when making the point of discussing politically connected U.S. Attorneys. I accidentally used her name, instead of her predecessor, Alan Bersin, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton.
Heh. My comments were accurate… except that they were about a completely different person who has no connection with the matter I was actually discussing. Wow, that’s cool. Let’s all try:
Talking to the IRS: Oh, right, yeah. My tax return was accurate… except that it was an accurate accounting of the income of somebody other than me.
Talking to an irate girlfriend: My statement that you have an enormous rear end was accurate… but see, I didn’t actually mean you; I meant Rush Limbaugh.
Talking to a boss: Oh, gee, yeah; that big cash deposit I was supposed to make with our receipts for the week last Friday. I made that deposit, I really did. It’s just that I made it into a different person’s account, rather than the corporate account where it was supposed to go.