Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Word To Glenn Thrush: Judicial Watch ≠ A "Good-Government Group"

I'm a big fan of Glenn Thrush's Congressional coverage on Politico, but he should know better than to call Judicial Watch a "good-government group". (To his credit, Thrush gives Pelosi aides adequate space to respond to the insubstantial Judicial Watch smears.)

I understand the impulse to be somewhat deferential to people's self-descriptions. But there has to be a limit on this sort of stuff. Just as you don't call NAMBLA a child welfare organization, you don't call a group that uses millions from Richard Mellon Scaife to harass the Clintons, push Swift Boat smears against John Kerry, and raise Terri Schiavo hysteria a "good government organization". These guys are just a right-wing pressure group, pure and simple.

4 comments:

Stephen said...

It's the same old thing. Republicans are known to be selfish, greedy bastards - they celebrate it. So their (mis)use of government funds, equipment and perks is a non-story. Democrats are the good guys, so anything that can be possibly stretched and twisted into making them look like Republicans turns into a story about how awful they are.

Ankush said...

I hate to ruin a good old-fashioned simplistic storyline, but:

http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript_klayman.html

and

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/02/AR2007120200340.html

Not to suggest they're not conservative (they are), or that they haven't done things I strongly disagree with. But I don't think your post necessarily conveys the whole picture.

Rousseau said...

Yes with Ankush. I hate them, but the definition of good-government groups is pretty vague. I know there are many liberal groups that work very hard to act officially non-partisan while still hurting many conservative politicians, that Republicans would complain about being called good government groups.

Neil Sinhababu said...

Don't worry, Ankush, the simplistic storyline is still mostly intact.

The Abramoff thing doesn't help -- it's kind of like a Democrat trumpeting their support for clean government because they said something negative about Blagojevich or voted to impeach him. At a certain point people become such humongous liabilities that you don't score any good-government points by trying to amputate them. All you do is avoid losses.

The Cheney thing is okay, though. But in the end, "good-government group" isn't the right characterization here. At least toss a "conservative" on the beginning so we know what's going on.