Jonathan Alter On The Sestak Offer: It's Criminalizing Politics

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Jonathan Alter made some good points about why the Republicans are being ridiculous going after the White House and Sestak for this trumped up scandal on Real Time. It's criminalizing politics and if you're going to go after Obama and Emanuel for this, then there's a long list behind them to go after as well.

And Patrick Ruffini's tired line about campaign promises is wearing thin. That's not an excuse to scandalize everything and they obviously don't hold their own politicians to the same standard. As our team member Jamie pointed out to everyone when he was watching this last night "It's funny though that no one mentions how George W. Bush was going to 'restore the integrity of the Oval Office', and we all see how that went." Ain't that the truth.

I like Bill Maher's suggestion for a compromise at the end of the clip.

Alter: George H.W. Bush's political director Ron Kaufman said recently that if this was a crime that every president going back to George Washington, should go to jail. This has been done in politics forever. It will always be done in politics and there's actually nothing wrong with it. Nobody's ever been prosecuted under this.

Ruffini: Here's the problem.

Maher: Do you agree with that.

Ruffini: Wasn't Obama supposed to be different? I mean wasn't the... the Bush administration was hyper-political. They were using their political office to fire, you know, supposedly fire the US Attorneys...

Maher: And they did.

Ruffini: ...and instead, you know, we were basically... when Obama got in we were going to put all the politics over at the DNC, get it out of the White House...

Alter: Who said that?

Ruffini: ...and then you have Rahm Emanuel...

Maher: But that's not really... now wait a second. That's not really (crosstalk) that's not really a good analogy. Firing the federal prosecutors, okay, a federal prosecutor, a non-political job with a very important function, okay? This is, this is politics. This is people on your own team. This is one Democrat saying to another Democrat, "Maybe you'd be better over here and we'll elect this guy"...

Alter: Patrick your man Ronald Reagan about twenty years ago, his political director Ed Rollins actually bragged in the newspaper that they were trying to get Senator Hayakawa from CA to not run for reelection by offering him a federal job. It's just, to politicize, to criminalize politics is insane. (crosstalk)

Ruffini: But Obama had held himself up to a higher standard I think during his campaign.

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