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Napolitano: Stranger to genuine Washington scandals

By Amanda Marcotte
Friday, November 21, 2008 1:24 EDT
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Here’s some irresponsible journalism at its best. Headline: “Napolitano is no stranger to Washington scandals“. Ooooooh! Juicy! What kind of terrible things has the Arizona governor/new head of Homeland Security been involved in? Since we know Democrats are so much more scandalous than Republicans—can lying to a nation to get them into war ever hold a candle to lying about a blow job?—this is going to be some intriguing stuff. I feel the first round of pressure to impeach Obama coming on as we speak.

Napolitano was a U.S. attorney in Phoenix, appointed by former President Bill Clinton, when the Justice Department decided against prosecuting Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain’s wife, Cindy, for the theft of prescription drugs from her medical charity.

Panic in the streets time. The Democrats are going to lay ruin to all the integrity the Bush administration has…..wait a moment. Okay, you almost had me there with the injection of the name of the most scandalous person of all time, Bill Clinton,* but all but the stupidest wingnut is going to notice that the scandal described was primarily a Republican scandal, and that the theft of prescription drugs was probably not prosecuted because an extremely powerful Republican senator’s wife was involved. This cannot be a scandal by definition, because Republicans don’t engage in scandalous behavior. But Napolitano was involved, right? So we can pin this all on her, right?

Er….

Napolitano spokeswoman Jeanine L’Ecuyer said Thursday that Napolitano was acting U.S. attorney at the time and recused herself from the Cindy McCain matter because Napolitano was awaiting Senate confirmation.

Oh, so there wasn’t even a scandal directly involving Napolitano. Maybe she had heard of it, though, so we can hold her accountable for that much. She probably slipped Cindy McCain the drugs, though god knows if they’d even met.

While at a Phoenix law firm in 1991, Napolitano was part of the legal team representing Anita Hill, a former Equal Employment Opportunity Commission colleague of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas who accused Thomas of sexual harassment. Hill’s accusations jeopardized but ultimately failed to derail the Senate’s confirmation of Thomas.

Oh noes! She represented a client who she believed was telling the truth, during testimony to keep a man off the Supreme Court she had every reason to believe would not treat women equally from the bench? What next? Defending innocent people who have been put on death row? Preventing kittens from being drowned and instead getting them adopted out to loving families? What depths with this Napolitano broad sink?

Napolitano’s representation of Hill became an issue in 1993 when the Senate considered Clinton’s nomination of Napolitano for the U.S. attorney’s job. Napolitano refused to answer questions about a private conversation with one of Hill’s witnesses, Susan Hoerchner. At issue was whether Napolitano persuaded Hoerchner, Hill’s corroborating witness, to change her testimony.

Hoerchner initially told the Senate Judiciary Committee during its Thomas hearings that Hill had told her in the early 1980s that she had been sexually harassed by Thomas. After Napolitano requested and had a private conversation with her, Hoerchner told the committee she wasn’t certain of the date Hill told her about the alleged harassment. Napolitano said she couldn’t answer questions about the talk because Hoerchner wouldn’t waive her right to confidentiality.

Okay, a little obscure and rumor mill-sounding. But if she’s manipulating testimony…..

Some senators said at the time that Hoerchner had admitted before talking with Napolitano that she was just guessing about the date Hill first said she’d been harassed by Thomas.

So it seems the story is that one witness had testimony that she was guessing at, and after talking with the lawyers, she decided not to commit to a date if she couldn’t remember it. The book that’s mentioned in the article that makes a big deal out of this testimony, when it appears not to be a big deal at all, sounds like it’s David Brock’s book on Anita Hill, a book that Brock has since renounced. I wonder why the reporter Sharon Theimer didn’t mention exactly what book it is, but I suspect that it’s because admitting that it’s Brock’s book is all but admitting she’s pulling this story right out of her ass.

I have no idea why Sharon Theimer and her bosses at the AP think it’s appropriate to write stories that read like scandal sheets on the surface, but under even two seconds of investigation or critical thinking demonstrate that the target is a laudatory individual with sparklingly clean hands. Either they’re in the tank for Republicans, are still taking their marching orders from Matt Drudge, or think that the only way to be fair and balanced is to under-report Republican scandals while making up Democratic ones, due to the reality-based discrepancy between the two parties. Or all of the above. But what I do know is that between this shit and the “omg vetting Bill Clinton” shit (as if the former President has anything to hide left, including the coloring of his penis), we’re going to be seeing at least 4 and probably 8 years of shit-stirring nonsense that’s practically designed to stall any progress.

So, readers who are more willing to torture yourself than I am, what’s Limbaugh’s beef with Napolitano? That she’s middle-aged? That she has grey hair? Probably that her participation in the Anita Hill testimony means she’s a member of the Feminist Mafia that rules the country but somehow can’t even get free contraception.

*The invention of oral sex, a joint effort between Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton, can easily be demonstrated to be the downfall of civilization. Before the blow job was invented, all sex involved people sticking a penis into someone’s nether regions. Which meant that lesbians didn’t even exist except as platonic, if close, friends, and gay men only had anal sex, and therefore were easier to demonize. Now that people both straight and gay have been granted oral sex by our 42nd President, homosex looks a lot more like heterosex. Straights even picked up anal! Now we can’t figure out why there was so much animosity when everyone is basically the same. Which can only mean one thing: civil rights for gays, and the end of Western civilization.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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