PoliticsPA got back to ghettoizing Blogs as a Morning Buzz category after one blessed day of pundit equality, but here’s a good example of why a general Commentary category would be more appropriate.
Remember how I was saying that a lot of print newspaper columnist jobs are basically seniority perks, held by retired journalists who just phone it in now? John Baer’s column today is a great example of that. I’d be embarrassed to post this kind of high-grade derp in a blog’s comment section, let alone print it in a newspaper.
Baer thinks that if Kathleen Kane’s Sandusky investigation results are released during the 2014 general election for Governor, and the results say Corbett mishandled the case, that the voters will punish Kathleen Kane for “playing politics” instead of punishing Corbett for letting a known-to-Corbett child rapist walk free for 3 years:
A twist could occur thusly: An issue that helped Democrat Kane and hurt Republican Corbett could turn on Kane and win sympathy for Corbett.
If she’s viewed as holding it over him during his re-election bid or (if she finds anything) timing release for maximum impact on his re-election, she’s seen as playing politics and any findings become suspect.
This just shows John Baer’s been in the game too long – he’s too savvy for his own good and is forgetting what “playing politics” means. “Playing politics” is a pundit epithet that chin-stroking columnists use to try to guilt politicians into not using politically potent news events for their electoral benefit.
Usually an event is thought to be off-limits for “playing politics” because the issue is too grave, or the incumbent maybe isn’t actually to blame. Think about rising gas prices, or that kind of issue. These pundits see it as a problem because it would work too well to blame the incumbent, and debase our politics too much or something.
The Sandusky investigation isn’t like that at all. Tom Corbett was the elected Attorney General – a politician. Did he do his job correctly? If Kathleen Kane’s investigation says no, that’s squarely within the bounds of legitimate political debate. Voters (and especially Penn State alums) are going to be rightfully angry with Corbett for letting a child rapist walk free and besmirching their school’s good name.
Only in Savvy World will voters care more about the political timing of Kathleen Kane’s news release than the actual substance of the issue.