This morning on Fox and Friends, right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin took up the conservative mantra of linking President-elect Obama to disgraced governor Rod Blagojevich (D-IL). (In fact, Obama may have “indirectly contributed to the downfall” of Blagojevich.) Malkin and host Brian Kilmeade also insisted that Democrats, in seeking to defend the governor, would turn on U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and attempt to discredit his investigation:
KILMEADE: You know, one thing I think Patrick Fitzgerald is bulletproof. Because if Demcrats are going to say he’s this non-partisan, A-plus investigator when he’s going after Scooter Libby, how could they turn around and say he has an agenda when he’s going after the Chicago governor and wherever those links lie?
MALKIN: That’s a really good point, Brian. Of course, they will try to do it.
MALKIN: They turn on a dime on their former heroes and they will in this case.
Yesterday, Illinois state Republican chairman Andy McKenna, talking to Politico, similarly insinuated that Fitzgerald’s job was in danger. “Some have wondered if Barack Obama would keep Fitzgerald,” he said.
Malkin and McKenna are fear-mongering for no purpose, however. Obama has already made it clear he intends to keep Fitzgerald at his post. His transition team yesterday pointed reporters to a statement Obama had made in June: “I still think he’s doing a good job. Yes,” Obama said. “I think he has been aggressive in putting the city on notice and the state on notice that he takes issues of public corruption seriously.”
Other top Democrats share Obama’s view. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said he would ask Obama to renominate Fitzgerald, and yesterday Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, “I don’t think there is any thought whatsoever of changing the U.S. Attorney in Chicago with these very, very troubling and important times.”
Ironically, it is conservatives who are flipping on Fitzgerald, having excoriated him when he was investigating the Bush White House’s leak of Valerie Plame’s name:
WHITE HOUSE ‘ADVISER’: Fitzgerald’s office, although very professional, has been very aggressive in pursuing people. … These guys are bullies, and they threaten you. [10/9/05]
WHITE HOUSE ‘ALLY’: He’s a vile, detestable, moralistic person with no heart and no conscience who believes he’s been tapped by God to do very important things. [10/24/05]
TUCKER CARLSON: Fitzgerald’s ignorance didn’t prevent him from accusing Libby – falsely and in public – of undermining this country’s security. Fitzgerald should apologize, though of course he never will. When are journalists going to realize that Fitzgerald is their enemy, and the enemy of the public’s right to know what its government is doing? [11/17/05]
BILL KRISTOL: I now think it’s a politically motivated attempt to wound the Bush administration. … He [Fitzgerald] is now out to discredit the Bush administration. [4/9/06]
LAURA INGRAHAM: The person who impeded the process, Sean, in this, in my mind, is, unfortunately, Patrick Fitzgerald. … This investigation should have been shut down, and Patrick Fitzgerald should have gone on his merry way to prosecute other people. [3/6/07]
DAVID BRODER: Like other special prosecutors before him, Fitzgerald got caught up in the excitement of the case and pursued Libby relentlessly, well beyond the time that was reasonable. [6/10/07]
Despite Malkin’s suggestion, there is of course no Democrat seeking to defend Blagojevich. Last night, in fact, the entire Senate Democratic caucus signed a letter to Blagojevich to “insist” he step down as governor “and under no circumstance make an appointment to fill the vacant Illinois Senate seat.”