Guilt By Guiltiness

Politico‘s Ben Smith observes that, contrary to what I wrote below, one really shouldn’t put McCain’s ties to Charles Keating into the guilt by association box:

The story of McCain and Keating is not guilt by association; it’s guilt by guilt. McCain’s problem isn’t that he knew Keating in activities unconnected to his wrongdoing; it’s that Keating, in the course of his wrongdoing, gave McCain money and tried, with a bit of success, to use him to influence regulators.

And of course more recently when Freddie Mac was worried about regulatory scrutiny from McCain, they hired a lobbyist close to McCain, the lobbyist in question got McCain to drop the issue, and now that lobbyist is chief of staff in McCain’s Senate office. Again, it’s guilt by guilt.