Good times continue in the White House strategy room

Robert Gibbs is not laughing with you; he's laughing at you.

As everyone knows,  Robert Gibbs is the man the White House designates to have face time with the men the large media organizations pay to spend time in the briefing room. Although none of those involved have any interest in the concerns of the vast majority of the people who reside in this country, Gibbs and the rest of the White House correspondents enjoy spending time together telling inside jokes. This group has about as much interest in serious policy discussions as the average baseball fan has in discussing the pitching rotation of the Pittsburgh Pirates. But when it comes to the “business” of politics, they are all quite the gamers. This is something they can talk about over a martini.

Regular readers of the random political notes here might recall the remarks on the night that Robert Gibbs nearly wet himself with delight when Michael Bennet won the Democratic nomination to run for the office he was caretaker of: Junior US Senator from Colorado. He was as irrepressable as a preen who just learned that Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart were about to go steady. And he had every right to be. After all, the White House threw its considerable weight behind Bennet, who was running against a Democrat who had a modicum of principle. The goal of this White House is to reduce wherever possible the role of principle in politics. Moreover, Bennet was one of the more conservative members of the Democratic caucus. Not, mind you, a nut job like Joe Lieberman or Ben Nelson, but nevertheless not someone who’s going to get upset about decisions not to prosecute torturers or dumping the public option or trashing just about anything the President campaigned on. And he had a pretty crucial background qualification (aside from the fact that he never ran for public office): He worked for six years for “Christian billionaire” Philip Anschutz. (Remember when being a Christian was thought to be incompatible with gathering mammon; it had something to do with the eye of a needle or something like that. The whole money-as-the-root-of-all-evil is so First Century A.D. these days.) Anyway, Philip Anschutz is famous for fighting any sort of equality-for-gays initiatives and supports the Discovery Institute, which researches new discoveries in the field of the first couple of chapters of Genesis. (The non-partisan Discovery Institute doesn’t limit its discoveries to creationism. It recently discovered that socialism is a clear and present danger. I should have gone to that event to find out where–there’s no evidence of a hint of it in the Democratic Party.) But, of course, Michael Bennet didn’t work for Philip Anschutz to adopt his politics, he worked for Philip Anschutz to adopt his business acumen.

And that’s where the White House’s friend ran into a little hiccup in his upward trajectory. He tried to do the kind of deal he learned from his sacred money-making tutor when he was later superintendent of the Denver Public Schools. And it was too clever by half–as all such deals which involve financial gimmicks are. It’s going to cost the public money. This was known at the time the White House threw its support behind Bennet. So, since they were giddy when the conservative beat the liberal in the primary, they must be splitting their sides over this:

The White House political “strategists” must be hoarse with laughter that this video, produced by Karl Rove’s AmericanCrossroads, an organization stuff-filled with money from the lowest of the corporate gutters and one seeking to gut Wall Street reform, will get a Democratic seat in the Senate eliminated with a leftist critique of his engaging in financial irregularities! Ah, isn’t politics grand? I bet Gibbs will have a little chuckle with his pals in the press corps over that one. No one ever saw that coming, did they?

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