Jonah Goldberg

And it would be a shame to let it pass that Obama's Senate seat was put up for sale by the then-governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich. A congressional ethics board is investigating whether Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. tried to buy it.

But you know what? We ain't seen nothing yet. For starters, the real corruption isn't what the media are ignoring or downplaying as isolated incidents. It's what the media are hailing as strokes of bold, inspirational leadership. The White House, as a matter of policy, is rewriting legal contracts, picking winners (mostly labor unions and mortgage defaulters) and singling out losers (evil "speculators"), while much of the media continue to ponder whether Obama is already a greater president than FDR.

If a Republican administration, staffed with cronies from Goldman Sachs and Citibank, was cutting special deals for its political allies, I suspect we'd be hearing fewer FDR analogies and more nouns ending with the suffix "gate."

Take Obama's "car czar," Steven Rattner. According to ABC's Jake Tapper, Rattner is accused of threatening to use the White House to smear a Chrysler creditor if it refused to back the administration's Chrysler bankruptcy plan. He's also connected to a massive pension fund scandal involving the investment firm he used to run. One allegation is that conspirators used investments in the low-budget movie "Chooch" to expedite their alleged chicanery. Chooch, by the way, is Italian slang for "jackass," which just happens to be the Democrats' mascot.

More to the point, political corruption is inevitable whenever you give hacks -- of either party -- too much discretion over public funds. Businesses look to Washington for profits instead of to the market. The thing is, this has become the governing philosophy of the Democratic Party, from banking and cars to health care and now student loans. The federal government is taking over, and the culture of corruption inevitably trickles down. That in itself should be a scandal. Call it "Choochgate."


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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