January 26, 2005

The Appearance of Impropriety

Though it was, as Howard Kurtz suggests, a rather unseemly ethical lapse for Maggie Gallagher to fail to disclose that she'd worked for the Department of Health and Human Services in connection to the marriage initiative she touted in columns, I'll buy her defense; being paid to do something for HHS isn't the same as being paid by a department to shill for a law a la Armstrong Williams and No Child Left Behind.

But I can't help but think: As Jonah Goldberg has put it, "if Bill Clinton had proposed spending piles of money on marriage counseling -- other than for himself -- conservatives would have screamed bloody murder about liberal social engineering and whatnot." A massive, intrusive education program would have likewise been anathema if Clinton had proposed it (and indeed a lot of House conservatives voted nay-- it passed with more Democratic support than Republican support). Is it just a coincidence that it's these issues where commentators are compromised?

Posted by John Tabin at January 26, 2005 12:03 AM