So, let's see: the new domestic policy advisor, Karl Zinsmeister, has admitted that he changed the text and quotes of a New Times newspaper profile on him and then reposted it on the American Enterprise Institute website, whose magazine he edits, deceptively keeping its original New Times byline. The editor of that publication has consulted a lawyer to look into what criminal charges might be applicable.
Zinmeister is replacing former domestic policy advisor Claude Allen, who himself was recently arrested for felony theft.
The first thought one has is what in the world is going on in that domestic policy advisor office? It can't be anything in the water, since Zinmeister hasn't started yet. Is it something on the questionnaire? You know how on some forms they have a long list of exotic diseases, and you're supposed to check the ones you've had? (Beriberi. Goiter. Colorado tick fever.) Maybe at the White House, theirs has a list criminal acts. Though not as a bad thing. More of a "What's your experience?" kind of shorthand.
Perhaps it's part of the Classified Ad the department takes out: "Position to Fill. Domestic Policy Advisor to high gov't official. Must have committed a crime. Conviction in court not required. Outed a CIA agent? Shot anyone in the face when drunk? Shoplifted? Plagiarized? Contact the White House. No act considered too stupid or offensive. Uncle Sam wants you."
Hard to say. But you'd sure think that when you hired someone to be the person to advise the President of the United States on domestic freaking policy, that you'd insist on someone with character. Not who was a character. You'd want someone who was wise, not a Wise Guy. I don't know, maybe they just misunderstood. Honestly, though, at the very least, wouldn't you want somebody who had more sensibility than a junior high school bully?
But then - you realize, maybe not. You look at what the policy of the Administration actually is. Lying the nation into war. Illegally spying on its citizens. Approving torture. Releasing the name of covert agents. Taking bribes. Changing scientific facts in official documents because it doesn't fit what you want.
In that light, domestic policy advisors who shoplift and crib facts are probably exactly what you're looking for. Who better to get your domestic policy across?!
There's another possible explanation. Maybe to this crowd, they don't even think Claude Allen or Karl Zinsmeister did anything wrong.
If you don't live in a Reality-based world, taking something that doesn't belong to you isn't a concept that exists. If you want it, it's yours. Ask the people of Iraq.
If you don't live in a Reality-based world, changing the facts of a news story isn't lying, it's creating new facts. It's is not only not wrong to the White House, it's been their policy all along. Just ask "Jeff Gannon." Ask syndicated columnist Armstrong Williams who was paid by the Administration to promote its interests as news. Or fake journalist Karen Ryan doing Administration-produced "video reports" about Social Security for TV news. Just ask the FCC which is currently investigating dozens of charges of fake news produced by the White House.
Hey, when it comes to changing facts to fit the story you want, or stealing something that's not yours, you don't even have to look past Day One of the Administration. The vote count in Florida says it all in a nutshell. Or the equally popular sequel, in Ohio.
So, when you get right down to it, Claude Allen and Karl Zinsmeister actually have the very credentials the White House is always looking for in their appointees. When your policy is lying and breaking the law, two more appropriate policy advisors the Administration couldn't have dug up.