Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Admit it, you would-be Capitol pundits and sages. You never thought it would come to this.
You were sure that Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Corbett would redeem himself before officially declaring his candidacy.
You couldn't wait to throw it in the faces of those (pitiful few) who dared to accuse him of partisanship. Any day now, you thought, you would be vindicated for giving Corbett the benefit of the doubt. The words, "I told you so!" have been fairly bursting from your lips.
But now, we predict: silence.
You'll pretend there's absolutely nothing wrong with Corbett officially running for governor before his Bonusgate investigation is complete, even though until this very moment it was inconceivable (and yes, it does mean what we think it means).
We've seen this before.
It was inconceivable that Bill DeWeese would escape prosecution. Editorial after editorial confidently predicted his demise.
Remember this, Tribune-Review? Or this? And, don't forget this.
How about this, Post-Gazette? Or this?
We're looking at you, Patriot News.
And we haven't forgotten you, Inquirer.
Even the Morning Call got in on the act.
But when what was sure to happen didn't happen, did a single one of them raise a single question about Corbett ignoring the reams of evidence clearly implicating DeWeese? How could this be? If Pennyslvanians have to rely on the mainstream media, they may never know.
We fully expect history to repeat itself.
After all, it's not the media's place to question the actions of an elected official. We'll just go on pretending that it's perfectly normal for this investigation to take three years.
So what if Corbett's been hinting at Republican indictments for a full year? After all, he "never promised to pursue members of his own party."
However, what he has "vowed to do is complete the investigation."
We predict he really won't do that either. On Monday, it is very likely Corbett will simply assign responsibility for the case to one of those incorruptible career prosecutors upon whom he relies to keep him honest.
When you consider the Bush Department of Justice under Alberto Gonzales or the headlines from the New Jersey gubernatorial race this summer, the idea of GOP climbers like Frank Fina or Jim Reeder keeping Corbett honest is laughable. Did Reeder step in to cry foul when Corbett completely ignored all the evidence against Reeder's old boss York County DA Stan Rebert?
So, if all goes according to plan for Corbett on Monday, he will be even less accountable for the investigation than he is now, if that's even possible.