Monday, December 13, 2004

Is there REALLY a Nanny?

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall

TPM raises a question that occurred to me, though in slightly different form.

Who's the nanny? Or, rather, is there really a nanny?

Let me be clear. I don't think there's any reason to reveal this woman's identity, if she exists. And I'm certainly not trying to.

On balance, I figure it's probably more likely than not that she does exist. But as near as I can tell, no specific details about this woman's identity or what she did for Kerik's family have ever been published. Nor have I seen any reports in which a given journalist writes as though he or she was privy to such details, even if he or she chose not to publish them to protect the woman's privacy.

And I don't think I can remember any "nanny" story in which such details have remained so secret. Given the fact that we now know there were a few dozen revelations (and counting) that would have sunk Kerik's nomination, you have to wonder. To paraphrase the old saw, if this nanny hadn't existed, the White House or Kerik might have been awfully tempted to invent her. And perhaps they did.

What I had been thinking about is that when somebody realized what a piss-poor job Alberto "Anything Goes" Gonzales did vetting Kerik, I am sure there was discussion of which sword Kerik should be told to fall on. Most of Kerik's problems are of the same crony capitalism genus as, say, Dick Cheney's or Jim Baker's, though of a coarser species. So blaming Kerik's flame-out on doin' what comes naturally to his bosses would be problematic, to say the least. Inventing a Nannygate escape hatch throws the dogs off the conflict-of-interest scent, and preserves the ability of repug hit squads to take down the next Zoe Baird.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this, if it turns out that the nanny thing was a fabrication, is that an administration drowning in fuck-ups felt the need to create yet another as a way of deflecting attention from the main dogpile. It is almost as if they had no clue how to do anything other than fuck up.

Update Or, it could be Kerik's slippery zipper.


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