Once the blago scandal broke, the Democrats had two choices. They could take the political wind out of the scandal's sails by quietly distancing themselves from the mess and leaving the job of tearing the flesh off of Blagojevich's body to the appropriate authorities. Or, alternatively, they could stage a prophylactic freakout and organize their own in-house pogrom, using the scandal to make an example of Blagojevich and cast themselves as repulsed by his style of corruption.
About the only strategy that wouldn't work was to try to do both — and that's exactly what the Democrats did. They were outfoxed by Blagojevich, who had been arrested in early December under highly entertaining circumstances — dragged out of his home at 6 a.m. in the traditional Slavic-gangster costume of turtleneck and Nike tracksuit, asking authorities, "Is this a joke?"
At least Obama and Rahm Emanuel get credit for knowing "enough not to openly buy a Senate appointment on the telephone with a gubernatorial staffer known to be under both state and federal investigation." Phew!