Today I give credit where credit is due. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) is publicly objecting to President Obama’s firing of a government watchdog who just happened to be investigating the president’s friends and allies. Gerald Walpin was suddenly removed from his post as Inspector General at the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps. Via Combest:
McCaskill has made a concerted effort to build an image of being a watchdog and a fiscally responsible public servant. She seems to be genuine in her expressed desire that the government play by the rules of its own book, even if in her liberal mind the book is gargantuan. Here’s her full statement on the matter.
The White House has offered multiple explanations for the firing, which are starting to sound like little more than excuses for an act of political retribution against someone who dared go after an Obama ally. (Kevin Johnson, former NBA player and Obama ally, ran a non-profit which allegedly misused taxpayer money…the IG was looking into it).
It will be interesting to see where all of this leads. No one has called for hearings. Yet. Maybe that could be Sen. McCaskill’s next step. But we’ll have to wait and see. McCaskill has been a major ally to Obama and her outspokenness on this issue suggests just how serious the wrongdoing could have been. It also may be personal for McCaskill – she helped lead efforts to write the law regarding employment termination of inspectors general….and received backing from none other than Senator Obama.
What could be really interesting is whether First Lady Michelle Obama had anything to do with this, as has been hinted at by emerging information. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has requested any and all information from the WH on this. They’ve denied it of course, but shortly before the firing, Michelle Obama’s top aide was inserted into the mix at CNCS.
A lot of questions still need to be asked and answered.