Of irony and impeachment – wherein Fr. Z makes some observations

I understand that The White House’s Rahm Emanuel asked former President Clinton to give the pitch about a job to Rep. Sestak… drop out of the Pennsylvania primary race in exchange for a job in the administration.

This comes from the White House counsel’s office, no less.

What delicious irony.

The impeached president is the fall guy for the impeachable crime.

Do you think the MSM will press the White House’s report as much as they did the Vicar General of Munich when he admitted that he, and not Card. Ratzinger, was responsible for transferring the pedophile priest?


Well…. maybe President Obama’s White House can be believed more than the Roman Catholic Church after all.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. catholicmidwest says:

    And Clinton did this of his own free will. And Rahm Emanuel did this without the knowledge of Obama. Right. *WHEN PIGS FLY*. Conspiracy charges ought to be filed.

    Nixon didn’t himself break into the Watergate suite, and look how that turned out. Just keep that in mind.

  2. Tom in NY says:

    Ex. Ps.146:3 (Vg.)
    Nolite confidere in principibus,
    in filiis hominum, in quibus non est salus.

    Salutationes omnibus.

  3. ajwagner54 says:

    Here are some facts that no one disputes.

    1. Sestak is the highest ranking former military official ever to be elected to the U.S. House.

    2. Any full-time job that Sestak would be offered would require him to leave the U.S. Senate race.

    3. Sestak has a Ph.D. in government from Harvard.

    4. Because of his experience and education, Sestak would be well-qualified for any number of national security and/or veterans affairs jobs. In fact, he was a former member of the National Defense Council

    Therefore, there are two possibilities here, and it’s really not possible to prove which one happened, because the only difference is what’s going on in Obama’s head.

    A. Obama offers Sestak a particular job because he wants to get him out of the Senate race.

    B. Obama offers Sestak a job because he thinks Sestak is a very well qualified candidate and will do a great job improving veterans programs and/or an aspect of the Navy.

    Both would have the same effect: getting Sestak out of the Senate race. Yet Option B is not only legal, it’s not even unethical. No one can even prove that this was an unethical move, much less an illegal one. No one can prove that it was actually Option A.

  4. Bornacatholic says:

    The impeached president..

    KUDOS, Fr. Everyone ought follow your example when writing about that fool [Whatever you might think of the former President, he is decidedly not a fool. He may be wrong about many things, but he is not a fool. That said, he was impeached… not removed… but he was impeached.]

  5. Kate Asjes says:


    “Here are some facts that no one disputes…No one can prove that it was actually Option A.”

    Presideny Clinton could testify to whether it was actually Option A. But President Obama will not have to worry about President Clinton admitting that he was sent to bribe Sestak, since past behaviour has proven that perjury is no problem for him. Clinton is the perfect person to sweep away this little distraction so that the President Obama can get back to the important work of running the country!

  6. Lurker 59 says:


    You are forgetting that Sestak himself said that he was officially offered a particular job directly by the administration to get out of the Senate race. He also used this offer and turing it down as part of his campaign.

    Also, as per the Foxnew.com story above, the White House is going with a modification of option A in its brief — Sestak was offered a job by Clinton for getting out of the race and Clinton was asked to talk to Sestak by the Obama admin. BUT since Clinton is not part of the Obama admin. the job offer was not specific nor could it be guaranteed and furthermore the plan of the Obama admin was for Sestak to remain in the House anyway. As such, the “job offer” was not in violation of the law, accordign to the Obama admin.


    Sestak was directly offered something by someone to get out of the race.

    If the something was a specific job and the someone was attached to the Obama admin. in such a way that the offer was guaranteed, that would be a violation of the law.

    The Obama admin. is saying that the something was a non-specific unpaid job and the someone was Clinton, who though requested to talk with Sestak, was not attached to the Obama admin. or acting as its represenative and did not have the authority to guarantee such an offer and as such was not in violation of the law.

  7. I’m sure Woodstein is hard on the case.

  8. iudicame says:

    Father Limbaugh,

    how to put this delicately….Yah know, the whole politics thing… [You perhaps didn’t bother to think about the entry before posting.]


  9. Stu says:

    Oh dear, iudicame. Father makes some observations about a very sticky situation in our government involving unethical behavior and suddenly he is not only political in your mind but most likely goes against your political bent. I would submit that a Catholic can point out corruption and/or bad government no matter what regime is in power and that priests can certainly talk about all issues affecting us without fearing snide comments from those who are their “guests.”

    [I added some emphases to the top entry so that the less attentive can also get the point.]

    Break, break…
    Hey Sean!

  10. “Do not put your trust in princes, in men whom in there is no help.” (Psalms…can’t remember what number..sorry).
    “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
    If you breathe, you’re political. Hm, hmmm. Sorry, iudicame.
    We be not in the control of no party; but in the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, His Holy Roman Catholic Church.
    And “the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
    Who cares what eedjit’s in the White House?
    We are Catholics, after all…what goes on there does not affect our beliefs and our practice.
    Let ’em come after us (as the English did with the recusants who refused to aquiescence to the corrupt laws of Henry VII and Elizabeth I).
    Pray for us, English, Welsh and Irish martyrs, our forebears in Faith, who resisted the horrid laws of mammon in order to worship the One, True God in His Holy Roman Catholic Church, despite all persecutions, tortures and barbaric deaths. Amen.

  11. Thanks, Fr.Z.
    SOME here may just “skim” the title and forget about the “content”…not that I never do that…well, I won’t admit it, at least:<)!
    Happy Memorial Weekend, y’all.
    Pray for our deceased men and women of the armed services who defended our country with such great bravery.
    Pray for all our deceased loved ones, may they all rest in the arms of the Heavenly Father.
    Pray for our all our sons and daughters who are defending the USA and all those in our care throughout the world, esp. in the Mideast and in Korea. God keep them safe. Our Lady, protect them!

  12. EXCHIEF says:

    When someone (Obama) is as immoral, corrupt, and deceitful as he is pointing out the continuing examples of those traits is not inappropriate even on this blog. One could perhaps argue that there is even a moral obligation to do so.

  13. openmind says:

    I just hope this scandal doesn’t reflect poorly on Congressman Sestak, who is an outstanding public servant (I live in his district) and will be an amazing U.S. senator. I must say, I’m disappointed in President Clinton, whom I greatly admire, for working with the Chicago mob…I mean, White House…in trying to push Sestak out of the race. I don’t know if anyone has picked up on this fact, but Sestak actually worked in Clinton’s administration during his Navy career.

  14. boko fittleworth says:

    Sestak is a pro-abort CINO with a 100% NARAL rating.

  15. Hey, openmind:

    “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.” –G.K. Chesterton

  16. And, openmind, that isn’t all that Chesterton had to say about open minds:

    “An open mind is really a mark of foolishness, like an open mouth. Mouths and minds were made to shut; they were made to open only in order to shut.”

  17. iudicame says:

    Stu baby – thanks for the correction.

    FWIW – IMHO – etc… I read this blog at least 3 times a day for years now and really enjoy it. Its my go-to Catholic blog. But I find the partisan political stuff a real turn-off OR just trying to figure out if its partisan political stuff is a pain. Getting the bricks and the black and reds but now I’ve got to filter Slestaks and Bamas ? Ugh. Everything here seems more comprehensible and in-focus FOR ME when the emphasis doesn’t stray too far from the Whiskey Delta Tango stuff. Good Times!


  18. iudicam: Take it from a monastic, someone who doesn’t give a “fig” about what kind of whatever seems to be “in power” (many may be outraged at my opinion/stance…too bad…have drink on me…preferably a shot of whiskey or vodka…) S*** on the whole bunch of them…until we have a society that is based upon the Rule of Christ the King, Ruler of All, we just have to put up with whatever jackass happens to spout the least amount of bu*****t.
    Hey, I’m running for no political party.
    I’m just trying to be superior of a very tiny monastic community and an assistant to the lay and priestly fraternities of our association.
    Who cares what I think? Except about fifty some people…go figure.
    I’m a real “contender” here…LOL!! and ROFLMYAO!!! Look that one up!!

  19. TonyLayne says:

    Sean: My favorite comes from C. S. Lewis: “If a man’s mind is open, let at least his mouth be closed, for he can say nothing to the purpose.”

    The fact is that neither party’s platform completely represents orthodox Catholic beliefs on social justice and morality. However, since the majority of Democrat candidates affirm positions that are opposed to “non-negotiables” (e.g. abortion as a “right”), this has the net effect of pushing orthodox Catholics into voting Republican.

    iudicame: Perhaps as long as we were ruled by kings and despots we didn’t need to discern among ourselves the qualities a ruler of the people should have. But since we’re fortunate enough to live in a representative democracy, we owe it to ourselves as Catholics to try to influence those who rule us to make, as best they can, rules that reflect the kingdom of heaven. To do that, we can and should publicly discuss the merits of candidates and elected officials.

  20. robtbrown says:


    Sestak’s recent remarks indicate there was little doubt that they didn’t want him in the Senate race. I think the message was to let him know that the WH would support Specter–which it did with the usual result.

    Nothing illegal or unethical. NB: It’s politics, and the trick is to get people to talk about whether it was illegal or unethical.

  21. robtbrown says:


    I think it is reasonable that any pro-abortion politician (esp one who claims to be Catholic) should not expect non-partisan treatment from a Catholic blog.

    The Dems are officially a pro abortion party.

  22. AnAmericanMother says:

    So long as politicians use the label of ‘Catholic’ to try to get votes, I think it’s inevitable that ‘real’ Catholics (as opposed to Catholics In Name Only) are going to have to get involved in politics, if only to prevent the exploitation of Mother Church and to (try to) prevent scandal.

    Ignoring the misuse of the Church’s name and reputation will simply lead to more misuse and more scandal.

    A pro-abort who calls himself a Catholic has to be watched, and called on any impropriety.

  23. openmind says:

    So, because I have an open mind, I cannot voice my opinion? Having an open mind doesn’t mean you don’t have an opinion. It simply means you listen to the opinions of others and look for any value in them – not just listen to condemn.

    I said nothing about Congressman Sestak’s record on abortion. I didn’t even know he was a Catholic. But, speaking as a constituent, he has done a lot of good work – particularly in the area of small business and tax relief. I realize a pro-life record is a necessity for some, but not for me.

  24. TonyLayne says:

    openmind: I apologize for the snark. One moment while I take my foot out of my mouth ….

    In the time of Chesterton and Lewis, a person who said he had an “open mind” did in fact mean that he’d taken no definite position on the question at hand … which often didn’t prevent him from articulating an indefinite, even confused, position. I accept that you’re open to correction, and I hope I am too.

    As far as a pro-life record being a necessity: I realize that the candidates available in a particular race sometimes offer us little more than a Hobson’s choice; for me, to not vote is to vote by assent, so if the politician I didn’t not vote for screws up, I don’t really have call to complain. But it can be argued that to vote for an actively pro-abortion candidate is to remotely cooperate in evil. I should hope that, if a pro-life record isn’t a necessity for you, then it would at least be a strong preference.

  25. EXCHIEF says:

    If, as you state,a pro-life record is not a necessity for you then your perspective becomes more clear and….more to be ignored.

  26. openmind says:

    Tony, it’s quite alright. I just think we need an injection of civility in today’s discourse – whether political or religious.

    …But to you and EXCHIEF, it’s not that I don’t care about a candidate’s stance on abortion. Far from it, his or her record on the issue is VERY important to me. But in 2006, when Joe Sestak first ran for Congress, his opponent was Curt Weldon – who was pro-life…but also believed in aliens, used campaign funds for personal purposes, used his influence to get jobs for his kids, supported the Iraq war, and was the subject of a criminal investigation. After putting all that into perspective, yes, I supported Sestak. I don’t think that makes me a bad Catholic.

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