Walpingate: Walpin Responds, Obama Dodges

by Sal on June 18, 2009

in Politics

Last week, Obama gave notice that he was firing Inspector General of AmeriCorps Gerald Walpin.  As mentioned previously, by law Inspector Generals have to be fired for cause and a 30-day written notice of the firing, and the reason for the firing, need to be detailed to Congress.  The purpose of this law (which Obama co-sponsored as Senator) is to prevent political firings of Inspector Generals, whose main job it is to weed out corruption within the government.  By all indications, Walpin was doing his job — too well.  He apparently was responsible for exposing corruption in some friends and associates of the Obamas.

Obama at first gave no reason to Congress for the firing, which caused even some Democrats to object.  In response, Obama declared that he had lost confidence in Walpin, and that Walpin had exhibited senile behavior at a staff meeting back in May.  Walpin is not taking this firing lying down.  He is making the rounds on talk shows and the cable news circuit to prove that he is in fact not senile.  He appeared on the Glenn Beck show yesterday, and proved in fact that he was not senile, but rather that he was quite coherent.  Walpin fired back at the Obama administration, realistic about the fact that he would probably not win against the administration, but committed to keeping his his good name and reputation intact.

Link: Walpin

Republicans are not letting this incident die.  Norman Eisen, Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, met with staffers of Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) to answer questions about the firing.  However, according to Grassley, Eisen refused to answer most of the questions, which Grassley has now put in writing and requested answers from the Obama administration.  The Republicans have an opportunity to make noise about this and bring down some of Obama’s credibility if a satisfactory answer is not given.  Waplingate will not bring down the Presidency of Barack Obama, but it could eat away at some of his political capital, possibly making it more difficult for him to get Obamacare passed later this summer.  In any case, it looks like pure Chicago thug-like politics is the new rule of the day in Washington, D.C.

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Walpingate: Obama's Waterloo - The Moscow Expat Forums
June 23, 2009 at 10:54 am

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Sam June 18, 2009 at 12:43 pm

What is it with these Chicago politicians and their apparent ethical atrophy?


Lou June 18, 2009 at 1:05 pm

@Sam – I object to your question. Atrophy implies that Chicago politicians once had healthy, viable ethics.


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