Whoa there fella

Trapper John, a front-pager over at the home of of our liberal overlord, the Great Orange Satan, is a terrific blogger, but I think he's gotten a little overly excited about the news that Rudy Giuliani was billing NYC taxpayers for his illicit booty calls.

Beginning tonight, Rudy is more likely than not done as a serious candidate.

Barring a remarkable explanation from the Giuliani campaign or a superlatively craven trad med press meltdown, Rudy's campaign is likely to be destroyed by this story. Two things capture the American attention like no other: sex and money. Only scandals involving sex or money garner any serious public interest. Even then, a money scandal without sex leads most Americans to yawn. And dogged persistence can outlast most sex scandals (see Vitter, David). But when you combine the two -- when you add adultery to misappropriation of taxpayer money -- magical things happen. It's like that beautiful chemical reaction when heat, yeast, and sugar meet. There's an unusual smell, then lots of hot air, and then everything blows up real big. People can't turn their eyes away from the unholy marriage of lust and lucre. And no amount of 9/11ing can distract the attention of a wild-eyed press from the shame.

First of all, Trapper, you should know better than to underestimate the ability of Republicans to ignore anything inconvenient. But my second reason is even simpler: Troopergate. It doesn't matter that Troopergate wound up not being a scandal--something it had in common with most of the other Clinton scandals--that story had everything this story has: the abuse of executive power, the use of public money and public servants to facilitate an illicit affair--and even better, in 1993, it involved a Democrat that the press didn't like.

So why on earth would Trapper John think that the press, which has had a hard-on for Giuliani since sometime in mid-September 2001, would suddenly go gunning for him now, especially when his competition for the Republican nomination is, well, pathetic?

Besides, as Atrios likes to say, everything that happens is good for the Republicans.

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