The press is abuzz over Obama auto-recovery boss Steven Rattner’s ties to a pay-to-play scandal, but every story about Rattner mentions he’s not accused of anything. What he apparently did—paid to receive part of a public pension fund to manage—is “an open practice,” so why the fuss? asks Michael Kinsley in the Washington Post.
“Somewhere there's a line where legal bribery turns into illegal bribery,” but “nobody seems to have any idea where the line is.” That gives government officials huge leeway “to pick their targets and define the law as they wish,” Kinsley writes. “No one who knows Rattner would be surprised that he skated close to the line,” but “everyone, including Rattner, would be astonished if it turns out that he crossed it.”