Roll Out Those Lazy, Hazy, Malaise-y Days of Summer 2010

With one modification, the title of Nat King Cole's 1963 smash hit ("Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer") applies to the summer of 2010.

For lazy and hazy, we have a press corps that is being dragged kicking, screaming, and still resisting into critical controversies it should have been all over months ago. I'm referring to the situations of Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff.

With current Pennsylvania Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Sestak, it has been known since February that a job offer intended to persuade him not to challenge the now-vanquished Arlen Specter came from the White House.

Who said so? Sestak himself, time after time after time. Specter himself raised the issue to virtually deaf media ears in March, while resurrecting a term that should long ago have cut through the haze and reentered public consciousness: "misprision."

Specifically, from the U.S. Code:

Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

Thus, it's not enough for Sestak to have told the Philadelphia Inquirer about the offer, or even to have stuck to his story in the face of repeated White House denials and stonewalling. Not only should he have gone to someone "in civil or military authority," he was required to. Not doing so "as soon as possible" is itself a criminal act, and should (but sadly won't) immediately disqualify him in voters' minds as an acceptable candidate for national office.