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I'm getting a particular kick out of the now-debunked and always-stupid assertion from the McCain camp that Palin was subjected to an FBI background check as part of the vetting process:

Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager and the person at the point of the vice presidential process, said there was no abrupt change of course in the final hours. Nor, he said, was Palin selected without having gone through the full vetting process that was done for other finalists. That process included reviews of financial and other personal data, an FBI background check and considerable discussion among the handful of McCain advisers involved in the deliberations.

Of course, like so much else about both McCain and Palin, that turned out to be just so much hooey, according to Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic, whose blog post on the subject I reprint here in its entirety, because it so bluntly lays this nonsense bare:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation did not participate in the vetting of Gov. Sarah Palin and did not conduct a background check as part of the process, an FBI spokesman said today.

The Washington Post reported Sunday, citing an interview with campaign manager Rick Davis, that the vetting process "included reviews of financial and other personal data, an FBI background check and considerable discussion among the handful of McCain advisers nvolved in the deliberations.

"In general, we do not do vetting for political campaigns except as it might regard investigations needed for security clearances," said John Miller, the chief FBI spokesperson.

The FBI did not participate in a vet, nor did it run a background check of Gov. Palin as part of the process.

Palin might already have a clearance that relates to her duties as governor. But the FBI can't speak to that, and in any event, those investigations wouldn't be accessible to the McCain campaign anyway.

Yes, that's right. The FBI does not do vetting for political campaigns. Davis and the other military/law enforcement fanboys at the McCain campaign no doubt thought it sounded, like, totally awesome to say there was such a check performed, but there wasn't, and never is.

And why not? Because what interest has the federal government got in doing the work that political parties and campaign organizations are supposed to do for themselves?

None, of course. It'd be the use of official government resources, which are supposed to be non-partisan, for overtly partisan political purposes. In other words, not only a huge violation of the separation between federal resources and private, partisan aims, but yet another blithe assumption by Republicans that the apparatus of state is rightfully theirs to use as they will.

This arrogance and abuse of power is why Bush is the most hated president in history.

This arrogance and abuse of power is why Palin is under investigation by the Alaska State Legislature.

This arrogance and abuse of power is apparently something John McCain and his campaign officials assume ought to be a part of their everyday operations.

And that's because this arrogance and abuse of power lies at the very heart of the Republican theory of governance. They believe the president ought to have this power. Hell, they believe Republicans who are running for president ought to have this power.

Enough.

Enough already.

This is Cheneyism at its worst and most dangerous. And here it is only just barely into September before the election, and already both McCain and Palin are neck deep in co-opting (or assuming they can and should co-opt) the levers of state power in service of their personal ambitions.

Disgusting.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 09:30 AM PDT.

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