Yes We Can play the "honest mistake" game:
President-elect Barack Obama's team reacted predictably to the disclosure that Timothy Geithner, the nominee for Treasury secretary, failed to pay a chunk of his federal taxes over several recent years. The script gets played out, with slight variations, whenever a presidential nominee gets in that kind of trouble.

On Tuesday, when Mr. Geithner's failures were first reported by The Wall Street Journal, the Obama transition office issued a statement calling his underpayment of taxes "honest mistakes." On Wednesday, Mr. Obama himself said it was "innocent." Those themes have been echoed by several of the senators who will conduct Mr. Geithner's confirmation hearing, which is now scheduled for next Wednesday.
I didn't like the "honest mistake" game when the Bushies played it, and I don't like it now.

Irrespective of whether something is genuinely an "honest mistake" or not, the reality is that there must be accountability at the highest levels of government. Ignorance of the law isn't an excuse for an average citizen, and it shouldn't be an allowable excuse for our representatives, either.

I'm not pleased to see what would be, for any regular person, an enormous issue treated like it's No Big Deal by our president-elect. At best, it's conferring an undeserved and improper privilege on his elite associates, and, at worst, it's a brick in the same road down which the last administration traveled, upon which the precious few allowed to tread were deemed above the law.

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