The Weekly Standard doesn't believe its scandal-mongering; neither should you

I'll say this for the crazy Birthers at WorldNetDaily: At least they seem to believe the nonsense they spew. See, WND traffics in the nutty conspiracy theory that President Obama is ineligible to be president because he wasn't born in the U.S. That's crazy -- but, if it were true, it would be a pretty big deal. And WND treats it like a big deal: At any given time, WND has anywhere from a handful to a dozen or two articles on its front page about the topic. That's how you'd behave if you believed this stuff to be true.

Contrast that to The Weekly Standard's behavior. Every few months, the magazine starts claiming some completely innocuous occurrence constitutes bribery or other inappropriate coercion by the White House. First it was Michael Goldfarb's laughable claim that the White House had threatened to close an Air Force base if Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson didn't do its bidding. Then John McCormack started peddling the absurd claim that Rep. Jim Matheson's brother was given a judgeship in order to win the Congressman's health care vote. Then McCormack started hyperventilating about the Joe Sestak job-offer non-story, in an effort to set off a bribery investigation.

All three of those examples have something in common: In each case, after a few days of attention, The Weekly Standard dropped the story and moved on.

If the Weekly Standard really believed the Obama administration was “selling judgeships,” as McCormack described it, don't you think they'd still be writing about it? If they really believed the White House tried to “bribe” Joe Sestak, don't you think they'd still be writing about it? If they really believed the White House would shut down an Air Force base to force a Senator to vote for health care reform, don't you think they'd still be writing about it?

Instead, the Weekly Standard drops these absurd faux-scandals as quickly as it invents them. The most obvious explanation is that they never really believed them in the first place. If you were a professional conservative writer who sincerely believed that the White House was playing politics with national security and selling judgeships, you wouldn't just drop it, would you?

In a strange way, WorldNetDaily's conspiracy theorizing might actually more respectable than the Weekly Standard's. At least WND seems like they believe their smears. The Weekly Standard doesn't even bother to pretend to believe their nonsense -- they just throw allegations against the wall in hopes of something sticking and move on to the next bogus claim when it doesn't.

Keep that in mind the next time the Weekly Standard tries to gin up a scandal.