NO COMPARISON…. Rob Jesmer, the executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, really wants you to take White House job offers seriously. In a letter to supporters yesterday, Jesmer equated the Sestak/Romanoff nonsense with the outing of an undercover CIA official during a war.

Remember how candidate Obama loved to talk about Scooter Libby? You’ll remember that Scooter Libby — along with other Bush officials — were investigated because the Bush Department of Justice appointed an independent counsel to do so.

But when Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder was asked by every Republican Member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to appoint a special counsel to investigate the serious and documented allegations of senior White House officials doling out taxpayer-funded jobs, Holder deferred to White House Counsel Robert Bauer’s vague and inconclusive “nothing to see here” two-page memo, which the White House conveniently released on the Friday afternoon before the Memorial Day holiday.

There was no indication that Jesmer was kidding.

Look, I realize Republicans are trying to pretend to be all worked up about the White House taking an interest in Democratic primary races, but they should probably avoid comically ridiculous comparisons. Darrell Issa was equating this pointless, manufactured “controversy” to Watergate, and now the NRSC is drawing parallels to the Plame scandal.


Looking over Jesmer’s pitch, it’s true that the Justice Department launched an investigation into the Plame scandal, but that’s because there was clear evidence pointing to several felonies. The Justice Department isn’t pursuing the Sestak/Romanoff nonsense because no one, anywhere, has credible evidence of any wrongdoing.

For that matter, Bush’s Department of Justice ignored Democratic lawmakers who wanted a probe, and only took the matter seriously when the CIA demanded it do so. (And if Jesmer wants to talk about poorly scheduled announcements intended to keep news out of the public eye, Patrick Fitzgerald was introduced the day before New Year’s Eve in 2003.)

To seriously draw a comparison here is simply crazy. In the Plame scandal, we had White House officials, anxious to discredit a former ambassador who knew the president was wrong about the grounds for a war, expose the identity of a CIA agent. Then, the White House lied about it, and tried to cover up official misconduct.

How is that even remotely comparable to the White House asking if a candidate who applied for an administration job if he still wanted it?

If this “story” were actually controversial, Republicans wouldn’t have to make up fanciful, over-the-top claims like this. It reeks of desperation.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.