Linda Chavez, writing at Contentions, recalls:
What a difference eight years make. Some may recall that my nomination as Secretary of Labor in 2001 was derailed when the press learned that I had taken an illegal alien into my home a decade earlier. I was accused of everything from hiring an illegal “nanny” (she wasn’t an employee she actually worked for someone else and my kids were in high school at the time) to practicing slavery or indentured servitude.
Reporters camped out on my front lawn, and the issue was the top item on both network and cable news for days. I decided I was becoming a distraction, so I withdrew, holding a press conference with a half dozen other individuals — most of them immigrants to whom I had given financial assistance or taken into my home over the years. (The most accurate news story on the controversy didn’t appear until weeks after I withdrew.)
Geithner’s treatment suggests that Republicans want no part of the search-and-destroy tactics that Democrats practiced eight years ago. That is a good thing, by and large. But it remains to be seen, even with the press playing down Geithner’s tax problems and many Republicans ready to forgive him, whether the American public will look as lightly upon someone who failed to pay more than $43,000 in taxes owed, a sum equal to more than the average American’s yearly wage.