Say you're on the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and it's time to write something negative about Gov. Scott Walker's basically reckless and erroneous attack on Mary Burke's alleged tax dodging. But you have endorsed Walker in the past, along with many of his business views. And perhaps you don't want to look overly anti-Walker to a business community that buys ads in your newspaper. What to do, what to do?
Well, here's one crude solution: Proceed to ding Walker on his anti-Burke rhetoric, but ameliorate that a bit by writing an editorial using the time-honored "they all do it" principle, dinging a politician from the other major political party for what you portray as a similar transgression.
In today's editorial, the Journal Sentinel editors went ahead and dinged Walker, but then gave over half their editorial to criticizing President Obama for the manner in which he's been calling for an end to "inversion," a tax loophole that allows US-based firms to avoid federal taxes by making themselves, mostly just on paper, into foreign-based operations.
Obama's trespass? Calling the use of tax inversion anti-patriotic, while his budget director called on corporations to exhibit some "economic patriotism."