Friday, June 16, 2006

Join the GOP -- ethics not required


It may be more than a little showboating, but let it not be said that Democrats are unwilling to police their own. The Democratic caucus voted to oust Rep. William J. Jefferson (La.) from the Ways and Means committee in response to charges of corruption against him.

Innocent till proven guilty and all that, but the evidence made public so far has already indicted him in the eyes of the people and it would be difficult for the Democratic Party to make an issue of Congressional ethics if he is allowed to carry on as if nothing has happened. By rights, Jefferson should have stepped down voluntarily for the good of the party. His continued resistance to doing so does nothing for his court case or his public image.

Meanwhile, the caucus vote stands in sharp contrast to the GOP's typical response to corruption in their own ranks, which is to circle the wagons and protect their criminals. A strategy made clear beginning with the enormous efforts made to keep Tom DeLay in power to their nonchalance about the ethics of the dozen or so other Republicans currently implicated in the various lobbyist corruption cases. For instance, Josh Marshall runs down Chair of the House Appropriations Committee Jerry Lewis' various connections to the Cunningham case. Not only have his ethics remained unquestioned, our president praises his fine work in advancing the White House agenda.

But why should that be a surprise? Heck, in this White House, any display of ethics is a firing offense. Just ask John Riggs.
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3 Comments:

Blogger Kvatch said...

Though Pelosi is no fan of Jefferson, your comment:

Meanwhile, the caucus vote stands in sharp contrast to the GOP's typical response to corruption in their own ranks,

...seems to me to be exactly why Pelosi is playing hardball here. She wants to make a clear distinction between her party and the Rethuglicans.

3:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

Absolutely kvatch. In another time, the Dems might not have pressed the issue either but I don't see there's any other option if they want to use the corruption meme for November and I think Jefferson should be able to see that too.

He should have taken the high road and immediately resigned the committee, proclaiming his innocence of course, but making clear he was doing it to avoid any appearance of impropriety, no matter how unwarranted the charges are. That would have done the most good for himself and the party.

Personally, I think he's probably guilty but either way, his current tack makes him look guilty AND desperate.

4:02:00 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

Claude Allen was the best. There are so many characters in the bush saga. Jeff Gannon, pat robertson, jack abramoff, ahmed chalabi. All the big republicans are either crooks or mental patients. people like trent lott or newt gingrich are just seen as squishy moderates. which is preposerous

5:14:00 PM  

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