Monday, March 14, 2005

Corrupt, corrupt, corrupt

The Republicans prove, once again, that they will wink at a criminal if the criminal helps them get power.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) has dismissed questions about his ethics as partisan attacks, but revelations last week about his overseas travel and ties to lobbyists under investigation have emboldened Democrats and provoked worry among Republicans.

With some members increasingly concerned that DeLay had left himself vulnerable to attack, several Republican aides and lobbyists said for the first time that they are worried about whether he will survive and what the consequences could be for the party's image

"While he is far from a nationally recognized figure, Republicans worry that all it takes is more national news coverage to change that, and there seems to be a new episode every week or two," Mann said. "We've seen throughout congressional history that a series of seemingly small ethical missteps can snowball."

House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said DeLay "has always had, and continues to have, the strong support" of the party.

Which makes the entire party culpable in the enabling of his corruption.

Remember - this isn't some exception-to-the-rule-one-bad-apple-in-the-barrel. This is the Majority Whip. the second most powerful Republican in Congress, and the entire Republican Congress CHOSE to make him Majority Whip and CHOSE to make him one of their leaders.

When Democratic Speaker Jim Wright ran into far more minor ethical problems in the early 1990s, Newt Gingrich turned the title of this post ("Corrupt, corrupt, corrupt") into a constant litany, and eventually forced Wright out largely due to the din of bad publicity. Wright was replaced by Tom Foley, and then by Newt Gingrich himself when the Republicans gained control of Congress shortly thereafter.

But the Democrats won't do that; they keep playing touch football while the Republicans play tackle. They keep worrying about manners while the Republicans gorge themselves at the public trough, steal from the public treasury, and line their pockets with the fruits of corruption and bribery.

If the Democrats can't figure out a way to use a piece of scum like Delay to beat the Republicans over the head with, they don't deserve to call themselves an opposition party.

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