Culture of Corruption?
Three weeks ago, Patrick Kennedy got into an accident near Capitol Hill. When police arrived, he appeared drunk, and indeed, witnesses who saw him earlier said he had been drinking. Rep. Kennedy said he was late for a vote (how many votes occur after midnight?), and he was driven home by an officer without a sobriety test. No arrest, no ticket, just a ride home. I have a clean driving record, but somehow, I doubt that I would get such treatment if I got into an accident.
Certainly though, many politicians of such high standing would be given a pass in such a situation. Which brings me to Rep. William Jefferson. Rep. Jefferson appears guilty in what should be an open and shut case concerning bribery. Cold, hard cash has never been such a true statement. The "Culture of Corruption" appears to have invaded the Democratic party as well.
Unfortunately, this is a much larger problem than Red and Blue. Some Republicans and Democrats (including Nancy Pelosi, rather surprisingly) have called for Rep. Jefferson to step down, but this has appeared to be the exception rather than the rule. A number of politicians on both sides of the aisle are questioning the Constitutionality of the investigation, and thus Rep. Jefferson may get off on a legal loophole despite the ethical issues. I certainly will not question the importance of the Constitution, but using it to hide behind such foolishness is entirely inappropriate and may lead to future problems. And if that was not bad enough, the Black Caucus has come to William Jefferson's defense.
Is Howard Dean correct about the "Culture of Corruption"? For once, he very well may be. But he needs to pay attention to the left as well. Decrying certain actions will not appear very good if those he believes will fix the problem appear to part of the problem as well.
As for the Republicans, it is well past time for some new blood. The Contract With America has ended, and it is time for some new Republicans to stand up and defend what we believe; politicians who can stand up to Democrats, who can cut spending, secure our borders, ensure that military strength does not lag, and who have not fallen into corruption.
UPDATE 5/26/06 12 AM: As if on cue, Chris Muir chimes in on the congressional corruption debate as well.