Regular readers know my opinion of the Democrats versus Republicans, if one can be monolithic. I think the former are often obnoxious and wrong, but they are marginally better than the latter. In recent decades, they have
performed better than Republicans, and the level of criminality seems to have been lower. (Compare, for instance, the Gulf of Tonkin and Monicagate to Whitewater, Iran Contra, and the scandal of the day in GW’s White House.) I could provide a few more reasons, but that’s not the point of this post.
What is the point is some disappointment setting in with the current Democrat Congress. Nothing unexpected, but still. I think corruption makes everything worse. Everything. And there is corruption in Congress. And by tolerating it, they allow it to get worse.
I recognize there are political realities. It may be political impossible to expel someone like William Jefferson, much less the various Republicans that are also being investigated by the FBI. But you can still shame and shun those that are corrupt.
If the Democrats want me to support them because they are Democrats, and not just because they are less bad than Republicans, then they have to do something to earn it. And its tough to do, because I would bet most of Congress has their hands in the till in some way. But we know who the worst of the worst are. The FBI is investigating a lot of people. I want to hear the leadership repeat those names, loudly, publicly, repeatedly. I want to hear Congressional Leaders talk about this, I want to see Congressional leaders stand before the entire body and point these people out. Weekly.
My father grew up in a very religious (Jewish) community. One individual in the community at some point had some connection with prostitution or white slavery. Nothing for which he could be legally punished, but there was a moral affront in the eyes of the community. My father was a kid and I don’t think he ever learned the details, so I, at thirdhand, can’t provide them. But my father tells me that the man was shunned. Nobody would talk to him. And when he walked down the street, people spit in his path and turned their backs on him. Not the sort of thing that inspired others to follow his example.
Maybe Pelosi and company can’t do anything legally about those corrupt individuals in Congress. But they can set an example for how such people could be treated. More… they should set an example for how such people could be treated. Of course, they could have done so while in the minority party, and the Republicans, as the minority party can also do it today. Spitting and turning one’s back isn’t necessary, but there are easy steps they could take to show us, the American public, they will have nothing to do with the corrupt. And nobody is doing it.