Please forgive this intrusion of politics into a blog that has been exclusively musical lately, but a comment at The Carpetbagger Report, echoing a thought I had already had, deserves as wide circulation as possible. Democratic Representative William Jefferson has been indicted for corruption, and the meme of the day is that corruption in Congress is bipartisan – meaning Jefferson on the Democrat side, Cunningham, Ney, DeLay, Safavian, Libby, Griles, Foggo, Crawford, Foley, Korsmo and quite a few others on the Republican side. And pace those who still insist there’s no significant difference between the parties, the Carpetbagger notes the respective reactions:
Even before the indictment against Jefferson was issued, congressional Democrats spoke out against him, distanced themselves from him, and removed him from power committee assignments. The Democratic leadership made clear they had no tolerance for Jefferson’s alleged crimes, and pivoted off his indictment to introduce a massive new ethics reform measure.
And then there’s the GOP. When Cunningham was exposed, House Republicans defended him. When DeLay was about to be indicted, they considered changing their own rules to let him stay in the leadership. When Ney was investigated, they stood by him. Indeed, the standard Republican strategy was to blame prosecutors, blame the media, make excuses, and defend the accused.
Even now, none of the current lawmakers facing criminal investigations have been ostracized for what appears to be a series of scandalous decisions, while most of the party wants a pardon (amnesty?) for a convicted felon caught lying and obstructing justice in the Plame leak scandal.