Wednesday, January 12, 2005

'Ethics? We don't need no stinkin' ethics!'

Kevin Drum says it best about the New Republic article excerpted later in this post:
"Amazing. It took Democrats 40 years to start losing losing their soul to corruption. Republicans have left them in the dust in a mere decade."

It is amusing, and a bit sad, to see the Party of Morals and Values finding new ways to reach new lows, as recounted in the excerpted article by Quinn Hillyer below. For example,
"Three times last fall alone, the bipartisan ethics committee unanimously admonished Majority Leader Tom DeLay for actions that reeked of impropriety. Rather than castigate their sharp-elbowed leader, though, the Republican conference as a whole turned on GOP ethics committee chairman Joel Hefley, who had dared to issue rebukes to DeLay. Citing term limits on ethics committee membership, the House leadership pushed Hefley out of his chairmanship. But Hefley had served only four years as chairman; the usual chairmanship limit is six years--and House leaders showed their hypocrisy by simultaneously waiving the term-limits requirement to give seventh and eighth years as chairman of the powerful Rules Committee to California's David Dreier."
Later in the article:
"Finally, Republicans have tried to weaken the actual written standards of ethics that have governed the House for decades. DeLay had been admonished for running afoul of a broad prohibition against any actions that don't "reflect creditably" on the institution. House leaders originally indicated support for a change that would disallow rebukes for anything other than a violation of a specific, preexisting law or rule. The distinction is important: The proposed new standard would equate ethics with legality. But ethics, by their very nature, involve broader issues than mere legality; after all, that which isn't technically illegal can still be unethical."

So if a House leader wanted to, oh, I don't know, have sexual relations with an intern in his or her office, it would be perfectly okay, because, you know, it's not illegal. A bit...Clintonian...there, eh fellas?
Read the New Republic article for more examples of the decline and fall of the Values Party.
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