Thursday, January 11, 2007

And they had such promise, too

When the leadership of the Democratic Party were campaigning for those congressional seats, last fall, they were full of conciliatory words and language of openness and change.

Well, some were, anyway.

And, as the returns came in and they saw that they were going to have the majority, some of them even promised great things, like bipartisanship and ethical reforms. The “culture of corruption” was going to be a thing of the past, and “inclusiveness” would be the new byword. Then there was that stuff about supporting the troops, because, you know, the troops aren’t smart enough to take care of their own interests.

Even before they took control, though, those promises were cast to the four winds.

To begin with, the openness and inclusion thing was shown to be a pile of nonsense. The layout for the first 100 hours is to introduce bills right and left without allowing for any input from the other side of the aisle. No matter that the law may have no worth, or that, perhaps, a better-written, thought-out bill might come from the Republicans, it won’t be allowed on the floor -- not so long as the Democrats in power have anything to say about it. Not that they actually have anything close to a mandate from the people of this country. A mandate would have shown in the form of, say, a clear, extremely lopsided majority. They’d have won at least 60 percent of the seats, instead of eking out that one above half. And their weakness will be reflected when the President vetoes their acts, and the remaining 49 per cent thumb their noses at a vote to override the veto.

Next came the promise that the party would support the troops. Apparently, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid seem to think that support comes in the form of threatening to cut off their paychecks if the President doesn’t do what they tell him to do in Iraq. In my neck of the woods, that’s not exactly seen as supportive. And, I don’t know that many soldiers, past or present, would disagree with me. In fact, there are even a few members of the Democratic party who say that such threats are not helpful to mission or morale.

Promised ethical reforms, too, got the heave-ho, when Speaker-elect Pelosi named John (“your Abscam bribe isn’t big enough for me”) Murtha as her pick to become House Majority Leader, then, at the behest of the Black Congressional Caucus put forth Alcee (“I can be judge and criminal at the same time”) Hastings for Senate Intelligence Committee chair, and, most egregious of all, she is setting the fox in charge of the henhouse by naming West Virginia’s Allan Mollohan the head of the panel which reviews the budget for -- among other things -- the FBI which is currently investigating him for ethics violations.

It seems there is a change coming.

Under Democrat management, the most blatant crooks get reelected and even promoted. Back in the bad old days, when the Republicans were the majority and somebody in that party got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, he was respectfully asked to resign from his seat, or even summarily dismissed and replaced by somebody with a slightly less shady history. If a Republican candidate were reported to have asked, for example, if his wife might want to become intimate with him in a slightly unusual setting -- even if she said “no” -- he was cast to the wolves, never to hold any major public office again, but Democrats philander with underlings all they want and still receive applause. If a Republican honored another man at that other’s hundredth-ish birthday party, he was branded a racist and forced to step down from his position of leadership, while a retired Kleagle of the Klan is still a respected senior Democrat in the Senate.

It’s true, the Republicans are in no wise saints. They are, after all, politicians – a grimy breed if there ever was such a thing. But so far, I have seen no evidence that the “culture of corruption” that the Democrats decried is going to be uprooted in favor of that promised civility, cooperation, and true character. As far as I can see, to most of the elected body “Integrity, integrity, integrity” is still just a tongue twister.

Yes, that’s quite a change from status quo, isn’t it?

Suggested reading:
Captain Ed, at CQ: The addiction remains strong
Sister Toldjah: Dem push for cut and run 'officially' begins.
Bloomberg report on the Mollohan scandal

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