(What, do you think if we don't talk about it they'll just go away??)
I'm just wondering how Democrats, especially Congressional Democrats, are hoping to use the Republican culture of corruption as a campaign issue at this point. I ask this as a Democrat, a solid Democrat at this point, who is terribly concerned that we've given away the farm at this point in order to tolerate the jackassery of the few.
The campaign issue revolves around people in power (Republicans) using their power to give taxpayer money to friends and contributors; using their power to live life above the law; and facilitating government incompetency by appointing political cronies to high government office.
That's a great campaign issue, because it combines good policy with good politics. But until Democrats really get serious about fighting corruption, graft, cronyism and special treatment, they will continue to be the opposition party. I've got an idea of a good place to start really fighting this battle, to show the public we're really serious about government for the people, by the people.
Fire bad Democrats. I'm absolutely serious. National and State parties can remove a Congressional officer's Democratic registration. Let them answer to their constituency directly about whether or not to resign their Congressional seat, but show that being a Democrat means something more than just an election win, show that it means a more dignified public service behavior. If voters thought we stood for real change, we would have a much better chance.
People may be tired of Republican pigs at the trough, but what reason will they have to vote the other way if they percieve they will just be sending different colored pigs to Washington. The actions of a few indidivuals soil the reputation of all of us.
Take for instance, Democrats like Patrick Kennedy who continues to use his family name and family wealth to buy his way out of trouble with the law. You think that inspires confidence in the Democratic Party? Nope.
Take for instance, Democrats like Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) who is now allegedly implicated in a bribery scam for between $400,000 and $1 million to award government contracts for straight up cash. Yeah, he hasn't been charged yet, but two of the folks involved already have plea deals. Like the Blue Tom DeLay, Rep. Jefferson is going to hide behind his lawyers and jettison both his job (he represents New Orleans, and I'd say he has more pressing matters to handle than his legal defense) and his Party's credibility to the nation.
And, I'm not even going to go into the national damage Cynthia McKinney does to the Democratic Party.
The Democrats who read this can get as angry as they want. I am against corruption and inept government, wherever it lives, and we have to clean up our own House before we can clean up others. This type of behavior make it hard for good Democrats to gain traction, especially in Congressional races. We may loose those seats, but the credibility we gain is worth far more than the vote we get to tolerate such behavior. Luckily, I'm not the only one who feels this way. (Hattip, Instapundit)