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Friday, December 31, 2004

Ethics: Let's just ignore it. Want to?

Rigging the Rules (washingtonpost.com): 'A member . . . officer or employee of the House shall conduct himself at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.' -- Code of Official Conduct, Rule XXIII, Clause 1. OF ALL THE ethical rules governing the conduct of House members, this is perhaps the most critical. It has been used to discipline members for taking bribes, fixing parking tickets and having sex with House pages. ... Perhaps most pertinent, it was the rule cited by the House ethics committee earlier this year in its serial admonishments of Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) for hosting a golf fundraiser for energy lobbyists on the eve of House consideration of the energy bill; offering to endorse the political campaign of a lawmaker's son in exchange for the member's vote on the prescription drug bill; and enlisting Federal Aviation Administration officials to hunt down fleeing Texas lawmakers who were foiling his redistricting plans for his home state.
It is interesting that this generates so little interest. I wonder if people think it doesn't really matter? Do they think their interests are served when legislation is pushed through only because it is backed by the wealthy? Perhaps it is only because the path from the corruption to their doorstep seems long and winding. Perhaps it is avoidance. It is difficult to admit that your beloved country could be engaging in actions that are totalitarian in nature, so one wants to excuse the use of the Federal government to coerce the democratic process of the local state. It is only a beginning. It shouldn't be a problem that the energy companies can do what they want under the cover of darkness. It is only a small crack in the dike. Let's just ignore it. Want to? Surely it will not result in anything awful down the road. It shouldn't be a problem if bribery is allowed. Let's just ignore it. Want to? It shouldn't be a problem that lawmakers are hunted down and forced to legislate. That wouldn't lead to other occasions of such behavior. Let's just ignore it. Want to? Let's pretend it isn't really all that bad that a key leader of congress is indicted for violating the law. Let's just let them do what they want. They will anyway, right? So let's just ignore it. Want to?

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