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Well, another Congressman has been indicted for corruption. Arizona Republican Rick Renzi has been hit with a 26-page, 35-count indictment for some allegedly shady land deals.

I have a fairly simple rule for politicians: if they get indicted, then they are guilty until proven innocent. And even then, I have have some doubts.

The only time I've ever felt the least bit of sympathy for a politician who's run afoul of the law was in the case of Tom DeLay. As loathsome as I found him, it was kind of hard to dismiss his claim of being harassed by an obsessed prosecutor when it was revealed that his indictment came from the third grand jury the guy had convened. The first had refused to indict, and the second only managed to indict DeLay by violating the US Constitution and charge him with breaking a law before it went into effect.

I have an even more draconian opinion of bureaucrats. I believe that every one of them ought to be randomly selected, taken out, and shot. OK, maybe not shot, but something randomly draconian to remind the rest that a government job is not a right or an entitlement.

But that aside, let's look at Representative Renzi's case. I have come to the conclusion that corruption is a non-partisan issue; there are crooks in both parties.

The real distinction, to me, is in how the parties handle their attainted members.

The Republicans tend to quickly move to ostracize their disgraced members. Randy "Duke" Cunningham was shunned immediately. Larry Craig became an instant pariah. Mark Foley became a leper the instant his peccadilloes became public. And the GOP leadership is already calling on Renzi to resign.

On the other hand, the Democrats tend to be somewhat more lenient.

William Jefferson is still in office, and it took serious protests from Republicans to get him off sensitive committees.

Alcee Hastings, who was impeached and removed from the federal bench in the 1990's, is now a respected member of the House and a key member of Nancy Pelosi's leadership. Indeed, he nearly ascended to the chair of the Intelligence Committee.

Dan Rostenkowski was pardoned by President Bill Clinton, who also commuted the sentence of Mel Reynolds.

Congratulations to the FBI for bagging another Congressman. May they continue to do so.

Now if we could just get some serious investigation into Dianne Feinstein, who steered literally billions of dollars of defense contracts to her husband's companies...


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Comments (18)

As yes the ever "independen... (Below threshold)
JFO:

As yes the ever "independent" author with his usual bromide.

"Both sides are crooked but your, err the dems, (I I'm an 'independent' remember) are just worse that mine, err the repubs.

While JFO magnanimously tak... (Below threshold)
epador:

While JFO magnanimously takes ownership of the Democratic Party, it would be more coherent to take ownership of any senses left at one's personal disposal. And certainly not coherent to continue with this silly "you've got Republican cooties too" from the school-yard see-saw.

I await a BG2000 cut and paste showing all the convicted Democrats who have been severely censured, fined, and/or gone to jail aside a miles longer list of Republicans.

EpadorFunny, that ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Epador

Funny, that was my point about Jay Tea. The "we have ours but yours are worse" meme from the right.

You need to brush up on your reading comprehension.

I've said many many times each has its crooks, none are worse or better than the others. Got it now?

Nice attempt at a backpedal... (Below threshold)
epqdor:

Nice attempt at a backpedal, but I think you forgot you weren't riding your Daddy's ten-speed, and hit the brakes instead.

Your post is all about making fun of JT for being a closet Republican. I mine was all bout countering that notion, as well as making fun of BG's cut and paste lengthy posts that seem to only include Bad Republicans.

The "we have ours but... (Below threshold)

The "we have ours but yours are worse" meme from the right.

I read Jay's post and came away with an entirely different understanding. I think Jay's main theme is that the Democratic Party handles its dirty laundry differently than the Republican Party.

I can't locate the "The "we have ours but yours are worse" meme.

JFO, i noticed that you att... (Below threshold)
ke_future:

JFO, i noticed that you attacked the author, and not his points. does that mean you agree with the premises of his post?

1) politicians are bad
2) beauracrats are worse
3) republicans tend to not put up with their politicians that get caught
4) democrats reward, or at least tolerate, politicians their politicians

Et pour les autres:<p... (Below threshold)
epador:

Et pour les autres:

[avec des excuses à Robespierrre]:

ni moonbat ni républicain

Apparently my noticing the ... (Below threshold)

Apparently my noticing the difference in how the two parties handle their reprobates offends JFO's sensibilities.

He doesn't dispute my observation, merely my calling attention to it.

Apparently, in his eyes, "independents" are not supposed to see any distinctions between the parties.

I'm glad he's not in charge of writing the dictionary.

J.

Larry Craig became an in... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Larry Craig became an instant pariah.
...
William Jefferson is still in office

Uhh, Larry Craig is still in office too. And Bob Ney didn't resign until his conviction. (Actually, 3 weeks afterwards.) And did that big standing ovation given to David Vitter (also still in office) by Republican senators leave him feeling like an instant pariah? (Since his resignation would result in a Democratic appointment, not so much.)

Mark Foley became a leper the instant his peccadilloes became public.

Oh, good criteria, there. "Became public." Never mind that the Republican leadership knew all about it, but never did anything until it "became public". Kudos to them for keeping a lid on it for so long, eh? But at least they acted once it "became public"!

It's not that you don't have a legitimate point somewhere in there. I also am disappointed with William Jefferson's resilience, and Feinstein does need some looking into. But you really make a joke of an argument when you so obviously choose your subjects and skew your words to make Republicans look more noble than Democrats.

And you also don't address the sheer numbers of scandals on each side. Other than Jefferson, you go back to the '90s for a Democratic scandal. I suppose "we may have more corruption, but at least we handle it better" isn't as good a slogan.

Brian, a couple of points:<... (Below threshold)

Brian, a couple of points:

1) Look up "pariah." It has nothing to do with resigning or not.

2) Vitter was not indicted.

3) Foley, to the best of anyone's knowledge, NEVER BROKE ANY LAWS. The scumbag ran right up to the edge of the law (kind of like those "Barely Legal" videos), but stayed on the safe side. Without a solid legal leg to stand on, just what would you have suggested the leadership do about him? "He's creepy" isn't solid enough grounds for doing much. (Although it seems to have been enough to sink Gary Condit, now that I think about it...)

J.

2) Vitter was not indict... (Below threshold)
Brian:

2) Vitter was not indicted.

But clearly broke the law, and admitted it. Or did you wait for William Jefferson's indictment before commenting on him?

And Craig and Ney? Let's just forget them, since they don't fit your new meme.

[Foley] ran right up to the edge of the law... but stayed on the safe side.

Wait, I though an indictment was needed before someone was "shunned". Hmm, guess there are things that don't need an indictment to be considered a disgrace. Though solicitation and adultery apparently aren't among them.

Without a solid legal leg to stand on, just what would you have suggested the leadership do about him?

OK, now you're just acting dumb.

The lefties have such a ver... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

The lefties have such a very poor ability to comprehend a post. They really do. ww

Once again, Jay Tea is call... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Once again, Jay Tea is called out. He doesn't take it well.

Without a solid legal... (Below threshold)

Without a solid legal leg to stand on, just what would you have suggested the leadership do about him? ... Jay

OK, now you're just acting dumb....Brian


I don't agree. What is dumb about that question? If it's simply a dumb question, then answer it and expose it's dumbness. Cryptic comments like this do nothing to support your polemic. In fact, they undermine it.

OK, now you're just acting ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

OK, now you're just acting dumb.
----------------------------------
Liberals are acting dumb again. Jefferson got a standing ovatioon. Murtha is the king of pork now. How about the liberal culture of corruption now? You see conservative pork-busters against Rep? What have liberals done but enabling the liberal culture of corruption?

Called on on WHAT, jp2? Tha... (Below threshold)

Called on on WHAT, jp2? That, in many cases, I find the Republicans less noxious than Democrats? Since I refuse to join either party for longer than it takes to cast a primary ballot, I'm not allowed to draw distinctions?

The quality control systems at the troll factory are really becoming quite olfactory...

J.

Rather obvious that there i... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Rather obvious that there is no quality control, Jay. JFO and jp2 are just looking silly.

The point of this post is e... (Below threshold)
George Author Profile Page:

The point of this post is exactly right. Democrats circle the wagons around their criminals; Republicans send them on their way. The best example: Clinton vs. Nixon.




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