Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Capitol Watch: Why haven't these guys left?

There is enough corruption and scandal in DC to keep somebody dedicated to reporting on that alone full time and never truly be caught up. I'm going to do my best to pick a few of the most egregious over the past two weeks just to give you a taste of what the Republican culture of corruption really means.

First and foremost, it means never having the decency to resign. You can be guilty. You can steal land, hide money. You can lie. You can be incompetent. You can surround yourself with liars and incompetents.

You can surround yourself with lies and incompetence. You can take an apolitical office and turn it into a political cesspool just to prove your loyalty to your boss. Or girlfriend. You can do all that — and get caught.

You can get caught in your lies by people who would otherwise want to protect you — and if, at that point, you can still turn your Shame Switch off, well, call yourself Gonzales, Renzi, Doolittle, or Wolfowitz.

These four are clinging to their posts like Gollum to the Ring. Gonzales has caught all the headlines and received much of CNN's and C-SPAN's airtime, so I won't belabor that point. Others have flown a little lower under the media radar.

Renzi and Doolittle, you may remember, had their homes and offices raided a few weeks ago by the FBI as evidence linked them to the Abramoff fiasco.

Seems like a long time ago, but we don't know exactly how many names Jack Abramoff coughed up in exchange for a shorter stint in prison.

Apparently, they were next on the dance card.

Renzi, an Arizona Congressman from the 1st District, is currently under investigation for a proposed 2005 Arizona land swap, in which the investors became a little nervous and eventually backed out, based on who the players were in the deal.

Suspicion grew deeper when the prosecutor in the case was suddenly forced to resign—he was one of the eight attorneys encouraged to vacate his post in what has become the infamous AlbertoGate Scandal.

Doolittle, a Congressman from California's 4th District, had his Virginia home raided on April 11th under suspicion of ties to Jack Abramoff. A detailed list of his woes can be found here.

And there's Paul Wolfowitz, the Bush Administration's Steadfast Soldier in the War on Poor People. The Honorable Mr. Wolfowitz is indignant, nay appalled at the mere thought that he could be treated so "shabbily" by the World Bank.

The mere thought that he could use an international organization designed to eliminate poverty as a vehicle to enrich his girlfriend — well, that's just, well... harrumph, I say…

So far, none of these guys have resigned. They half-heartedly admit mistakes while throwing their underlings under the bus. They conveniently forget vast tracts of knowledge. They'll look at the senators, the cameras, you, and the world, and shamelessly lie or forget what they're not supposed to say.

They should follow the example of Julie MacDonald - and step down:
An Interior Department official accused of pressuring government scientists to make their research fit her policy goals has resigned.

Julie MacDonald, deputy assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks, submitted her resignation letter to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, a department spokesman said Tuesday.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said MacDonald had "betrayed the mission she swore to uphold," adding that her actions "undermined both the work and the integrity of the Fish and Wildlife Service and its many dedicated employees."
Laws, ethics, responsibility...all cast aside for power, ideology, and greed.

The American people deserve better. Since these guys won't go willingly and with dignity, they must be shown the door.

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