In 2006 the Democrats ran on what they called the Republican culture of corruption and they were right to an extent with the Abramoff and Cunningham scandals weighting us down, Foley and Craig were scandals but not corruption. Today the Democrats have their own problems and Blagojevich is just the tip of the iceberg threatening to sink their Titanic.
Charlie Rangel their powerful Ways and Means chairman is neck deep in all sorts of ethics problems. Kwame Kilpatrick and Elliot Spitzer had to resign in disgrace and there are many more under investigation. Kim Strassel lists just a few of them that are just now coming to the forefront as the new Congress prepares to convene under Obama who promised a cleaner government. I don't think this is what he was planning for.
Instead, Democrats now have an image problem. The real issue isn't so much Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's Senate-seat auction, as it is the focus that his scandal has directed toward a wider assortment of Democratic troubles. This isn't great timing for Barack Obama, who campaigned on cleaner government.
The Blagojevich drama is titillating enough, and local Democrats' dithering over how to fill Mr. Obama's seat guarantees it will remain a storyline longer than is comfortable. But the Illinois drama has also thrust new light on the ongoing ethical controversies of House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel. At the rate the House Ethics Committee is receiving complaints -- over Mr. Rangel's real-estate problems, tax problems, his privately sponsored trips to the Caribbean, and donations to his center in New York -- this too will make headlines for a while.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune published a new story about Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who racked up $420,000 through a series of suspicious real-estate deals. Texas Rep. Silvestre Reyes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, came under scrutiny this fall for questionable earmarking. West Virginia Rep. Alan Mollohan has been under investigation for a separate earmarking mess. And then there's Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, who has yet to answer questions about the sweetheart mortgage deal he received from Countrywide.
She points out that the GOP has largely cleaned house while the Democrats along with their friends in the MSM are trying to whitewash their corruption away. That is the main difference is that the MSM when they do report Democrat corruption they forget to label them as Democrats but if it is a Republican the headlines and talking heads scream it for weeks on end. I guess corruption is expected from the Democrats or something. Heck House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Harry Reid have enough questionable ethics problems that if they were Republicans the MSM and the Democrats would be screaming for them to step down and resign.
Ace points to this post at Newsbusters about David Gregory attempting to whitewash the Democrats corruption by explaining it away as everyday political business. Here's what Gregory had to say.
"(A)t the heart of all politics is pay to play. Yes. There's a thin line between expectations and shakedown. But do any of us really believe that the people who raise huge sums of money for a particular political candidate aren't expecting something for their efforts? Do we really believe that a person who is vested with the power to give away a Senate seat isn't going to give it to the person who will somehow do him or her the most good?"
As Ace asks, would they have tried to explain away Abramoff, Enron and Foley the same way? All I can say is that as long as the GOP keeps its nose clean it has some real cards to play in 2010 and 2012 as much of the bloom will have fallen off Obama and he will no longer be fresh but rather wilted.