Pelosi Lauds “Most Ethical Congress in Herstory”
In 2006 Congressional Democrats campaigned on the conceit that Republicans were corrupt up to their coke-filled noses and incapable of governing so much as a taco stand, and that the country was yearning for a breath of fresh air from the party that brought us Gary Condit, William Jefferson, Cynthia McKinney, Jim McGreevey, John Murtha, Eliot Spitzer, and Eric Massa.
After her historic transition to the position of House Speaker-elect, Nancy Pelosi promised, “This leadership team will create the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history.”
Pelosi pledged to “drain the swamp” of slimy Republicans who tapped their feet in bathroom stalls, sent flirty texts to post-pubescent pages, and… what else was it Congressional Republicans were supposedly up to in 2006?
Ignoring all the scandals associated with Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards in their race for the presidency and focusing only on Congressional misdeeds, and starting only with Obama’s November 2008 election, the past 21 months have brought a flurry of Democratic indiscretions:
• Illinois Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. is under investigation by the Justice Department regarding a taped conversation in which impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich told a staffer that a fundraiser for Jackson would donate $1.5 million to Blagojevich’s reelection campaign if President-elect Obama’s Senate seat went to Jackson
• Senator Roland Burris was reprimanded by the Senate Ethics Committee for providing misleading and incomplete information to the Senate in advance of his confirmation to Obama’s Senate seat
• Congressional Democrats rushed the $787 billion stimulus spending bill to a vote before it could be edited and violated their pledge to post it online for five days before signing it
• Congressional Democrats self-righteously pushed for PAYGO regulations mandating that money be found in the budget for new entitlements, then ignored their own law to push through unfunded, extended rounds of unemployment benefits
• Congressional leadership tailored the health care reform bill to include payoffs such as the Louisiana Purchase, the Cornhusker Kickback, and Gator-Aid, and removed these only after they were publicized
• Congressional leadership attempted such tricks to get health care legislation passed as introducing the Slaughter Rule (aka “deem and “pass”), using budget reconciliation for something it wasn’t meant for, making the bill “budget neutral” by pairing six years of benefits with ten years of taxes, and deceiving on-the-fence pro-life Democrats with an unenforceable executive order banning health care funding for abortions
Last Thursday Democratic Representative Charles Rangel, former Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, was charged with 13 House ethics violations, including failure to disclose income, failure to pay taxes on his condo in the Dominican Republic, possession of four city-subsidized rent-controlled luxury apartments, use of the apartments for campaign committee operations, improper acceptance of corporate-sponsored trips to Caribbean islands, and intervention to award a tax break worth tens of millions of dollars to a major corporate donor to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service.
Rangel has responded to the charges, for which he has been under investigation for two years, by offering reporters such open and informative replies as “Where I live and how I live? It’s nobody’s damn business where I live,” “Common sense dictates that members of Congress should not be held responsible for wrongdoing,” and “Why don’t you mind your own goddamned business?”
Rangel stepped down from his chairman post, which was taken over by Representative Pete Stark—who subsequently resigned over his own tax scandal.
Over the weekend Pelosi told Christiane Amanpour that Rangel’s role in her “most ethical Congress” was invisible to her: she referred Amanpour to the Office of Congressional Ethics, which Pelosi herself set up in 2009, saying, “I’m totally out of the loop. It is independent. It is confidential, classified, secret, whatever. We don’t know what it is.”
2010 Pelosi campaign commercial: “I can’t see rule-breaking from my House!”
This week Democratic Representative Maxine Waters, who serves on the House Financial Services Committee, was charged with three ethics violations related to the claim that she secured bailout money for OneUnited Bank, for which her husband had served on the board and whose stock he owned, and which received $12 million in funds. Like Rangel, Waters is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and chose to face a trial in the fall rather than plead guilty to the allegations.
Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, who helped allocate bank bailout funds, told Waters at the time that her involvement in the OneUnited bailout was a conflict of interest and that “You should stay out of it.”
Naturally, the mainstream media is blaming the eruption of Democratic corruption on the same cause to which they attributed the Tea Party uprising… racism!
In a story on the racial angle to the recent allegations, the L.A. Times suggested this howler of a defense: “Ethics advocates maintain that lax enforcement of House ethics rules encouraged Rangel and Waters to take defiant stands.” Next on the MSM’s apologia schedule: “Obama’s terrorism experts maintain that Bush’s lax enforcement of airline security encouraged Saudi hijackers to take defiant stands.”
Camille Paglia recently praised Pelosi’s ability to corral House troops to support the health care reform bill, even though the bill is a rotting corpse of bureaucratic sleaze and fraud: “Pelosi scored a giant gain for feminism… [She] demonstrated that a woman can be just as gritty, ruthless and arm-twisting in pursuing her agenda as anyone in the long line of fabled male speakers before her… As for the actual content of the House healthcare bill, horrors!… [T]his rigid, intrusive and grotesquely expensive bill is a nightmare.”
Apparently it’s come to this: feminists are now praising women for their ability to be as corrupt as men.