We have now witnessed the end of this season’s panic attack over violated ethics laws. The behavior of the Cunninghams in the Congress and the Abramoffs out of it is indefensible and should be punished. In fact, it was. Crooks were discovered, investigated, prosecuted, convicted and sent to jail –– all under current law. The Congress, however, was embarrassed. It did what it has always done in the past, it proposed new laws. One can make a convincing case that such new law is not needed – witness the present living quarters of the miscreants. But each new generation of Members have to prove that they, too, are for honesty. So it is not surprising we are about to see Congress actually implement some of the things it has been beating its breast about for months. Nothing really new.
Here’s what is new. The House Ethics Committee finished its work on the case of Mark Foley by saying that he had violated no rules. You mean to tell me that they are going to pass redundant ethics rules to augment those that demonstrably already work and, then, wring their hands and whimper that there is nothing they can do to a Member who demonstrates inordinate interest in under-age boys who are dependent on the House for their security. No rules covering this, my Aunt Hannah!
Well, here’s an idea: Write some.
A Dollar’s Worth of Wisdom
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for is for good men to do nothing.”
Edmund Burke – 1770