“This leadership team will create the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history” – Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Press Release, November 16, 2006
Compare that with this.
“Dozens in Congress under ethics inquiry” – Washington Post headline, Oct. 30, 2009
Here is the lede to the Post story:
House ethics investigators have been scrutinizing the activities of more than 30 lawmakers and several aides in inquiries about issues including defense lobbying and corporate influence peddling, according to a confidential House ethics committee report prepared in July.
The problem for Democrats is that the vast majority of the Members under investigation are fellow Democrats, and some of them are pretty high-ranking Democrats. You have Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (for tax fraud), Appropriations subcommittee Chairmen Jack Murtha and Alan Mollohan, and other big time and small time Dems.
On the Republican side, you have Appropriations subcommittee Ranking Member Bill Young and Appropriations committee member Todd Tihart.
Not only is the current Congress among the most corrupt in recent history, it is also one of the least “open”. The health care bill that is supposed to go to the House floor for a vote late in the week hasn’t even been written yet. Sure, Pelosi held a press conference to announce the bill, but she is still negotiating the language, and it will get to the floor using a process called a “mangers amendment” which will go through the rules committee the night before it goes to the floor and no one will have time to actually read the bill.
Let’s just say that Democrats are facing a drumbeat of bad news – and that bad news is only going to get worse after Tuesday’s elections in Virginia and New Jersey. The Republican candidate for Governor in Virginia is a near certain lock for a strong win, and it’s too close to call in New Jersey, which is usually a Democrat stronghold.
Pile on top of the ethics challenges and a shifting political environment, Pelosi continues to push a too-far left agenda making her conservative Democrats walk the plank. And the problem with walking the plank is that you don’t survive.