Thursday, May 25, 2006

CBC should wake up and do the right thing.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi evidently has had an acrimonious meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus in regards to the whole William Jefferson (D L.A.) affair. Evidently the CBC considers that Pelosi has singled Jefferson out for discriminatory action by requesting that he resign his seat on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Please! Pelosi didn't single Jefferson out for anything. He is the cause of his own troubles. If the CBC insists on defending Jefferson after he is caught on tape accepting $100K in bribes, and then is busted with $90K plastic wrapped in his freezer, they are choosing to diminish their own standing as a group. They ought to do the right thing and/or allow Pelosi to do it in their stead should they choose to remain silent on the issue. Insisting that Jefferson be treated normally after all this business comes to light is simply not acceptable.

There is no intrinsic right of an accused criminal to continue in a position of trust or power, or even continuing in their normal course of standard living between the time they commit a crime and the dropping of an indictment. If that were the case city jails would only be about 1/4 full at any given time. When a crook was busted committing a crime they would be served a notice to appear, and if the prosecutor saw fit to issue an indictment THEN the perp could be inconvenienced. Regular life doesn't work like that and neither should the life of a Congressman.

I understand that Pelosi must be scared to death of alienating this powerful bloc in the Democratic caucus, but it is not her fault they are being unreasonable. She very well may do the Democratic cause a favor by standing up for the right thing despite the unreasonable stance of the CBC on this one. Show some backbone and what not.

It is clear at this point that Jefferson would be doing his party, the House, his constituents, and America as a whole a favor by ending the spectacle and resigning. Jefferson may be the cause of a split in the Democratic party, and the loss of cohesion going into the mid term elections, resulting in a lack of support for Democrats in congressional races, in turn resulting in the House staying in Republican hands. Jefferson could singlehandedly give this administration free rein to govern it's final two years with a continued lack of oversight from a Republican controlled House, while still winding up in the pokey because he broke the law. How selfish is that? How shortsighted and ego driven?

The CBC should encourage Pelosi to do the right thing, and if she can't get that from them she ought to go forward without their support and do it on her own.

Being a part of the Lousiana Dem structure, it is interesting to note that the 45 days the records will be sealed also coincide with Jefferson's ability to file as a candidate for his seat. Had the records been pored over and charges brought, he would not have been able to run for re-election, and therefore been out of the news. The 45 days given allows him his eligibility and keeps him in the news.
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