Call it midterm election year posturing if you will, but Democrats have removed embattled Rep. William Jefferson, D-Louisiana, from his post on the House Ways and Mean Committee.
Jefferson is being investigated on allegations of bribery, so his continued presence on the committee would reflect poorly on the party, election year or not. I'm glad some Democrats care about that; Republicants seemed so intent on keeping Tom DeLay in his post that they preemptively loosened their ethics rules just to accommodate his imminent indictments. Nice try.
But, regrettably, there are some similarities in the two scandals. Tom DeLay alleged DA Ronnie Earle's political aims were responsible for his woes, and Jefferson is blaming Nancy Pelosi's political aims for his. I'd hoped for better in the latter case.
When you use your office to do illegal or unethical things, it's your own fault. Your own lies and/or conceit keep you from acknowledging that.
There have been some allegations of racism by Jefferson, an African-American, and his supporters. That's unfortunate, because you should always wait until you actually see a wolf to cry "Wolf!" lest the value of making such a claim be thenceforth diminished. That goes for Rep. McKinney, too.
The race card should not be played so readily. It cheapens the struggles of those who actually are/were victims of racism. In Jefferson's case, it's a knee-jerk reaction that distracts from the facts.
If there is a cancer on the body politic, and it is connected to the duties of office, have it out. That's the principled thing to do. You may have ulterior motives in doing so (e.g. covering your party's ass), but it's still the right thing to do.
We're still waiting on the right to do the right thing.
PS: The new Fragmentia 13 is up.