I would appear that the Republican Party is falling apart at the seams. It was predictable and predicted that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would soon be unemployed and he was, of course, preceded by Karl Rove and a host of others. Now we have Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho joining the ranks of former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla. and Sen. David Vitter, R-La. And lets not forget about the tried and true, the gold old-fashioned corruption driven by greed and power. Some of these guys actually get to go to jail: Super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, potentially John Doolittle and others.
Wait a minute. That’s right. Scooter doesn’t have to go to jail - felonies don’t apply to the Vice Presidential staff, apparently.
Yes, there have been incidents of impropriety on the Democrat's side of the aisle in the recent past as well. Rep. William Jefferson, D-La. comes quickly to mind. But the Republican Party just can’t seem to keep its collective nose clean. Some call it a “culture of corruption.” Perhaps, but this is nothing new and certainly not unique to the Republican Party. There might be a bit of residual arrogance involved - having only just recently lost control of both houses of congress. Maybe the idea of losing that power never crossed their minds - and that previously protected behavior (someone had to know about Foley, c’mon!) is no longer squelched behind an impenetrable party curtain.
Maybe, what if, perhaps… it doesn’t really matter. I still believe that most of our elected representatives are there for noble reasons. Sure, it is their career, but many of these professional politicians could find much more lucrative work outside of holding office. Power? I am sure that element exists as well, but one need only ask Abramoff what kind of power is available to the private sector. There is more to it and I certainly believe that the majority of congressmen and women are there to serve - at least to some extent.
And then there are the bad apples. Some are maliciously so and others haven’t a clue (Mr. President). The executive sold us an unjust war (strike that, is selling) and at the same time using it to usurp power from the legislative. In reality there are two camps - each consisting of two teams. Those teams are the same in each camp, but the camps are supposed to be checking each other. In theory, congress is supposed to relate in an adversarial manner with the executive. Partisanship combined with the same party holding power in two of the three branches has allowed this relationship to become a very one-sided affair.
So what is a Republican congressman or woman to do? First, don’t do anything stupid like your terribly misguided colleagues. That should be the easy part. Second, it is time - has been time - to break ranks with the Whitehouse. I mean seriously, and with as much noise as possible. It has become a no-brainer; whatever loyalty you are exhibiting is bind, deaf… and dumb. The war is a disaster and getting worse. The ignorance (and I am being very kind) of this President is embarrassing. Stay the course? To where? The evidence is now and for some time has been overwhelming. Nowhere.
Here, perhaps this will make it easier. I’ll play to your instinctive sense of self-preservation: Save yourself - jump ship, it is sinking fast. In less than two years, the whole sociopolitical landscape will change - do you want to be a part of it? Stand up for your institution and the constitution. Start checking… and balancing - take your power back. The President is not a king, he was never intended to have this much power… and here’s a little secret: We’re not at war. There has been no declaration. Would you declare war if it came before congress today? No? Then do the right thing, it would go a long way to help the rest of us forget about the likes of Abramoff, Vickers, Craig, Foley, ad nauseam.