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SENTRY JOURNAL » Congress, Constitution, ethics, joclyn elders, john edwards, Nancy Pelosi, Politics, rules, speaker of the house, Tea Party, Tea Party Movement » Political Ethics

Political Ethics

by RightHandMan

The Democrats have found a way to live up to Senator Pelosi’s “most ethical” promise – change the standards.  It is the same genius that the brilliant AG Joclyn Elders considered when facing the illegal drug problems in America.  If you make the drugs legal then crime rates will drop.  Apparently Mrs. Pelosi sees eye to eye with this philosophy as the self proclaimed sins of yesterday (“the nuclear option” and “the slaughter rule”) are now preferred legislative processes.

Most Republicans are enjoying this moment of finger pointing, but I can’t help seeing the American people stuck between the pot and the kettle.  It’s easy to blame today’s hypocritical leaders, but the truth is that this problem is just as much the fault of Republican politicians as it is Democrats.  As is often the case, today’s winning accusation from one political party is based off of a standard they set.  The GOP dangled the nuclear option and the slaughter rule over the heads of Democrats for years – and that creates today’s conundrum.  The Democrats now have the power and they know that the GOP can only ridicule these processes so far before becoming comically hypocritical.

The problem with political ethics is that elected officials are being held in check by elected officials.  Too often dishonorable acts are ignored by colleagues or exasperated by partisan hacks.  The consequences, unless worthy of John Edwards gossip status, is usually little more than political collateral.  Unfortunately for the American people, that collateral is too often the focus of campaign and so abundant on both sides that the scales stay poised.

It is no wonder that Mrs. Speaker assured us that she would head the righteous round table of ethical utopia the people crave honesty and integrity from their representatives.  Like all things we desire, however, you don’t simply receive them without effort.  This brings me to my last recipient of blame – the American people (to include myself).  If we want ethical and straight forward people to represent us, then we must elect them.  If they break good faith with us then we should hold it against them and use our government system to get rid of them.  This simply hasn’t been done.

We are the keepers of them realm and that reality is becoming clear to many Americans and their elected officials.  I am proud of those members who joined me in writing and tying up the phone lines with their representatives to inform them of their concerns this week.  They hear us, and they fear us because they realize that they are at our mercy.  If you’re just one of the bystanders who is watching this grass roots movement from the sidelines, shame on you.  You and I are part of this government just as much as elected officials are.  Remind those who sit in Washington of that fact.

Over the last few months the American people have used their united voices to block an un-blockable majority from creating an unwanted health care takeover.  That is an amazing accomplishment, but it is only the tip of a deeper fight.  The most unethical thing this congress has done doesn’t involve fraud, questionable invocation of rules, or closed door legislation.  The most unethical act by our government is the trampling of our liberties and an attempt to take more through government expansion.  This is the thread we must cut and the greatest threat to our nation’s future.


Filed under: Congress, Constitution, ethics, joclyn elders, john edwards, Nancy Pelosi, Politics, rules, speaker of the house, Tea Party, Tea Party Movement

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  • John Carey March 16, 2010 at 9:31 PM

    Great post Right.

    I agree with you that the clean up of Washington starts with us. We must elect officials that are ethical.

  • Ron Russell March 16, 2010 at 11:06 PM

    The long tradition of bending the rules, circumventing the rules, and yes even breaking the rules is a tough thing to wean politicians from. They feel in many ways they are above the rules and even the law and act accordingly when conducting the nations business. This attitude will be hard to change and actually is found in all walks of life, not just in our political leaders. Moral values have been tossed aside my many in our society and herein lies the problems. Until we clean up our own acts as individuals we can never hope to clean up Washington. Corruption goes from the bottom up, not from the top down.

  • LD Jackson March 17, 2010 at 4:34 AM

    The Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil. If I could add something to that, without meaning disrespect to the Bible, it would be the love of the power and influence. I think it is like a drug to some members of Congress and they let it get the best of them, with no accountability. We, the people, need to change that and until we do, it will not change.

    There is one thing I would question in your article, however. I was not aware that the GOP had floated something like the Slaughter Solution before. Can you clarify that for me?

    Good article.

  • Right Hand Man March 17, 2010 at 6:54 AM

    LD Jackson,

    Thanks for the comment. When I refer to the GOP using the "slaughter solution" it is in reference to 2005 when they wanted to raise the debt limits and used a self-executing rule in order for the house to dodge voting on it. Ironically Nancy Pelosi joined Ralph Nader's Public Citizen to challenge the move in federal court. The courts found that if the Speaker's and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate signatures were authoratative in respect to the process of law. The court's ruling is based off of Marshall Field & Co. v. Clark, 143 U.S. 649 (1892). In that case, the Court held that the judiciary must treat the attestations of “the two houses, through their presiding officers” as “conclusive evidence that [a bill] was passed by Congress.”

    I would have to do my homework, but I'd be willing to bet that 2005 wasn't the first time that the GOP had used this process. The only difference is that this is one of the biggest bills and most important bills in recent history. Passing it using these tactics is sketchy at best. I am of the opinion that the 1892 decision needs to be reexamined. Strangely enough – so did Ralph Nader and Nancy Pelosi in 2005. That's the point of my post. Those that see ethics and our constitution most clearly are those that are out of power in Washington.

  • Teresa March 17, 2010 at 8:58 PM

    Great Post, RightHandMan!!

    This bill is unconstitutional on so many levels. They are trampling on our liberties and trying to create one of the biggest government expansions in this country's history. This is all so that they have more power and control over our lives. Pelosi is heading the most unethical Congress in history. We need politicians that speak for we the people. Our politicians are no longer for the people, but for their re-elections. We need term limits and to clean both Houses. WE need to stop these lifers, or people who serve more than 2 terms in either the Senate or the House. We need to stop this huge expansion of government and bring back a small, limited government to the State. We need to regain all of our rights back as our Founding Fathers set forth in the Constitution.

  • Opus #6 March 17, 2010 at 9:51 PM

    Yes, we must vet our candidates carefully.