ACTION ALERT: Contact your House Democratic representative and ask them what the hll is going on. Find your rep here. And feel free to send Ms. Pelosi an email as well.
I kid you not.
The House Democrats this week chose a Democrat, who is being forced to explain his own involvement in a trip related to Jack Abramoff, to be their chief spokesman and strategist running the House Democratic effort to pass ethics reform.
What? Jim Traficant wasn't available?
This is beyond belief.
First, we have Nancy Pelosi announcing the choice of Cong. Clyburn to run the ethics battle:
Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina, the newly and unanimously elected Chairman of the Democratic Caucus who has lived his life with a commitment to a high ethical standard, will head the Clean House Team.Then we have NPR confirming that Clyburn has his own ethics accusations to deal with:
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay isn't the only politician facing ethics charges. South Carolina's James Clyburn and Mississippi's Bennie Thompson, both Democratic members of the Congressional Black Caucus, also had to answer tough questions last week. In 1997, both men traveled to the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth. The trip -- and an earlier trip to the Marianas by two associates of DeLay -- appears to have been paid for by lobbyist Jack Abramoff. It is a violation of House ethics to accept gifts from a registered lobbyist. Abramoff is now the subject of a federal corruption probe.And finally, as would be expected, the National Republican Congressional Committee blasts Pelosi for picking someone to lead the ethics reform battle who themselves is under an ethical cloud:
Clyburn, however, had been connected to the very lobbyist around whom Democrats are building their "clean up Congress" campaign - Jack Abramoff. In 1997, Abramoff paid for a trip costing more than $10,000 that Clyburn took to the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean. (Roll Call, 5/5/05)What is it with these people? Are they so suicidal that they insist on shooting themselves in the foot every single chance they get? What possible reason could there be to appoint Clyburn to this position, let alone keep him there now that we all know he's got his own explaining to do regarding Abramoff?
I'm sorry. Whether Clyburn is, in the end, innocent or guilty of any crimes or ethical violations because of his involvement with the Abramoff trip, only an idiot or a saboteur would choose to keep this man heading the Democratic effort for ethics reform.
The only way Democrats are going to start winning is if we start cutting out the cancer in our own party. If we have to start taking down members of our party in order to save our party, then so be it. The blogs, collectively, have a hell of a lot of firepower. And they're getting mad as hell about the sorry state of our current Democratic leaders.
(More from Jane as well.)