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Hats off to Nancy Pelosi. Then again, not so much.

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We've knocked the congressional dems for sometimes showing a lack of backbone, but today Nancy Pelosi showed backbone. Unfortunately, then she showed less.

Pelosi sent a letter to embattled Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA), the guy who the FBI found $90,000 in his freezer, telling him he should step down from the influential House Ways & Means Committee.

Jefferson replied that he wasn't going to step down, and then suggested that Pelosi was discriminating against him because, he claimed, other congressmen under investigation weren't asked to step down from their committee seats.

Shortly thereafter, Pelosi joined GOP Speaker Denny Hastert in demanding the FBI return the files they took from Jefferson's office.

Here are my thoughts:

1. From what I hear, Jefferson isn't exactly a saint. And you'll recall he's the guy who had the National Guard take him back to his house during the Katrina disaster. This time around the feds find $90,000 in the guy's freezer. Hello? I'm sorry, this is bad, and if Jefferson has to fall on his sword to help the Democrats keep the corruption message pointed at the GOP, so be it.

2. We now understand why House Speaker Denny Hastert was so upset about the FBI searching Jefferson's congressional office. According to ABC, the bribery/corruption investigations are now looking at Hastert himself. The Justice Department is now denying this, but hey, when have we known the Bush administration to tell the truth about anything?

3. Pelosi joins Hastert in condemnding the Jefferson raid. Okay, this is a bit odd, especially coming on the heels of Pelosi demanding that Jefferson step down from his committee chair. It reeks of someone having gotten to Pelosi and threatened her. First suspect, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), an institution that doesn't have a lot of respect in the Democratic circles I hang. In fact, the word "corrupt" gets thrown around a lot. Did the CBC put pressure on Pelosi to denounce the raid as pennance for asking Jefferson to step down? Sounds likely.

4. The merits of the raid. Regardless of whether the FBI should or shouldn't be invading congressional offices, I'm not sure why the Dems want to be seen A) Defending a man who really looks like a crook ($90k in the freezer, folks), and B) Joining with the Republicans when they should be saying, "isn't it nice that the Republicans only care about civil liberties and the Constitution when it's their own crimes being investigated." That would have been a lot more fun and useful a message.

At this point, Jefferson is toast. The last thing the Democrats need is a Democratic corruption scandal to take the public's attention away from how Republican the scandals have been to date. While it's understandable that Mr. Jefferson wants to save his ass, sometimes you just have to take one for the team.

And honestly, when you've got $90,000 hidden away in your freezer, you pretty much lose the right to be on anyone's team.

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