When the incoming Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi put her weight behind John Murtha for Majority Leader, neither expected the firestorm that would erupt. It is true that John Murtha has been implicated, but not charged, in ethics scandals in the past. So what does John Murtha say in response to questions of his ethics, a subject that is well within the right of the public to question:
It’s a right-wing swift boat style attack on me!
First off, the Republicans have no bone to pick with Murtha being elevated to a position of leadership. In fact, while the GOP took about 8 years to set up a “culture of corruption”, it took the Democrats about 8 minutes. They aren’t even inaugurated yet and they’re putting corrupt cronies in office.
Second, it isn’t the right, but a Soros-backed political group who also ranks Murtha as one of the 20 most unethical people in Congress. It’s the far left that has a problem with Murtha. Republicans don’t expect any say in who becomes the majority leader of a party not their own.
The fact is, a politician’s integrity, particularly in the matters of bribery and nepotism, are quite clearly in the purview of the public interest. The difference between public servants and public masters is that the former is accountable to the people. When the people raise legitimate concerns, they deserve an answer not a rebuke for daring to raise the question to begin with.
Murtha’s answer is a harbinger of things to come, a majority party in Congress who will not stoop so low as to actually engage the people. They’re just too good to answer to the public.
The worst part about the escapade is that not only have the Democrats shown that the “culture of corruption” goes both ways, but they are in every way how they are described; out-of-touch elites who only deign to talk to voters in the months before an election. Even worse is that it will likely lead to a very short-lived Democratic majority in which the GOP doesn’t learn the lesson it needs to: we expect conservatism and integrity in our government.
It’ll be another two years where ideas are pushed aside and partisan bickering reigns.
John Bambenek is the Assistant Politics Editor for Blogcritics and is an academic professional for the University of Illinois. He is a freelance columnist who blogs at Part-Time Pundit and the executive director of The Tumaini Foundation which helps AIDS orphans in Tanzania with education. He is the current owner of BlogSoldiers, a blog-only traffic exchange.