Friday, November 10, 2006

The New Culture of Corruption

Imagine if you will that John Bolton had been investigated on bribery and corruption charges and had to resign from a previous job in disgrace because of it.

Ok, now imaging that he hadn't resigned, but had been forcefully removed from his position.

How would his hearings have went before the senate when he was nominated to be ambassador to the United Nations? Imagine the press smorgasboard and the parade of witnesses brought forth to show what a bad person he was.

Well, you don't have to imagine much, because absent of these or any other legitimate infractions the treatment of him by Democrats as well as the press was almost as bad as if he had committed worse crimes.

Now, let me introduce you to Alcee Hastings.

In 1989, by a razor-thin margin of 413 to 3, the House of representatives voted to recommend the impeachment of Mr. Hastings for perjury and bribery. Mr. Hastings at that time was a federal judge and was caught on tape agreeing to a scheme wherein he would work a deal so that a pair of brothers convicted for racketeering would receive back $845,000 of their seized assets in return for Mr. Hastings receiving payment of $150,000. The lawyer for the brothers was involved in the plot, but refused to testify against Mr. Hastings, so no charges could be brought against the federal judge. Bill Clinton later pardoned this lawyer, but that is another matter entirely.

A Democratically controlled Congress, however, found differently. After the vote to recommend him for impeachment, the Senate lowered the boom and convicted him of eight articles of impeachment.

Alcee Hastings later ran for congress and won in 1996. He currently is a strong member of the Congressional Black Congress and is currently slated to take over as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, over a much more respected, qualified, and corruption-free Jane Harman.

That outrage you hear from the press and corruption ferreting Democrats is deafening, or would be if it actually existed. It appears that appointing Mr. Hastings to this sensitive position is a payback for the Congressional Black Caucus not pitching a fit when William Jefferson needed to be removed from the House Ways and Means Committee. So appointing a man known for corruption to be in charge of our nation's most valuable secrets has become a trading chit, for our new Speaker. It is also rumored that this is due to the fact that Mrs. Pelosi is no fan of Jane Harman who should take the position due to seniority and aptitude. (I would have linked the original Times articles, but they are now behind the pay-us-please firewall).

So my question of the press, Democrats, and my fellow liberal bloggers is, are we likely to see a fraction of the outrage that was and will be evidenced toward the attempted appointment of John Bolton also be applied to the clearly more egregious appointment of Alcee Hastings? Is this the return of values and above-board sincerity we were led to believe would take place? Please do enlighten me on the vast difference between the two that would cause the bluster over Bolton and the silence over Hastings.

1 comment:

Rex Scott said...

Hastings' election to Congress is an example of how gerrymandering has made so many districts non-competitive after the primary. Both parties have contributed to this sad fact. Recall that close to 400 of the 435 House races basically offered no "race" at all!

It would certainly behoove Pelosi to have someone else as chair of that committee for all the reasons cited in the post because the prestige and effectiveness of the committee will now be affected. What I would guess will happen is that other committees will hear matters that might have originally been assigned to Hastings' when leadership has the discretion to do so. It will be a shame if Harman can't chair the committee as her expertise and intellect are apparent if you have ever seen her on the Sunday talk shows.