It’s a wonderful time to be a Democrat. Disgraced former House Majority Leader Tom “the Hammer” Delay has been indicted for money laundering, Vice-Presidential Chief of Staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby has resigned following multiple charges of perjury, and Karl “The Architect” Rove isn’t off the hook yet. The intoxicating scent of blood and scandal is in the air, threatening to complete President Bush’s transformation into a lame duck with three years left in office.
It was inevitable, of course. The only thing more corrupt than a Republican running for office is a Republican in office. For the last half century, the second term of every Republican President has been defined by crime and scandal. President Nixon was, as we all know, forced from office by his crimes.
Over two dozen members of his administration and other party officials were also convicted of crimes or forced to resign to avoid prosecution.
However, President Nixon was only the beginning. During the Reagan administration, 138 officials were convicted, indicted or officially investigated for a laundry list of crimes and misconduct.
The Iran-Contra affair was a far greater crime than the Watergate break ever was. For those of you who wax nostalgic for the Great Communicator, that’s the scandal in which they used the proceeds from the sale of illegal weapons to Nicaraguan terrorists to buy weapons that they later sold to Iran in order to use against our Iraqi allies. We were simultaneously giving aid to Donald Rumsfeld’s close friend Saddam Hussein.
Now, under the administration of President Bush the lesser, high officials are under investigation for destroying the career and endangering the life of a Central Intelligence Agency operative in the service of the United States of America. Why? Simply to discredit the operative’s husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson and prevent scrutiny of the shoddy intelligence used to justify the current war.
Meanwhile, in Texas, Delay used illegal contributions from the corporations on whose behalf the Republican Party governs to subvert the democratic process. He did this so that they could take greater control of the state legislature and use that power to gerrymander the state to stack the federal delegation with his cronies.
As I write this, I can already hear the outraged cries of the poor besieged Republicans. “President Clinton was a crook too,” they say, “You’re just an evil liberal turning a blind eye on his crimes.” Yes, President Clinton was impeached by a partisan lynch mob in the House of Representatives. However, he was acquitted by the Republican controlled Senate when a few genuine conservatives recovered their consciences.
There were other scandals as well, and crimes were committed by administration staffers. No large organization can ever be without corruption.
However, no crimes committed during the Clinton years can compare with those of his Republican predecessors. The monumental corruption of the Republican Party is rooted in their philosophy that they must protect the rich and powerful against the weak and poor. The national Republican Party has no moral compass, which shines through in their crimes and in their contempt for any attempt to punish them for their crimes. I can only hope that this fact, so evident at present, is remembered by the nation during the mid-term elections.
McGaffey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.