Hey there and Happy Sunday. We are off to the races today. Like I keep threatening to do, I am going to opine on what the Dems need to do to succeed. I really should post a disclaimer reminding folks that I am not really fond of Dems, but the reality is that if they screw up my country I will have to live in it.
My list is not the top ten, that's Lettermans gig and he is better at it than I am. But here is a top ten list that you can peruse if you have to have it that way.
I think the Dems need to attack the ethics issues in Congress and they need to do it quickly and publically. I don't think they are any more or less honest than the RNC but they are the ones who made an issue of it.
The very first thing they need to do is resolve that the House and Senate will have unified rules and a single Bicameral and Bipartisan Committee. Additionally the ethics super-committee should be a drafted appointment. You get drafted by lottery and serve on no other committees for one year. Realistically what you would get out of this is a very public, very open, and very influential appointment.
My view is that any member of the .gov who has an alleged ethics violation needs to be immediately suspended from all lawmaker duties. During his suspension the Ethics Super-committee will conduct an investigation. IF the allegations are substantiated, then he or she should be summarily fired and sent home in disgrace. IOW, do not allow them to simply resign when they get caught. That is the easy way out. Why would we want to allow our pols to take the easy way out?
Oh yeah, the contents of any ethics investigation should be turned over to the FBI for potential prosecution as well. Additionally, anyone named in the investigation should now be investigated.
Pretty harsh eh? Think about it for a minute, these guys are supposed to be "The Honorable Mrs. Pelosi" and above all the nonsense that causes us to gossip about the town slut and the evil business guy.
Here's what needs to happen. The Speaker and the Majority Leader need to co author a joint ethics bill that has the effect of doing the above. This needs to go above and beyond mere rules. By enacting a code of conduct and codifying it into law, the Dems will reinforce the promises they made and show that the "culture of corruption" is under attack.
The best part is that if the President vetoes it, they can use that against his party in 08 as well.