Ed Driscoll

Cold Cash Jefferson Indicted

John Hinderaker makes a great point, noting that “I always thought that the Jefferson scandal hurt Republicans, ironically, more than Democrats”:

CBS News is reporting that this afternoon, Congressman William Jefferson of Louisiana will be indicted “on more than a dozen counts involving public corruption.” No doubt our readers will remember that Jefferson was caught with $90,000 in cash in his freezer.

I always thought that the Jefferson scandal hurt Republicans, ironically, more than Democrats. Jefferson’s malfeasance came to light at the height of the “culture of corruption” attacks on the GOP, and I don’t think it sank in with most voters that Jefferson is a Democrat. Mostly, it was just seen as more confirmation that Congress is corrupt, and that hurt the party in power. Now, of course, things are different, and the mud will land where it belongs.

Denny Hastert’s circle-the-wagons mentality certainly did help matters, but the GOP had lots of other wounds, most self-inflicted, in 2006.

(I’m in the American Airlines’ Admirals Club in San Jose, flying out to the Corzine International Motor Speedway, err, New Jersey, if my flight–already delayed an hour–ever takes off.)

Update: Last week, Roll Call discussed the foot-dragging of the Democrats’ House ethics committee to explore the Jefferson matter.