June 8, 2009

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION:

Rep. Barney Frank has already been leaning on GM to favor his Massachusetts district, and the first round of dealer closings prompted an outcry about favoritism.

Democrats already got their first case of bailout indigestion over the AIG bonuses in March. Authorized in the stimulus bill, the bonuses have pushed Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., to the brink of electoral defeat and have left simmering resentments in their wake.

With so many banks and insurance companies now part of the $700 billion bailout family, the AIG pratfall was more likely foreshadowing than culmination.

Meanwhile, Democrats are dragging their feet on dealing with congressmen like John Murtha, D-Pa., [Pete] Visclosky, D-Ind., and Jim Moran, D-Va., who were the biggest recipients of campaign cash from the PMA defense lobbying firm at the center of a pay-to-play investigation. Last week, House leaders caved a bit to Republican pressure by promising to make public the work of the Ethics Committee on the issue, but they again blocked a move for a special investigation.

Rather than learning from the Republicans’ mistakes and rooting out wrongdoing by wayward party members, House Democrats are still looking to protect their own. When the FBI finishes its work on PMA, Speaker Nancy Pelosi will regret the see-no-evil strategy.

I think that’s right.

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