In the ongoing story of the Republican attempt to gut the independent ethics committee’s power, I’ve seen two news stories that irritated me.
First, many people are claiming that it was President Tweet’s intervention through twitter that brought the whole thing tumbling down. Not really. What he really said was that he understood how annoying independent ethics committees can be, but there were more important things to do. Please try to remember that President Tweet doesn’t like ethical oversight any more than sleazy congressional representatives, he just thinks there’s more important things to do right now. He didn’t say he was opposed to getting rid of oversight; now was just a bad time to him. He’ll get to it later, for the benefit of his seedy buddies.
The second story was about a Democratic Congresswoman who was cleared of any wrongdoing in an investigation, which cost the taxpayer millions of dollars; and apparently this was the reason given for gutting the ethics committee’s power, wasting money on investigations that clear people of wrongdoing.
Is this really a principle that has any validity? I think not. When your local police department follows a lead with an investigation that leads to a conclusion that no crime was committed, we don’t cry out for the Police Department to be disbanded, because they wasted taxpayer money. We praise them for finding the truth. Apparently, Republicans in Congress feel that if investigations lead to exonerating people, the government has wasted your money and the Congressional Police Department should be disbanded as a result.
This sounds like a principle that Al Capone would embrace. “You mugs couldn’t find nuttin’ on me. Dem police gotta go.” Fortunately, Chicago had the foresight never to elect Al Capone as mayor. Makes me wonder why we elected these people as congressional representatives.