Saturday, January 01, 2005

“Ethics Enhancement” from the Christian Right

If the political left can amend the English language to add terms of political correctness let it me said that the Religious Right can amend our definitions of right and wrong to provide for “Ethics Enhancement.”

Case in point: despite warnings from your God not to covet political power you know better, after all you are a member of the Christian right. And really, if you have the guts to thumb your nose at God why not go all the way and destroy the very promise of ethics that you ran your elections on in the first place? Some people might call this hypocrisy, but really, isn’t it just lying? But then again, Christians don’t lie so you can do anything you want.

The latest example of slime excreted from our good friends on the Christian right is a proposal in the House of Representatives to limit the consequences house members endure as a result of ethical lapses. This is from CNN:

The proposal being circulated among House Republicans would end a general rule against any behavior that might bring "discredit" on the chamber, according to House Republican and Democratic leadership aides.
House members would be held to a narrower standard of behavior in keeping with the law, the House's rules and its ethics guidelines.

The article concludes with:

Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a watchdog group, said the House Republican leaders' proposal "would fundamentally undermine and damage the House ethics rules, and would constitute the biggest backtracking we have ever seen on ethics standards in the House."

"If House Republican leaders are allowed to prevail, they will have gutted the single most important ethics standard in the House and turned House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's multiple ethics transgressions into acceptable conduct for all House members," Wertheimer said.

On the other hand I must give credit to the Religious Right, if you know that you are part of a fundamentally unethical movement and will be conducting yourself accordingly in the future, shouldn’t you fix the rules in advance to take this into account? I can’t wait to hear what the good people at Focus on the Family will say. On the other hand I think we can expect to wait, and wait and wait and wait......


At January 3, 2005 at 10:54 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

Excellent post.

I think it's also important to note that these ethics rules were established in 1993 by a Republican-held House in response to a wave of high profile scandals that plagued House Democrats in the early days of (and continuously through) the Clinton presidency. In an era when these scandals seemed to endlessly revolve around the sexual conduct or teenage drug use of the accused, the Right was quick to take the moral high ground.

Now, in a time when the ethics rules can be utilized for something truly applicable to the character of a leader, the abuse of the power that leadership entails, the moral high ground seems to have sunk below the water line.

Interestingly, the conservative community seems in many ways to be even more concerned with this blatant hypocrisy than the progressives media - at least in terms of the implications it may entail. Vincent Fiore, of the American Conservative Union Foundation wrote:

"One cannot over-state the importance of these questions of personal behavior. They played a role in winning the White House for Bush in 2000, and in 2004. If Republicans go too far now, as I think they have, they may see it play a role in their defeat of 2006."



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