Somehow, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-CA) has been able to keep a straight face while decrying the "culture of corruption" among Republicans. In retrospect, the nature of the infractions on which she based the accusation seem almost quaint in comparison to the unfathomable abuses of federal monies and power now occurring under a Democrat controlled Congress and Executive branch.
For starters, she was forced to misapply the term to what were, in reality, only scandals, such as the sordid e-mails and text messages of Congressman Mark Foley (R.-FL) to congressional pages, or the amorous toe-tapping, apparently intended to incite interest from the occupant of the next stall, by Senator Larry Craig (R.-ID) in a Minneapolis Airport restroom.
While both situations were indicative of severe personal failings that would certainly be of interest to constituents who should want their region's representation in Congress to reflect higher standards, neither incident could be labeled as real corruption. That indictment, exploited so relentlessly by Pelosi and her minions throughout the last mid-term election cycle, simply did not fit its intended GOP targets to nearly the degree that the many recent revelations of true corruption apply to the Democrats.
The examples abound, although it is difficult to determine who among Obama's cadre of compromised cabinet nominees had engaged in the most flagrant violation of the law. But as a pattern of widespread corruption continues to emerge among those the new president considers fit to advise him, it is becoming impossible to deny that such legal infringements do not, in his mind, conflict with the plans he has either for his administration or for the country.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner barely raised an eyebrow among his Democrat colleagues (and among far too few Republicans) when it was revealed that he had failed to pay $42,000 dollars in taxes that he owed on earnings from the International Monetary Fund. Those Senators who nevertheless confirmed him would have to be criminally incompetent to actually believe Geithner's juvenile excuse that he had simply overlooked that enormous payroll as being subject to taxation.
Yet the full extent of the truth is more incriminating still. As part of a compensation package far more generous than anything the average working American might ever receive, the IMF gives certain of its employees an additional bonus specifically calculated to offset the income tax bill. And it was on this very payment that Geithner had wantonly refused to remit his taxes. Despite such a flagrant violation of tax law that would have netted enormous fines, or perhaps even jail time, for any ordinary American committing a similar infraction, Geithner was subsequently confirmed with relative ease, and is now emplaced to manage the finances of the United States.
Upon being nominated by Obama to the post of Health and Human Services Secretary, it was revealed that former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D.-SD) engaged in his own similarly disgraceful behavior. The gratuitous provision of a limousine from Democrat benefactor Leo Hindery, on which Daschle owed significant taxes he never paid, puts the lie to his sanctimonious one-time assertion that "Tax cheaters cheat us all."
This aspect of Daschle's dirty dealings was particularly awkward in that it involved a car, and he once disparaged tax relief for regular Americans on the basis that their portion would only amount to the equivalent cost of a "muffler." Clearly, while average citizens struggle to keep their automobiles running in good order, Daschle believes he is of the class that can ride around in the lap of luxury with no accountability.
It is of little consequence that Daschle's name was eventually withdrawn from consideration for the position, once the news of his own back-tax bill of $146,000 became widely known. Obama's decision to rescind the Daschle nomination was purely a political one, and not an ethical one. In fact, Obama's interim reaction to Daschle's baggage was to unequivocally support him.
Given this general mindset on the left, it is hardly surprising that Rahm Emmanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff, is himself now under scrutiny for accepting more than $100,000 in "free" lodging during the same period that he directed nearly a quarter of a million dollars in Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee funds towards his strikingly generous landlord. And like Daschle, Emmanuel's personal housing windfall was a stipend on which he paid not one cent of taxes. For Emmanuel and his fellow members of the "ruling class," such tiresome rules as declaring "income in kind" are merely meant to maintain order among that rabble on Main Street.
Furthermore, the enthusiastic and virtually universal support offered to Daschle, Geithner, and now Emmanuel by their fellow Democrats can only be construed as a defining characteristic of the entire party. While the fetid deeds of these Obama acolytes signify their personal moral failings, the corporate willingness of the Democrats to still vault them to power represents a party-wide harmony with the corruption they represent.
Thus, it is entirely to be expected that the fraudulently named "stimulus" pork package, signed into law this week by Barack Obama, is proving to be a cauldron of payouts to political cronies, with no intended means of improving the economy. With each new disclosure of the bill's particulars, it is revealed to be a trillion dollar installment on the future of American socialism.
Fortunately for his own reputation, New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg, a Republican, withdrew his nomination as Commerce Secretary, explaining that he and the Obama Administration faced "irresolvable conflicts" on basic governing philosophy. What could have been a great career move for Gregg was instead threatening to permanently destroy Gregg's own credibility, were he to remain closely associated with the new order.
It has not yet been a full month since the inception of the Obama presidency. And the pandemonium of the past four weeks increasingly emerges as something other than a mere aberration. Each new day of the Obama regime reveals it to be a far cry from the promise of utopian "change" in which so many citizens naively invested their vain hopes. Rather, it appears to be a telling insight of the modus operandi of an arrogant and incompetent administration that invariably regards itself as above the law.
Copyright ©2009 Christopher G. Adamo