Monday, January 2, 2017

Does This Swamp Make Our Grift Look Big?

With very little fanfare, the House Republicans decided it was all for the best if they just didn't have an Independent Ethics Committee and just let the currently GOP-led House have purview over ethics complaints. It's quite possible that some GOP members of the House voted this way because it was especially convenient for their own ethics complaints.  I've noticed GOP members do odd things, myself (you can look for yourself into the ethics issues of Tom Delay, Newt Gingrich, Mark Foley, and all).

It's hard not to separate this from the ethical challenges presented by the incoming Trump Administration.  It's patently obvious that President Trump will be carrying the baggage of numerous conflicts of interest, and that the best check on his ethical challenges rests with Congress. But what if they simply don't deign to do any such thing? They aren't even interesting in keeping themselves honest.

I'd like to look to the media for some satisfaction in covering stories that bring clarity to just how conflicted POTUS--or even members of Congress, might be in their dealings, but some media figures seem loathe to cover even accurate stories for fear of seeming to act as referee. It might seem like calling Donald Trump out for repeating a lie is a step too far for some. But some experienced journos recognize it as a necessity. After all, if as candidate Trump, he was already a noted dissembler,  how would that not still be a valid story? It's not as if acquiring the office of the presidency suddenly imbues his bullshit with the weight of truth, even if some lackeys and lickspittles want to treat his general blather that way.

I just don't see how any party could claim ownership for a "draining the swamp" message, while taking away the ability to measure just how well the swamp-clearing is going. It seems more like the GOP has granted a kind of "alligator immunity" to be just as cozy in the swamp as ever they could be.

This is not the type of story regular folks follow--but is exactly the kind they should if they wonder about representation vs cronyism. Conflict of interest is liable to become the rule, not the exception with such reduced oversight.

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