In response to the post below about Denny Hastert's new-found desire to weaken the rules governing privately-funded congressional travel, I got a note from one of my more right-leaning readers harping on about all the Democrats who have also had to revise or refile traveling disclosure forms.
For the most part, this is a bogus point. There's a reason all the attention is being heaped on DeLay, Ney, etc.: in short, their infractions are part of a very large system of organized influence-peddling, of which the Abramoff scandal is simply one part.
But this does present an opportunity for a post I've been mulling for the last few days. I'll frame it as a question.
Can we be sure we're pushing for a sufficiently robust reform agenda so long as a significant portion of the Democratic leadership on the Hill doesn't have to be dragged to it kicking and screaming?
Think about that for a moment.
This has always been a concern to me. The DeLay machine has made the House of Representatives (and at a secondary level, all of capitol hill) as corrupt as it's been for upwards of a century, perhaps more than a century if the true analogue is to be found in the 1880s and 1890s. But a lot of the current Democratic leadership still remembers the days before 1994. And though they may want to clean things up a bit, and certainly want to drive the Republicans from power, I think a lot of them don't want to change things that much. Because it'd be nice to have the perks from the old days back again. That's not surprising. That's human nature.
But for those of us not sitting up there. It's something to think about.
I'm opening up a thread to discuss this. Drop by to share your thoughts, disagreements, agreements, suggestions, etc.