S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Under the heading of ethics . . .

America was built upon a foundation of ethics.
Let me say at the beginning that I feel presumptious in writing on the subject. I have no formal training in the subject except as a social worker and at my mom's knee. She taught me to tell the truth, that stealing is wrong, to finish what I start, and that I must not take undue advantage of someone else's vulnerability.
Nor am I a credentialed ethicist. But I do qualify under the "wisdom of years" clause. So I will just plunge in with a bit of analysis on what we may be dealing with from the our current president (OCP).
Members of the Republican party and his administration have been marred with ethics problems. And the blogosphere has been peppered with posts on the subject for some time. Here are a few of the most recent writers' opinions that caught my eye.

The apple does not far fall from the tree -OCP is his mother's son. In my opinion he takes more after his maternal side than his paternal side of the family. Barbara Bush married into a very wealthy family. OCP comes from a privileged background. And privileged people sometimes shade ethics when it comes to maintaining an advantage over the rest of us. Joe in DC at AMERICAblog started me to thinking about the subject of ethics in the Bush administration with this little gem, from which I quote (his link):

Barbara Bush is an investor in the company to which she funneled a "charitable contribution" by Joe in DC - 3/25/2006 10:16:00 AM
Wow. This is even sleazier than it first appeared. According to
Talking Points Memo, the former first lady is actually one of the investors in the very company to which she gave a "charitable contribution." . . . The Bush family really has no shame. The son hoodwinked America. The mother finagles charitable contribution for her own benefit. They're just blue blooded grifters.The Fourth Estate has not pulled its weight - when it comes to coming down forthrightly on the side of ethics. The current administration' war on terror presents a very long list of ethical violations. We have seen preemptive war and blatant corruption in Iraq, failure to obey the FISA law and the Geneva Conventions, and failures within our port and border security. And the mainstream corporate media often treats these wrongs as just neutral issues. Blogger athenae combined with her link to Atrios, asks "What will it take?"(poster's link):

Atrios wants to know what it's going to take for the press to wake up to violations of the law in supposed pursuit of terrorism. What it's going to take for every news show, every talk show, every front page, every stupid bobblehead to be demanding answers in a chorus of angels singing in unison for justice and the American way.
Damned if I know.

No one is above the law - including former Nixon counsel John Dean. I included John Dean in an ethics post with a bit of hesitation. But he got in because of two reasons. One, he was held accountable for his own ethics violations, and two, he seems to "get it" now. He has been a very vocal critic of OCP.
John Dean writes a very comprehensive article about some of the biggest ethics questions facing the current administration, namely, ignoring the FISA law, Congress' attempts to legislate around the question, and Senator Feingold's censure motion. (Hat tip to for this). Dean closes his excellent essay with this,

Election 2006 Is The KeyIn the end, this issue is going to be resolved by the 2006 midterm election. If Republicans lose control of either the House or Senate, the investigations of the Bush/Cheney White House will begin. It won't be pretty. It will make dealing with lying about sex look like High School hazing. It will even make Richard Nixon look like a piker when it comes to staying within the law.
If the early polls are half correct, independent swing voters have had it with Bush. Democrats want no part of him. Moderate Republicans are keeping their distance; they are no longer willing to hold their noses and vote for him.
The big question is whether there will be an "October Surprise" - a dramatic event that will bump up Bush's currently dismal polling numbers, and help his party. Right now, Republican friends tell me they are doing all they can to keep the mid-terms from being a referendum on Bush. They know they have a better chance if they focus on local races - absent an October Surprise. If you have any knowledge of how White Houses operate, you can be sure they are working night and day to pull off such a surprise.
If they do it, Bush will get away with his lawlessness. If not, he and Cheney are in for two very bad years. They have earned them.

Further food for thought -Think Progress
has an "ethics" category posting these recent topics: Grover Norquistthe new Bush adviser; Fox News makes false accusations; McCain proposes lobby reform bill "poison pill."

Coming up in a subsequent post - my roommate reminded me that one of the reasons we are "in this pickle" is the lapse in personal ethics of former President Clinton. I will soon tackle this personally painful topic in another "ethics" blogpost.

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