In 1994, the Republicans, led by Newt Gingrich, swept seats in the House and Senate by accusing Democrats of foul play and crookedness. Over a decade later, it is the Republican Party that is ripe with corruption.Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s misconduct has damaged his political career.
DeLay has been charged with violating Texas law by funneling thousands of dollars in corporate donations to Republican candidates in the Texas state races in 2002.
Because of the indictment, DeLay is no longer the leader of the House. DeLay’s indictment is a blow to the Republican Party, especially since he was a tough leader who twisted arms and pushed the GOP agenda.
Instead of taking responsibility for his actions, DeLay just wants to assign blame elsewhere.
He claims that the prosecutor in the case, Ronnie Earle, is a Democrat who conspired to sink his political career. Perhaps the former House majority leader is so accustomed to power that he believes he is invincible. Despite DeLay’s bogus claims, he is still charged with a crime, and his political career is tarnished.
Meanwhile, other prominent politicians in the GOPcontrolled government are under investigation for corruption as well. U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for selling his HCA stocks, a company owned by Frist’s family, only weeks before their worth dipped in value.
If Frist did pull a Martha Stewart and sold his stocks because he knew they were going to drop in value, then he should not be the leader of the Senate, and he should serve time in jail, like Stewart.
There’s also trouble brewing in the executive branch of the government. Someone leaked the fact that Valerie Plame is an undercover agent for the CIA.
Plame’s husband, Joseph Wilson, is a vocal critic of the war in Iraq, and it seems possible that Plame’s information was leaked to smear Wilson.
Recently, Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter who was jailed for refusing to reveal her source about her reporting on Plame, testified about the case. Her testimony focused on conversations she had in 2003 with the Vice Presidential Chief of Staff, Lewis Libby. The conversations occurred only days before Miller published information about Plame. The prosecutor in the case, Patrick Fitzgerald, is still trying to determine if Libby is responsible for leaking Plame’s information.
Karl Rove, the man behind the president’s political success, is also under investigation concerning the leak.
Matthew Cooper, a reporter for Time magazine, testified months ago and said that he talked to Rove and Libby about Plame. If Rove, Libby or anyone else leaked information about Plame, they violated the law and put a woman’s life in danger.
The Plame case also shows how far the Bush administration would go to harm a critic of the war. The case is frightening and chilling, and those who leaked Plame’s name should serve time in jail.
The Republican Party should no longer claim to be the party of morals and values. Every branch of the Republican-controlled government is under investigation.
It is not moral to misuse corporate donations to support your political party, and it is not moral to leak the name of an undercover CIA agent to smear a critic of the war in Iraq.
It has been over a decade since Republicans launched an assault on the Democratic Party over corruption and moral issues, which caused the GOP to overtake the Senate and the House. Over a decade later, it is the Republican Party that reeks of foul play.
Brian Fanelli is a senior majoring in comparative literature with minors in creative writing and journalism.