Sunday, December 6, 2009

What is it with these guys?

Baucus acknowledges recommending girlfriend.

So now Sen. Max Baucus joins the long list of ethics-challenged United States Senators. Names like Ensign, Vitter and Craig spring to mind, along with those two sterling characters from Oklahoma, Imhofe and Coburn. What is it with these guys anyway? (And it is always guys - so far no female senators have qualified for this Hall of Shame.)

I mean surely they have a certain amount of intelligence to have reached their high offices, and yet they appear to have no basic understanding of the idea of conflict of interest or the wrongness of using public policy and offices to further their personal interests. Baucus, for example, sees nothing wrong with recommending his lover for a high government position. He feels she shouldn't have been disqualified simply because he was "dating" her.

Well-qualified she may have been, and based on what I have read of her, she does appear to be a very talented and capable individual, but no matter how capable she might have been, the appearance of the situation stinks, and appearances matter. The old adage that "Caesar's wife must be above suspicion" applies to today's politicians as well, no matter how much many of them have forgotten it or seek to ignore it.

And so the question becomes, have they no shame? At long last, have they no shame? Apparently not.

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