Didn't think you'd ever see a headline like that here - eh? But, when you're right, you're right. And, Daily Kos is today.
I've noticed that the Democratic campaign effort for 2006 is attempting to run against a Republican "culture of corruption" this year. I understand where you're coming from - between the Abramoff and MZM scandals, there is plenty of grist for that mill.
However, a certain Democratic congressman is undermining this effort. Rep. William Jefferson has apparently been up to no good - getting caught on tape (and with $90,000 in his freezer) in a bribery scandal. Despite the rock solid evidence compiled by the FBI, Rep. Jefferson still insists on running for office.
My plea is obvious. Tell Mr. Jefferson to resign immediately.
While some think the Democratic leadership has done something significant in meekly calling for a House Ethics Committee investigation of Rep. Jefferson, I don't agree. At best, we have a passive observation that came in answer to a question. I want to see a full blown press conference with Democrats united in condemnation of this corrupt man - calling for him to resign immediately. And I want more than rhetoric. Strip him of his committee assignments. Pull support and sponsors from his bills. Cut off all ties between the party apparatus and his scandalous office. Return any money he has given to the party, even if given in previous cycles. Tell all Democratic candidates and officials that they must disassociate from him, too -- you cannot both support Jefferson's continued civil service while being a Democrat in good standing. Remove all of the benefits associated with being a Democrat. Don't send him a nickel, don't throw him a fundraiser, don't sit around silently hoping he'll go away - just show him the door.
Send him (and all Democrats) a message - if you wilfully corrupt our democracy, the Democratic party wants you out of Congress. Men and women like you cannot be a representative of the Democratic party.
Kos' advice ought to be non-denominational, too. Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, party members ought to be held to this high standard.
Of course, sometimes it's not clear if someone has committed wrong acts, or is instead the victim of a slime campaign. (No one ever said life would be easy.) Yet - if the handwriting is on the wall (or the video on the Internet) - Kos' advice is wise. And, it's wise whether you're in support of abortion or not, single payer or not, NAFTA or not, and so forth.