Barton's campaign manager told the Morning News, "It's just a normal fund-raiser. You've got to have a fund-raiser if you're going to raise money and have a campaign. Everybody does it."
That's always been one of my least favorite excuses, "Everybody does it." You can't find a mother who will let her 5-year-old get away with that, but politicians often whip it out as though it held moral water.
The corruption of Congress has reached such a noxious level, the country is simply falling down a hole. Tax cuts for the rich! Reckless spending on everyone but those who need it most! Not a grown-up in sight. There is no sense of responsibility. The Republicans' response is to elevate Mr. Blunt, a man who represents zero improvement. Talk about not getting it: Tom DeLay is losing in his own district, 36 percent to 49 percent for "any Democrat." Wouldn't you think Texas congressmen would sit up and take notice of something like that?
I think we can rely upon the Democrats to seize the moment and punt. Their best play, of course, is to take the reform issue and own it, to go long, for the whole reform package every goo-goo group in America has been agitating for years -- starting with public campaign financing for Congress. The package should include changes in House rules, lobby rules -- and even though it is done at the state level, proposals for non-partisan redistricting.
I can almost hear the condescending cynics: "You don't really think you can get the money out of politics, do you?" I guarantee you can do it for several cycles -- and do you know what happens when it starts to creep back in again? You reform again! Perpetual reform, a truly great concept. No human institution is ever going to remain perfect, they have to be watched and adjusted like any other mechanism. Why use that as a defeatist excuse for doing nothing at all?
What matters here is not what the Republicans or the Democrats do -- it's what you do before November. Sit up, join up, stir it up, get online, get in touch, find out who's raising hell and join them. No use waiting on a bunch of wussy politicians.
We're tryin', Hon.