Friday, 9 December 2016

Is it Draining the Swamp or Partisan Politics?

Removing Logs From Eyes

We recently read an report of the Democratic members of the US House Judicial Committee writing a letter to its (Republican) Chairman asking for strict governance of Donald Trump, lest he use the office of President to extort and extract pecuniary gain.
In a letter to Republican Chairman Bob Goodlatte, all 16 Democratic members of the committee requested a hearing to review any conflict of interest laws or ethical rules that may apply to Trump’s business situation. They wrote:
 Although we do not yet know the details of his proposal, this announcement raises a number of questions, including whether Mr. Trump intends to legally transfer ownership of his assets to his children, or simply allow them to manage his assets[.]
 The letter also pointed out that it remains unknown what role Trump’s children will have in his administration and “whether they will be subject to an ‘ethics firewall;'” and whether “businesses, foreign governments, and others” would be able to “take actions that benefit Mr. Trump and his family” and if Trump would be transparent in any such dealings.
All well and good.  However, the expressed concern would be far more morally compelling if it had been accompanied by an extensive helping of humble  pie.
 These Democrat members of the House have long looked the other way while their leader, one Hillary Clinton, has engaged in perpetual, persistent, and extensive simony on what appears to be an industrial scale.

We fully support them holding Trump to account.  We applaud the effort to fence him in, far away from even the possibility or hint of corruption.  We have a Prime Minister in New Zealand who is a multi-millionaire.  He has put all his investments and assets into a blind trust.  Evading and avoiding conflicts of interest is the ethical, normal, and necessary thing to do when one holds public office.  This is not exceptional.

But the case of the Democratic members would have been even more morally compelling, and far less partisan (at least in appearance) had it been accompanied, not just with humble pie, but with repentance.  This too is part of what needs to happen to drain the fetid swamp that is the US capitol.

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