Friday, February 11, 2005

The ethical difference: Democrats v. Republicans

It's a simple fact of political life: power corrupts, and when one party assumes an unchallenged role in a state, the crooks tend to come to the fore. The ethical heart of a party is therefore on particular display in states where (a) there's a lot at stake, and (b) one party controls everything.

For the purpose of political comparison in this regard, we therefore lucky to have the nice contrast of Texas, controlled by the Republicans, and California, controlled by the Democrats (Arnie excepted). In Texas, the GOP is proposing legislation that allows a committee of political appointees to quash the prosecution of politicians being investigated--legislation being promoted specifically to protect the former bug-exterminator, Majority Leader Tom Delay. In California, by contrast, the corrupt Democratic Secretary of State has been forced to resign.

It's worth noting, incidentally, that the activities for which Shelley was forced to step down are similar to the activities for which the various Tom DeLay-run GOP organizations are under investigation: in both cases, it is about misappropriating funds to help promote political causes within the state, the typical activity of a hegemonic party looking to consolidate its stranglehold on the state.

One of the reasons I've been quite pro-Arnie is that he has helped put the breaks on Brezhnevian tendencies of the Democratcs in California. Texas could do with a dose of the same.

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