February 20th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Will Dems self-destruct over ethics issues?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Democrats gained control of Congress in 2006 by effectively hammering Republicans over a "culture of corruption". But as the Associated Press points out - that very same theme may wind up now biting the Democrats in the you-know-what.

Will Dems self-destruct over ethics issues?

Burris, Blagojevich, and Daschle have all been entangled in ethics scandals in recent months.

When it comes to ethical behavior, it turns out Senator Roland Burris of Illinois is only the latest in a pretty long line of embarrassments. Burris now admits he tried to raise money for ousted Governor Rod Blagojevich - who allegedly tried to sell Obama's former Senate seat. Blagojevich was, of course, another black eye for the Democrats.

Then there's New York Congressman Charlie Rangel - he's the subject of a House ethics investigation for a couple of different issues.

And Pennsylvania Congressman Jack Murtha is under scrutiny, as well... since the feds raided two defense contractors that got millions of dollars in funding from Murtha.

Then come the Democrats with tax "issues". Both Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer stepped down from potential posts in Pres. Obama's inner circle. And Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was confirmed only after it was revealed that he had failed to pay some of his taxes.

Another would-be cabinet member, Bill Richardson, didn't make the cut due to a grand jury investigation. And the president had to waive his own ethics regulations regarding lobbying ties in order to confirm William Lynn as Deputy Defense Secretary.

During the campaign last fall, Obama struck a chord with the American people when he vowed to clean up Washington and change the way business is done.

Here’s my question to you: Are the Democrats threatening to self-destruct over ethics issues?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

David from Springfield, Missouri writes:
Yeah, I am sorry to say they will implode. They are not making good thoughtful decisions within their ranks. Burris is a huge distraction from what we need to be doing. I am a Democrat myself and am not happy with all the chaos.

Tony in Michigan writes:
Sure they are, but does that surprise anyone? The real fault lies with the American people. We have tolerated this from elected officials for far too long. We need to force the changes that need to happen or it will just continue.

David in Delaware writes:
Jack, President Obama and his administration are dealing with public administration the best they can. Let's not forget he has only been Chief Executive for a month and we put up with Cheney as VP for 8 years. Washington had its problems well before Obama. Hope will come, just give it a chance.

Donna from Colorado Springs writes:
I really hope they don't! They need to just look at what happened to the Republicans, and hopefully, learn from the mistakes that they made. Democrats, at times, seem to be their own worst enemy.

HD from Phoenix, Arizona writes:
Nah, they just need to follow the example of their GOP brethren and downplay things and deny the facts and eventually, Americans will forget these little scandals. It worked for Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr.

Tom from Florida writes:
The party in power seems to be bent on destroying any credibility they may have had. History seems to continuously repeat itself when politicians are involved.

Derick from Greenlawn, New York writes:
Jack, It's about time we pass a moral stimulus package. I suggest a bipartisan solution of a Bible and Turbo Tax software for our elected and appointed leaders.

Filed under: Democrats • Ethics
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Jenny Rome Ga


    Right now I think that the Republicans have cornerd the market on unethical behavior. I am sure that that will change in time.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  2. Bruce from florida

    The democrats are doing so bad on ethics issues that I am thinking of changing careers to be an IRS informer...seems like an easy job just turn in Democratic senators on suspicion of tax evasion problems and you'll probably be a successful agent. Gheeze, you almost think you could balance the budget if these fat cats would just pay their back taxes.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  3. Tom in Dubuque Iowa

    I feel like I am living in a continueing episode of the Three Stooges.;at what point do these knuckle heads figure it out?

    February 20, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  4. JD in NH

    When it comes to "ethics issues," I don't think either party has much of an advantage. In fact, the current Burris news would be mitigated if anyone bothered to report on Palin's tax problems. Am I the only one who noticed the way the media connected the Texas Ponzi scheme guy to Democrats while ignoring his Republican ties? So much for that "liberal" media meme.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  5. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: It is sort of futile to self-destruct over ethics when no one has no morals or ethics. There are no ethics or morals in politics. Gee-I would like to fly to Italy for a vacation and see the Pope too!!

    February 20, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  6. Pablo in Tejas

    Self destruct? No. However you can bet there will be a good ol' fashioned knock down drag out barney (fight not Frank) overr it. As Will rogers famously said, "I don't belong to an organized political party; I'm a Democrat!"

    Arlington, Texas

    February 20, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  7. Pugas-AZ

    What do you mean threatening to self destruct? Talk about egg on their collective faces. How much longer will this soap opera go on? It's like Obama is being forced to work with one hand tied behind his back. Can't the democrats clear the deck for him and let him do his job? We have had a bad taste in our mouths from the Republicans, must we continue to taste bile from the party now in office?

    February 20, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  8. Paul Austin,Texas

    Not a chance because the Democrats are not the only ones with ethics issues. The Republicans have had their fair share that is for sure and more will come to light on both sides of the aisle. As for a clean up of Washington did anyone really think we would wake up one morning and see it sparkling clean? Jack you and I know it is going to take time and alot of effort to clean up.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  9. Doug from Bloomington IN

    No more so than the republicans or any other political party in the distant past. In any institution, there will be some bad apples who try to profit from their status. I present the CEO's of corporations who take huge bonuses while their firms are losing money.

    The Dems are no more crooked than the Republicans. Fact is, the Dems are learning it from the GOP. But a few bad apples don't spoil the bunch and Obama can't be blamed for picking a few that, only upon further detailed scrutiny, are revealed to have done something wrong. And if they fix the problem, then their expertise should be the main criterium for appointment.

    Stop raising concerns where none shoudl exist. The mere fact that you cite a few cases means that they are out in the open and will be dealt with.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  10. Kyle- DuPont, WA

    Jack, the infractions that you discuss are only the ones that are public knowledge,..the proverbial tip of the iceberg. The Democrats have built an impressive house of cards since the first of January I for one, see a big wind storm about to hit it.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  11. Will from San Jose

    They wouldn't be Democrats if they weren't finding some way to self-destruct.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  12. Tony in Michigan

    Sure they are, but does that suprise anyone? The real fault lies with the American people, we have tolerated this from elected officials for far too long. We need to force the changes that need to happen or it will just continue.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  13. Al, Lawrence KS

    Glass houses, Jack. They all live in glass houses.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  14. Robbie

    Heck no. The Republicans are still in office aren't they? They have become the leaders of corruption. Set term limits and get all these old fossils out of offices. Term limits should be set from local to state to Washington.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  15. Kevin, Punxsutawney, PA

    BOTH political parties seem to be rife with unethical behavior. Unfortunately, neither has self-destructed.

    How about a thorough tax audit of each and every congressperson and White HOuse senior staff member? Maybe an exorcism ,too, while we're at it.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  16. Jake, Oregon

    Not a chance when you consider the alternative. It seems only the GOP leaders have lost their memory of the Bush years of descent. Couple that with their dismal outlook and negative obstructionism, and the voters will take care of the rest. Once green energy investment kicks in, plants are built, green cars are produced, and millions of people once again become enabled through productive work at good pay rates, the Dems will be safe for another 8 years. The future is coming and it's ahead of schedule.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  17. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    The fact that most of this is out in the open now, and not later bodes better for the dems. It indicates all politicians have skeletons in the closet even the holier then thou republicans. As for Obamas promise to clean up Washington, I'd say time will be needed to accomplish that goal. What's the matter with you guys? Rome wasn't built in a day.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  18. John in NC

    No they aren't. Americans only care about ethics when it is a Republican that is unethical. President Obama only said that he was setting the bar high for his admunistration, he never said that his appointees couldn't go under, rather than over it.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  19. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,do you remember"Change you can believe in!"?The only thing I've seen change is that,the crooks and liars in Washinton D.C. are now mostly democrats instead of republicans,this country cries out for a third,that is the only way we will ever see true change!!!!!

    February 20, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  20. Kyle Irvine,CA

    It sure sounds like it Jack! The Republicans are going to milk this for what it is worth all the way into November. And I couldent be happier that the Democratic Congress is slipping! This Congress, has been so unproductive under the leadership of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid that I am confident that the Republicans will take back Congress in November.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  21. Alex in Seattle

    Blogojevich has already been impeached and removed from office. Daschle withdrew himself from consideration for a cabinet post and there are already calls for Burris to step down from his senate seat. It would seem to me that the Democrats are moving swiftly and decisively to clean up problems as they come to light instead of letting the scandals grow.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  22. Ron San Antonio

    This is the natural weeding out of people who make bad decisions and , Yes, they are Congressmen and Senators! Surprise! The Republicans did the same or worse in their tenure of power. And lets face it, voting becomes a lot easier with all the deadbeats dropping out!

    This is the checks and balances we so reverently talk about in our speeches. Let freedom ring, Jack.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  23. Joe in Minnesota

    It's getting harder not to laugh when you consider the righteous umbrage the Democrats displayed at any and every Republican gaffe. I wish the whole sorry crowd would just go away and I'll get my dog to run the place.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  24. Ron from SF

    Democrats want Burris gone, more than anyone else. You list 2 Cabinet folks who aren't relevant, as the confirmation process weeded them out. As to Richardson, I wouldn't be surprised to find that this is another case of Bush's Injustice Department, going after another Democrat for political purposes. It's also likely that the Obama administration is staying out of it, for fear of being called something they are not. Let's not forget what the Feds, did to Don Siegelman, just because he was a Democrat. Compare your examples to what happened under Bush (i.e. Interior folks snorting Meth off toasters and having sex with the oil company folks or sex with Hookers for CIA contracts ala the Dukestir). That doesn't even include the entire Abramhoff scandal and the Democrats are boy scouts. At least no one in the Democratic Caucus is trolling for sex with teen age pages. At least no Democrat is lining his own pockets as a War Profiteer, ala Halliburton and Dick Cheney. At least the Democrats aren't hiring along ideological lines and creating entire new spending items ala the Medicare Drug Fraud act, to line their contributors pockets. It's not even close and I could list Republican crimes all day Jack and that doesn't include the rank Republican Incompetence like "Brownie you're doin a Heck of a Job"!

    February 20, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  25. Kathy Lord

    Oh! Please!...If Democrats are going to self-destruct, then the Republican party should have exploded.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  26. KarenB, centralFlorida

    They certainly don't need any help doing it, for all the worry about what
    the "republicans have done or not done...", Democrats have been in majority, and are very capable of crashing and burning with this ethics thing – it's apparently only the tip of the old iceburg. He may have vowed to clean it up, but sounds like trying to bring it with him.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  27. John in Arizona

    Jack, ethical slips are an equal opportunity employer, with Republicans probably the most prolific offenders. But the Dems are in power now, and their slips are going to be the more visible. Public scrutiny and outrage – from both Parties – is the only deterrent to future abuse.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  28. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    I think both parties should self-destruct over ethics issues. Maybe then we could get some decent people in Washington. It seems like no one is innocent in Washington D.C.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  29. Geri

    I'd be surprised to hear that the majority of Americans think Democrats are any more ethical than Republicans. I don't think I've ever spoken to anyone who thought politicians weren't anything other than basically dirty. Most people understand that while some may go to Washington D.C. believing they can change things the politician soon realizes that power, glory, and loads of money and other perks from lobbyists will always outweigh good judgement, the common good, and ethics. I'm always rather amazed that politicians can actually look people in the eye and say what they say with a straight face. Fascinating.

    Geri – Mead, OK

    February 20, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  30. Karen - Missouri

    No they're not. The Republicans have their own share of problems and right now are being obstructionists. I look at it more that finally the dirty deals, both Republican and Democrat, are airing out. Now if we can get Wall Street to quit acting stupid, our economy will be better off.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  31. Michael from Greenfield, Wi.

    No. The scrutiny has become so intense, that I don't think that anyone can stand up to it in this atmosphere. There is always something out there on anyone, just ask J. Edgar. I can't wait for Obama to get all of those Swiss accounts, and then the Cayman's. Do you want to bet that most of these people are the biggest flag waving hypocrites that the Republican Party ever invented.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  32. Margaret, Toronto, Canada

    Jack, the republican party has more issues, ethics and others, than the Democrats. The question is totally irrevelant as they are all the same.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  33. Cathleen, greensboro, nc

    You can't clean up washington overnight. Over the years alot of things have been done in darkness and is now coming to light, republican and democrat. I'm sure when President Obama is in his second term all the kinks will be worked out, the economy will getting back on track. Americans don't believe things will change overnight.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  34. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    Of course they'll survive and fail to self destruct. Democrats never worry about ethical behavior. It's not in their nature.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  35. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    Will the sausage factory survive an investigation for Pork?
    Come on, after eight years of an administration that literally threw football shaped bundles of money at crony contractors in Iraq, I think the current tax problems of Dashle are nothing to worry about.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  36. Jill Yelverton

    Well , you've got to work with what you've got.
    Unless we throw our elected officials on both sides out of office and start from scratch, we're stuck trying to make the best of of the material at hand.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  37. Dicky Neely

    Hi Jack,
    I don't think the Dems, as bad as they might be, can hold a candle to the Repugs when it comes to crassness, graft and scandal.
    It reminds me of the question once asked of the famous bank robber about why he robbed banks. "That's where the money is," he replied.
    Politics, like bank robbery, is where the money is.
    Dicky Neely
    Corpus Christi, Tx.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  38. Harman

    Jack, The Democratic Party has been infested my Liberals and the Republican Party has been hijacked by Neo-Conservatives. It is time to see to the deaths of both of these parties and then hopefully see them reborn with new and true strategy.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  39. Tony L........Oregon

    Hmm, the Dem's to self destruct?? You mean like the Rep's already have? Or is it even possible to sink as low as the Republican party, after all, they have encited the greed process and enabled it for corporate America...........

    February 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  40. Purnell Kankakee lL.

    I have been say that the Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin for years, both just can seem to follow the rules, corruption is in their veins!!

    That is why I am an Independent!

    February 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  41. Ann in Alexander, NC

    Jack, I think this question is a bit far-fetched, don't you? It's in keeping with our society's tendency to focus on negative things and sensationalize for headlines. The number of good people, doing good things, far outweighs any of these minor glitches. Why can't we focus more on these? And who is perfect, so why do we make it seem like a problem here and there is so tragic? We really need to realign our focus as a society towards solving problems instead of a mob mentality and joy of criticism.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  42. Levi LB


    Right now the Democrats are cleaning up the mess that the Republicans left for them, and after the Bush administration's criminal actions I don't believe that a few examples of Democratic indiscretion are comparable to an entire leadership's worth of it. No, the Democrats wont self-destruct.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  43. Chris

    That's funny Jack! There hasn't been ethics in that town since the founding fathers. As a matter of fact, it doesn't matter if they're republican or democrat, they check ethics at the door when they decide to run for an office. The two party system doesn't work anymore, we need to run both parties out of town!

    February 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  44. Janet From New Mexico

    GEEZE, Louise, how can you ask that at a time like this???*&%$ Aren't thing bad enough already???

    February 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  45. stephen

    The Dem's problems, albeit all in the news now, can not hold a candle to the underhanded and devious stuff the Repub's were up to. Being negligent on taxes vs. Tom Delay's or Scooter Libby's etc... laundry list of criminal activity is like saying someone who drops a candy wrapper on the sidewalk is on par with a gang's murderous rampage through a neighborhood is insanity.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  46. Rick Meyers

    Bush lies to the American people, gets 4000+ of our young men and women killed for nothing and then stands by doing nothing when the economy starts to tank and does nothing and nobody takes these people to task,. and all anybody can worry about is how the dems are doing. Go and check out the congress. I guarantee 30% or more of them have some kind of financial or ethical skeletons in their closet. Especially the repubs. The want government to stay small so that nobody will take a look at what they have been up to. The short answer is that NO the dems will not self destruct. These things are only coming to light because someone actually finally cares enough to demand honesty from our leaders in Washington.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  47. Randall Guynes

    No, the Democrats will not self destruct over ethics. There are always some ethics problems showing up on individuals within both parties, and now that the Dems are in the majority, there will be more of them than there has been. BUT President Obama continues to be transparent. You know about all of the ethical issues of his appointees because they do not hide them.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  48. Dominick, Florida

    The Dems are showing the same arrogance and poor judgment that characterized Republican governance the past few years. Unfortunately, we don't have a viable third party to pick from and continue to be stuck with voting for the lesser of two evils.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  49. dennis garrison

    Hiya Jack,

    If you work around a cesspool, what do you think you will get on your shoes?

    Dennis, Sherman oaks, Ca

    February 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  50. Nick from Reading

    Of course the Democrats are crooked Jack, they are politicians. The question should be "Will we let their crookedness get in the way of them doing their jobs?" The liars and thieves we were working with the last 8 years managed to lie to our faces daily, and steal money from the pockets of good, honest people, so why not let someone else do it?

    February 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  51. Herschel E

    A little too late to ask the question of will they. They already have.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  52. David


    President Obama and his administration are dealing with public administration the best they can. Let's not forget he has only been Chief Executive for a month and we put up with Cheney as VP for 8 years. Washington had its problems well before Obama. Hope will come, just give it a chance.

    -David, Delaware

    February 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  53. CJ

    There is no fear of self-destruction. Since when do these servile democrats ever worry about ethics? C'mon Jack, you should of realized that when the Dems circled the wagon around Clinton's knob polishing antics in the oval office by a 24 year old intern years ago! And the democratic populous among us was not much better. Those unethical morons started MoveOn.org!

    February 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  54. Denise

    I Sure hope so! Their views on abortion and taking away our parental rights, policy toward socialism are all pretty much distructive to our democracy. Tolerance pretty much takes away our freedom of speech, freedom of religion. They have been just as bad or even worse with their rediculous spending of the tax payers money on ridiculous things and now we are seeing that they are just or even more corrupt than the Republicans. I hope all those who voted for the big O see how much he is going to take from them rather than give to them.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  55. Thomas

    Will they self destruct jack? They already have in my opinion!! It is not coincidental that all them democrats you mentioned are under investigation is it? If you put all them under a microscope i am sure that what you would find would be disturbing to say the least!! But if democrats had any brains they would be republicans!! By the way jack your show don't stink you and wolf rule!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  56. Susan Parrott

    No, Democrats have put tools in place for transparency and some will go down as will unethical Republicans. It is time that the people who govern this country set an example for the young people of our country. All unethical behavior should be exposed. It is time for back room deals to end. Let's be nonpartisan about this. We need all the money to go to the people who earn it not the privileged few who have had the power to spend it in secret in the past be they Republican or Democrat.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  57. Mahmoud Belhimer, DC

    Jack, are you telling me that republicans are honest and less corrupt than democrats? This is the world of politics. Politicians are bombing us every single day by speeches about ethics, honesty and serving the nation and the people, but the reality is this: Politics is dirty, corruption and taking benefits from the taxpayer’s money is the rule, unfortunately.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  58. Tom

    Ethics, when was the last time we had a stateman in the croocked halls of congress. hell, they are out for themselves. I don't blame them, i blame the american voters who keep electing them. Its time the voters keep their mouth shut they put them in power. It's all about power and money. Hell, i wonder if they ever ate foor purchased on food stamps

    February 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  59. Jim

    Jack it easy to see that it is the same old Washington. Nothing has changed. Nice job of selling change and then get the same old washington people in office. We need more tax evaders running the show. Snake oil salesman did a good job i will give him that.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  60. John Thompson

    Would like to see all members of the congress and senate audited with the same scrutiny that Tom Daschle and Tim Geitner received . Make public the results and see who is walking the walk instead of just talking the talk.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  61. Marty

    When it comes to ethics – the Democrats are self destructing... The lack of ethics has been part of the Democratic make-up for ever.

    Since we are now stressing "transparency" to all – we have just begun to see the tip of the iceburg for the Democractic party as more and more will come to light and create sever controversy and trouble for the Obama team...

    Nancy Pelosi has already create another problem with her taxpayer funded vacation trip to Italy.

    Any President who would request a bill to be put together totalling up to $800B without truly knowing what itg contains is just a figurehead for the Real Power People within the Democratic Party.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  62. Purnell Kankakee lL.

    If they try to track everyone driving range, no one will drive in time and they will not sale any more cars, I for one will get a bicycle, I guess we are going backwards and soon we will look like old China!

    Soon they will try totax the air we breathe!

    February 20, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  63. Purnell Kankakee lL.

    I have been say that the Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin for years, both just can't seem to follow the rules, corruption is in their veins!!

    That is why I am an Independent!

    February 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  64. Kelli, Ashland,Virginia

    I think that they are acting like a bunch of drunk fools at the St. Patty's Day party. If they don't straighten up-it's going to be one aweful hangover in two years. This is the Dems time to shine-to get ahead of the game and get it right. The public is only going to stand for so much of the recent events. That includes the Obama. If Pelosi and her comrads want to talk the talk-don't fly to Italy for an estimated $200,000. And then try to sugar coat it to the public. We are hopeful, not ignorant. STRAIGHTEN UP!!

    February 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  65. jorge999

    You're trying too hard to be even-handed. Are there a handful of dems who are ethically challenged? Yes.

    Do their failings compare to the crimes of the repugnants? No.

    Granted, Blogo is a scumbag.

    Burris it seems [after a long career with no apparent blemishes] let his ambition get the best of him and soiled himself dealing with Blogo.

    Some of the other things you list are, though regretable, in the category of 'business as usual' and are only noteworthy because of the unprecedented high standards that Obama set.

    After the crimes of the last administration it is too soon for you to start infer some sort of moral equivalency.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  66. Purnell Kankakee lL.

    Madoff bought bearer bonds they are untraceable!

    February 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  67. Stephen H Smith

    Ethics! You are assuming that those in Congress have any ethics. That's an assumption I cannot agree with. As for the Executive Branch we have clearly seen that ethics takes a back seat in the nomination process. Let's not leave out the Judiciary. How ethical was it to revise the Presidential Oath. Mistake. I think not.

    Fredericksburg, VA

    February 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  68. Doug , FeedingHills , Mass.

    The Democrats or the Republicans, when it comes to congress and "CLEANING UP" Washington, it needs to start with the two words no congressman wants to hear,TERM LIMITS! I hope President Obama bears this in mind. To answer your question Jack, no, not any more than the GOP.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  69. Marquise in VA

    Jack, I dont think that the democrats will self-distruct because of a few bad apples. But I find it funny that we're having this conversation about democrates when republicans have been corrupt for god knows how long. Shouldn't we be talking about their self-distruction. Oh I forgot they cover their dirt alot better.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  70. Paul, Charles Town, WV

    It is apparently impossible to elect and appoint squeaky-clean representation for our governing body. The Democratic Party is simply demonstrating that they aren't impervious to being infiltrated by hypocritical, sneaky scoundrels, just as the Republican Party have shown recently that they aren't immune to it either. I doubt either party will self-destruct from these issues. We can only hope that they both take a dose of humility, purge themselves of the weasels, and promote leadership from a source other than that of well-connected wealthy, ego maniacs that seem to be under the impression that the law applies to everyone but them, and their money can buy them the best legal representation to fly under the radar.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  71. Steve M-Clifton,VA

    It all will be predicated on how the Dems act or react to these real ethic issues at hand. The vetting process of potential cabinet appointees does not qualify as an ethic issues for the Dems unless they ignore the findings of the vetting process. Thus far they have responded in way that are consistent with other proposed cabinet nominees from both former republican and democratic administrations. With regards to Burris, The Senate did not want him around from day one so this particular matter is more of an issue for the State of Illinois than for the Dems. Self destruct because of ethics issues, I don't think so, but if the Dems do what the republicans did, in that they ignored the scandles involving sex and pretended the economy was solid and pursued a path of Deficit spending over 8 years, then the Dems will have a problem with delinquent taxes.......


    February 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  72. Hans Price

    Jack we've seen what happened to the Republicans, and I am deeply sharing the ideas with the majority that the Democrats are heading in the same direction. With power comes greater responsibilities. On the other hand the issues in question are more acceptable to the norms of the people than what we were exposed under the Republicans. With all sorts of violations from them. We have had very heavy unethical and social infractions from the last Administration and the members of the party of W.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  73. Russ from Maine

    Jack, I do not think that they will self destruct over the issue, but I certainly hope that the general population can very quickly see that the pot has been calling the kettle black these past several years. They talk a good talk but it is becoming quickly evident that they are not necessarily walking the walk. Telling wall street to stop with the frivolous spending , and then sending numerous rank and file party members on foreign junkets on the tax payers dime. I personally would like to see a graph put up before the nation showing an itemized accounting for Pelosi's' trip on one side of the exhibit and a list of concrete gains for our nation listed on the other side.(These not to include hypothetical and imaginary gains!)

    February 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  74. kathy rollins oklahoma

    No this is part of the process of reform . It is going to take time as things become more transparent. This with good leaders and new rules and regulations will begin this more vigarous cleaning process.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  75. Allan from Rhode Island

    Jack, I don't believe the Democrats have a corner on the market of corruption, just look at the last 8 years. There is enough blame to go around. The only way this garbage will ever stop is when the people demand that politicians accept the same rules they lay on the "boys in blue. If a policeman is caught in corruption, or breaking rules, they lose their job, their pension, their benefits. These guys lay their lives on the line every day. Politicians.......well I'm not sure what they do but they're certainly not in much danger. If they are, they'll just pass a law to get out of it. Why should they have a better set-up than our police force. Take away all their goodies and they'll start to behave........maybe.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  76. Linda in Charleston, SC

    Tsk Tsk Jack, they are all corrupt, it might just be the Dems are getting caught right now as they are full exposure, don't believe for a minute that you couldn't find some Reps that should be getting caught, for some reason we just can't set ourselves out there to go after the last administration. But it's good Dems are having to mind their p's and q's as they are the majority.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  77. J'Von Cleveland, OH

    Lets quit all this mess thats irrevelant to the ture problem we face!!

    February 20, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  78. Eric Godfrey

    Jack there is no such things as an unethical democrat. Just ask them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 20, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  79. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Republicans already have a patten on self-destruction and now they own the patten of obstruction.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  80. Shirley

    Of course the Democrats won't self-destruct, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't clean up their act. However, if Congress ever decides to actually work more than couple of weeks in a row, we might get some real investigations going on lost TARP money, lost Iraq reconstruction money, and other sundry Bush administration crimes. Then we'll see that when it comes to our esteemed politicians, greed and graft are equal opportunity employers.
    Speaking of actually working more than a couple of weeks in a row: why were Senators and Congressmen and women travelling all over the globe? Shouldn't they have gone home to talk to the people who actually voted them in? How classless was that?

    February 20, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  81. Michael S. Byington

    Obama’s arrogant campaign comments deriding "all things Washington" rang amateurishly hollow when first spoken. The post-election/ inauguration D.C. battlefield littered with the carcasses of tax cheats, bribers and recycled “Clintonista” parolees (with a new body rolled out nearly daily) are reminiscent of the Inspector Clouseau-like atmosphre when Ms. Lillian Carter taped his name to the back of his shirt and sent L’il Jimmy to Washington in ’76.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  82. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    Democrats are threatening to repeat the same Republican errors. Get rid of all the crook, Republicans and Democrats so we can get back to the business of doing America's work.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  83. Tony Geraci

    It sure looks like it. Nancy & Harry will surely help us along the way.
    They had 2 years to try and now they have two more. Good luck.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  84. pat

    ethics is determined by who has the checkbook. save some stimulus money to by fiddles for this bunch of idiots.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  85. John Battiloro

    Come on Jack, let's start to be positive we don't need questions like these, you and I both know this controversy does not help...

    White Plains, NY

    February 20, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  86. Eric Godfrey

    How in the world does Jack Murtha get re-elected year after year. He disparages our troops, calls his own constituents rednecks and racist, and has done more shady deals than our good friend Blago. People in Murtha's district if you keep electing this disgrace of a person you are a bunch of rednecks.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  87. Kevin from Portland, Oregon


    You have to be kidding. The Republicans have had countless ethics issues (Congressional page sex scandal, Larry Craig, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and most of all GEORGE W. BUSH). They are still around, but just not as relevant as they once were.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  88. Jaycie, Los Angeles

    Oh, Jack, compared to Republicans, Democrats are rank amateurs when it comes to corruption! Trashing our Constitution, telling us lies to get us into an eternal, unwinable and VERY expensive war, torturing "detainees" against our most vaunted principals and signed treaties, just for starters. I don't think that Democrats have it in them to sink to the level that for Republicans is just business as usual.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  89. Joseph Marcal

    No party has a lock on virtue. Both should be clean but that is not the way of humankind. There are crooks in society and politics is no different. I vote for the issues they stand on rather than their honesty, so many political leaders have been a disappointment over the years in their individual behavior.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  90. Dave from St Louis

    All of our political leaders are self destructive and embarrassing. In a nation with so many brillant minds, such as yourself(props), how do we end up with the same motley bunch fools every election cycle. Maybe its us.........

    February 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  91. Lowell Shickell

    No Jack, unless the dems desert their leader. Obama has met with the state governors and asked for their help and ideas. The same just happened with the nations mayors. They gave him thuderous applause for his walking into their hot boxes and attempting to work with them. He also challenged them to not only spend the money wisely but told them all politicians accepting money would be held accountable. A national web site accesable 24-7 for the public to monitor where this money in going. I have never seen a more above-board, out-in-the-open, accountable and well mangaged program effort in my 70 years. Dems, you were a part of the old political scene but the message is, "We can change" and YOU had better follow this fine example.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  92. Rhonda of Springfield, Illinois

    Jack....I am a hard working American and pay my fair share of taxes. I do not appreciate and am extremely angered by the recent events of the Democrats and their unacceptable luxurious trip to Italy. President Obama, you promised to clean up government, but it is worse then ever. There is so much bold face lying and corruption with so little respect for us, the American people. I am sick and tired of it! I, as a taxpayer, call for immediate change with the adoption of a 'No Tolerance' attitude towards government using the American taxpayer money carelessly and out & out lying to us. The people are struggling and Nancy Pelosi is jet setting along with other democrats to Italy for pleasure. I, as an American citizen, pay her salary and call for her immediate resignation. The American people must say, "No more!" And no one can say I feel this way due to my political affiliation, because I was raised in a staunch Democratic family.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  93. Wade R. Goria

    Washington, D.C. began as a swamp carved from out of land ceded by Maryland and Virginia. Today it is glaringly evident that our nation's capital has become cesspool of shocking self-interest and greed –all of which quite clearly transcends party affiliation. It is therefore a mistake to think that Congressional Democrats are any more fit to deal with the mess we are in than the Republicans. The present very lamentable culture we are in has been contaminated by members drawn from both parties. Nancy Pelosi's recent junket to Italy at taxpayer expense represents the latest manifestation of a situation that appears well out of control and hopeless,-that is unless true campaing reform is instituted in our republic- reform that will eventually encourage many more civic minded people to seek office rather than the omni-present self seeking money grubbing hacks we see everywhere around us regardless of party affiliation.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  94. Dan Nigro

    I was a registered Democrat 31 years. When Nancy Pelosi was selected "Leader" I changed to independent. It's not are they self destructing, THEY already have. I will vote EACH one out in my state of New Jersey, and natoinally, for the next 12 years. As far as OBAMA'S CHANGE is coming, GIVE ME A BREAK!

    February 20, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  95. J. R. Decatur, AL

    Yes, Jack, We Democrats are uncomfortable being in power. Also, the electorate has a short memory span of, at the most, 10 years. I have a solution, however. Let's have a National referendum on disbanding all current political parties & start over with some new names. I don't know if the Whig or Bullmoose parties can make a comeback, but the stigma of the Republican & Democratic parties has got to be removed from the American consciousness to make anything work in the future.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  96. Karl from SF, CA

    In religious terms, pitting the Democrats Venial sins against the Mortal sins of the Republican’s last administration is “no contest”. Now to bring the last administration to justice is their next task. Failure to do that could be the end of both parties. The Republicans are already on the way out and if Constitutional and International Treaty violations are ignored, we are no longer the United States of America. We are just another corrupt third world country.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  97. sylvia-grant

    I think Obama is an honorable, decent, intelligent man. Just look what the Republicans screwed up for the past eight years. All those people who criticize, I wonder if you put them under the microscope what ignorant, stupid things they have done. He's striving to change things and some people expect him to have done it within 24 hours. Give the man a chance!

    February 20, 2009 at 5:35 pm |

    The Democrats have always had ethics problems. This one is different, Our socialist president Barack Hussein Obama campaigned on change the way Washington works. He was right. It has changed from bad to worse. He has a Tax cheat as Treasury secretary . The stock Market has gone down further than when he had the so called financial crisis under George W. Bush. The economy has gotten worse since the stimulus bill was passed. For good reason, it won't stimululate the economy.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  99. Joe Hofmann from Washington, NC

    Absolutely not! These guys are pros at cover-up and wiggle out.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  100. AnnelieseBraselton

    i very much like the idea about having every Congressmen and senior White House staff members audited by the IRS !!!

    February 20, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  101. Liz, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

    NO, the Democrats will NOT self-destruct over ethics issues. EVERY party is going to have some of these issues – no party is perfect, and the Democrats are no exception.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  102. Don Cooper

    I think the Demos are self-distructing and we need to start over. I am sick of them and we need new leadership. They will bring Obama down by association..

    February 20, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  103. josh from minneapolis

    i hope so. it was the downfall of the republicans. maybe soon people will realize both parties are corrupt. democrats and republicans are the problem not the answer.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  104. Pepper Hanrahan

    No the will not self-destruct over ethics issues? The reason ethics issues are even coming to light are due to intense scrutiny and transparency implications. The past Administration and Republicans were happy to hide all their dirty laundry.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  105. Bob Charon

    how can you even voice a question like this one after what we have been through for the past 8 years. The repugnicans have made a new low in the definition of ethics. From cheney to karl to the likes of rushbo or insanity (hannity for the mentally impaired) we have a long way to go to get to their level.

    Bob Charon
    Wyoming, Michigan

    February 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  106. JB Wisconsin

    Not a chance. The only difference from Democrats and Republicans is the Republicans step down when caught. The democrats just keep lying and fighting to stay.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  107. Randy from Salt Lake City

    The Dems self-distructed a long time ago, Jack. They supported all of Her Bush's policies. They voted for illegal wars, wiretaping, Gitmo, Gaza genocide, etc., etc. They have not one ounce of morals or ethics. This country is doomed.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  108. dice`

    Obama's plan seems as naive as flower children achieving peace by stuffing flowers in gun barrels and will be about as effective

    February 20, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  109. jay Riverside CA

    I think that a microscope is on the dems and in a way I can cause self distruction in the medias eyes, but to real people who have real problems we can careless about they're personal situations I care about what party would help me and my countrymen more I really do believe that's the dems, now all the negative press for them now is going to make the republicans happy but just the republicans same republicans that didn't vote for this administration honestly that doesn't matter because it just energizes their base real people know who will help them now and that is all that matters now! Give them time I'm sure we'll be in a better position then we have in the past 8 years its only been a month!

    February 20, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  110. Michael

    Politicians? Corruption? Never..! Sarcasm aside, why is it that ethics inside the Beltway only seem to matter when the Democrats are in power? To a further extent, why does fiscal conservatism only seem to matter when Democrats are in power, as well...? Hypocrites, the bunch of them...!

    February 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  111. Jacqueline Wilson

    Not only will the democrats self destruct, we are a country that bring out the best and worst when you head for public office. If they told all the public officers they were going to be investigated, a lot more than the democrates will start to leave because of something unethical but ,I bet 95% of all public official will have to leave their office for some action they thought they could get away with. What President Obama should standup and say to the public officals , if you have the slightess thought that you have done something wrong (unethical), pack your bags before it become public.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  112. David Seesholtz

    Time hasn't changed much in the last 2000 years. Diogenes is still walking around in the daylight with his lantern searching for an honest man. I thing he's finding out that political parties do not have a corner on honesty. He would even have a hard time searing among Independents finding that honest man.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  113. John...North Carolina


    I don't approve of any politician abusing their position in public service (Democrat or Republican). Burris is a total meat-head and should be removed if he does'nt resign (and I felt sorry for him). Daschle did enough to be forgiven and we lost fine man, but Rangel, I believe he is on to something in his probe of the Bush administration (I smell republican snipers here). However, we don't have to worry; the republicans are putting so much energy into trying ruining the present administration, they're forgetting to cover rear flank (the deaths of over 4000 young people and two wars). I think they are about to get what they deserve. The voters will finish the job in the next election.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:53 pm |