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Jerry and Joe Long Headshot

Murtha & "Ethics"

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Our idea of "ethics reform" has always been a little hard to implement. Namely...crucifixions. "Pacs" and "earmarks" and "add-ons" and "bundled contributions" replaced by lobbyists and members of Congress hanging in rows seven deep around the Reflecting Pool.

We live in a land where irony is omnipresent. Except of course for Washington insiders, who would be unable to detect any in Grover Norquist being strangled in his bathtub.

So the conventional wisdom is...what? Jack Murtha is corrupt? Steny Hoyer isn't? Even a cursory examination of Hoyer's record would lead to the words "party hack" figuring prominently. A leader in the true "Lieberman" mold, for whom personal survival is synonymous with public service.

At least Republicans take pride in their venality and racism. John Boehner promptly delivers his rent check every first of the month, as Trent segregation-in-context Lott oozes effortlessly back into the leadership ranks. And if some noble private citizens of Mississippi decide to push for tax breaks for whites only lunch counters...guess what....they will give large amounts of money to the Daschles and Tauzins and soon the Santorums of K Street and doors will open and their concerns will be heard...that is the system.

On Hardball the other night, Chris Matthews paused from his endless stream of analogies known only to him to say that he thinks the GOP ticket in '08 will be John McCain and...Haley Barbour!!! Should that occur, even the time for irony is past and nothing remains but the need for a modern day Gibbon to chronicle the final decay. Let's hope, for history's sake, the new Gibbon doesn't spend all his time going to book parties at Sally Quinn's.