Ethics Talking Points Memo Leaked

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear....

Another talking points memo (given to Raw Story), this time on (cough) "ethics." But unlike the Schiavo memo, this one's long and detailed and has a bullshit factor of nearly 100%. With any luck, we'll discover that Mel Martinez's uncontrollable hands were somehow involved; but we doubt it. Warning to all you kids out there with a sense of irony™: Put the coffee down. You don't want it all over your computer screen! Shovels ready? Start diggin':

Return to the Rules of the 108th Congress

Despite the best good-faith efforts of the Ethics Committee Chairman and the Republican Leadership, House Democrats have left no way to restart the ethics process without a full and complete return to the Rules of the 108th Congress. For the good of the House, an operating but flawed Ethics Committee is preferable to a more equitable, but non-operational Committee.
  • House Republicans stand by the changes made to the rules of the House at the outset of the 109th congress, but believe it is more important for the institution to have a functioning Ethics Committee that may be flawed, than to have a more perfect, but non-operational Committee.
  • The three major rules changes made at the start of this Congress greatly increased the bipartisan nature of the ethics process, prevented the Ethics Committee from being used as a political tool, and ensured fairness for Members targeted by politically motivated charges.
  • The three changes—guaranteeing Members the right to be represented in front of the Committee by counsel of their choice, ensuring Members' right to due process, and eliminating the possibility that a charge could wind up "in limbo"—were opposed by House Democrats in a blatantly political attempt to use the ethics process for electoral gain.
  • Despite the questionable motives behind Democrat opposition to the rules changes, House Republicans worked to come to an agreement with the Minority in order to get the Ethics Committee up and running. Unfortunately—but not surprisingly—each attempt by either the Republican Leadership or Chairman Hastings was rejected.
  • Chairman Hastings offered on numerous occasions to meet with Ranking Member Mollohan in order to craft a compromise, but was rebuffed. When he presented his written and signed guarantee addressing Mr. Mollohan's concerns, Minority Leader Pelosi called his good-faith effort "a sham" (Weekly Media Availability, April 21, 2005)
  • Just one week prior to Leader Pelosi's statement, Ranking Member Mollohan said: "We would proceed by our rules, not any other way" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 14, 2005)
  • The Democrat intransigence clearly indicates their intention to use the ethics process as a tool in their political arsenal. Their cynical attempt to corrupt the process by injecting political rancor is odious, and will be seen for what it truly is—partisan hackery in the guise of "good government."
  • But rather than let the Democrat "my way or the highway" strategy drag on, House Republicans have elected to take the high road.
  • By returning to the Rules of the 108th Congress, the House will once again have an operational Ethics Committee which, while flawed, will at least be able to begin functioning.
  • Unlike the obstructionist Democrats who would rather bluster about supposed abuses of power by the Majority than actually come to agreement on ethics, House Republicans are committed to moving forward and protecting the integrity of the House.

We're not sure, but we suspect that lying is, er, unethical, especially when it's for political gain. A little perspective*.

Can't wait to see if Power Line jumps on this one as fake....

*Earlier, this linked to Bob Dole's OpEd in the NY Times. I had two Times stories open and copied the wrong link by accident.

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