The sleaze around Republicans just keeps getting deeper and deeper.
The more we learn about the investigation into Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and his apparent insider sale of stock that he wasn't even supposed to know he had, the more unbelievable his claims about denial seem.
But it isn't just Frist. There are now so many corrupt Republicans around, that I will limit my discussion to those not just with mere ethics complaints, but who are either the active targets of investigations by Federal authorities, or who are under or who have been implicated by persons now under indictment, or who have recently been convicted of actual crimes. Oh, and keep in mind that the federal authorities in question (as well as Texas state authorities) are all Republicans, so these are not partisan witchhunts.)
Over on the house side, there is, or course Tom DeLay. Two groups with ties to DeLay were recently indicted for breaking the law in order to influence the 2002 Congressional elections (and successfully, at that). Aside from the fact that this shows that the Republican pickup of seats in Texas was financed illegally, it is also the case that DeLay is not yet out of the woods, as the case will procede to trial and Mr. DeLay is still subject to being indicted himself.
Also, Mr. DeLay's association with lobbyist Jack Abramoff has spattered a number of Republican congressmen who got questionable money from DeLay's moneyraising machine or accepted questionable gifts, most notably Bob Ney, R-OH (I blogged about this in a previous post, Field of Greed) and noted that Ney also has to answer why he put statements on behalf of Abramoff into the congressional record attacking a man who was subsequently shot to death-- and who Abramoff and partner Adam Kidan have not been cleared of as possible suspects in the murder.) Also, more DeLay money went to Congressman Duke Cunningham, R-CA, who is also under investigation by Federal authorities for accepting 'gifts' in exchange for his vote.
At the state level, we have a pair of Republican governors hip deep in trouble. Ohio Governor Bob Taft last month pleaded guilty to four charges of accepting unauthorized gifts. He may have been smart to do so, in contrast to the slow boil that Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher is now feeling. Wonder if he will soon join former Republican governor Roy Rowland of Connecticut behind bars?
Of course, then there is Karl Rove, now being investigated by a Special Prosecutor for what is effectively an act of Treason against the United States of America.
For a rundown on other corruption cases, visit Banana Republicans on PERRspectives.com.
Now, I'm not saying there has never been a Democrat caught with his hand in the cookie jar (or more likely, given the recent history of scandals, his pants unzipped like Fletcher's Democratic predecessor in the Kentucky statehouse), but right at the moment, it is the Republicans who have proven overwhelmingly unworthy of the public responsibility with which they have been entrusted.
UPDATE (and a timely one at that):
The New York Times is reporting today that the Inspector General of the United States is investigating the Bush administration for demoting the Federal Prosecutor over Guam in 2002 after he began an investigation of Abramoff (then a big Republican fundraiser and a Bush Pioneer).