You need both ends of Pennsylvania Ave to get the blame

Byline: | Category: 2008 Presidential Election, Ethics, Government | Posted at: Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Cliff May throws this question out for discussion:

One reason Republicans lost the 2004 [sic; it should read "2006"] congressional elections: Corruption, e.g. Duke Cunningham (financial) and Mark Foley (sexual).

Four years later there are allegations of corruption on the Democratic side, e.g. Charlie Rangel (financial) and Tim Mahoney (sexual).

And this appears not to be harming Democrats at the polls not one little bit. Discuss among yourselves. 

I think he’s right and I think that who sits in the White House determines who gets blamed for corruption in Congress.  When one party controls Congress AND the White House, it alone receives all the blame.  See 1994 and 2006 for examples. 

But when control of government’s branches is split as it is now, the trail of blame can be shifted from Congress to the White House–especially when a complicit media helps hide the tracks.  Furthermore, ask yourself this: how many Americans mistakenly believe that Bush Republicans still have control of Congress?  More than any civics teacher would probably want to admit. 

There is a silver lining to the very dark cloud of an Obama victory:  Do you think that corrupt Democrats in Washington will be more or less emboldened in such an environment?  And who will they blame for their corruption in 2010 when, inevitably, they are caught.

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