Don't go wobbly
Yes, Cunningham did give an honest speech today, but that was after it was obvious that this shit was going down. He was going to fall and fall hard. Nitpicker believes in redemption and hopes that he'll get his shit together in jail, but I don't feel sorry for him one bit. Go back through Josh Marshall's posts on this scandal and you'll see that Cunningham was living large for a long time and considering that many of these bribes helped a company get contracts in the areas of military "defense and intelligence," we have to wonder if these bribes may have actually endangered the lives of American service members. Remember, if they were the best people to do the job the most efficiently, they could have gotten these contracts without scams.
Atrios says he actually feels some pity for Cunningham, writing, "Tough waking up at age 65 and realizing you're gonna go to the slammer." Bullshit. Cunningham didn't "wake up" and say "Oops!" He misused his authority for his own comfort for years and will now finally pay the price. For me, I think the years of walking around as an undercover scumbag for so long would be much tougher than finally taking responsibility for your actions. Added: Yes, Atrios wrote that he "almost" felt sorry for "Duke" and I knew he didn't mean that he excused Cunningham, but there's no way we should be happy if this fucker just leaves the house and gets a slap on the wrist sentence. For justice to be served, he's gotta do real time.
Update: Lest we forget, Cunningham was against abuse of a public office before he was for it. From the Los Angeles Times, March 8, 1994:
For more than a year, federal prosecutors have been investigating one of the most powerful and senior members of the House: Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.), chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.Update: And he's always been a nutjob. Rocky Mountain News, June 1, 1995.
U.S. Atty. Eric Holder Jr. says that the investigation is now in its "final stages," with an indictment considered a distinct possibility.
Investigators are looking into allegations that Rostenkowski was involved in schemes to misuse public funds. Specifically, prosecutors seek to determine whether the House post office converted massive amounts of stamps, purchased with office funds, into cash for Rostenkowski's personal use.
They also are investigating allegations that public money was spent on goods from the House stationery store that were for Rostenkowski's personal or campaign use, and that his office payroll included improper transactions...
Despite Rostenkowski's obvious political and legal distress, many Republicans and a few Democrats have wondered aloud why the case is taking so long, demanding that the House Ethics Committee open a parallel probe. And their suspicions were fueled recently when President Clinton literally embraced Rostenkowski in a Chicago campaign appearance despite the ongoing inquiry.
"The President put his arm around the prime suspect in the investigation and endorsed him in a primary," complained Rep. Randy (Duke) Cunningham (R-San Diego). "What message does that send" to prosecutors?
Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., stood on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in May and denounced backers of a proposed law to make military bases comply with water-pollution laws as "the same ones that would put homos in the military." When Colorado's Rep. Pat Schroeder and Rep. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., tried to reply, Cunningham said, "Sit down, you socialist."