The death knell of Republican control
Newly elected House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said he opposed efforts to ban privately funded travel for members of Congress and provisions in spending bills that fund lawmakers' pet projects...Considering the way the lobbying issue is polling--Americans are ready to cut lobbyists out of the system completely--and the obvious threats to Republican control that are taking shape in certain elections, you have to wonder why it isn't obvious to Republicans that they should be trying to own the issue of ethical reform. Why, then, aren't they?
Democrats pounced on Boehner's remarks as evidence that Republicans were not serious about anti-corruption efforts. "Increasing lobbyist disclosure to an ethics committee in the House that hasn't functioned for years is hardly the way to restore integrity to Washington and end the culture of corruption," Sen. Barak Obama (D-Ill.) said in a statement responding to Boehner. "It shows that some in Congress simply aren't serious about reducing the influence of lobbyists and ending the culture of corruption that has plagued Washington."
My opinion is that many of them just don't care. As I said a while ago, DeLay and Frist and Blunt and the others feel like they're entitled to live above their means. I think these scumbags would rather give up their seats than have to live lives where they were forced to live by the rules the American public expected them to follow; say, not getting wined and dined and escorted around the world by the people they're supposed to be regulating?
There's another possible motive. Many people see the DeLay/Santorum "K Street" project as simply a method to solidify connections between donors, lobbyists and Republicans, but who's to say that it couldn't also be seen as a way to prepare a comfy landing zone for Republicans when they left office?
No matter their motives, Republicans have decided to step in the same pile of crap again and again. Not only are the political winds already alerting Americans to the scent of their malfeasance, but the Republicans have decided that their best move isn't to try to clean up the tracks they've left. They've decided to rub the voters' noses in their mess.