Republicans long ago lost the moral high ground on ethics. You can’t claim honesty and ethical behavior when you have leaders like Tom DeLay, who never met a bribe he wouldn’t take, or hypocritical whorehounds like John Ensign and Mark Sanford.
That, however, doesn’t stop the GOP from aimng a morality shotgun at entrenched Democrats like Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha and Virginia Rep. Jim Moran — who long-termers who also play fast and loose with the rules.
The problem is that most of the Democrats they want to target represent districts dominated by the party of the jackass and voters have long shown that they look the other way when the crook in Congress is their own representative.
Murtha, probably the most ethically-challenged of all the Democrats on the GOP target list, is the only one facing a possible challenge in 2010.
Republicans, however, now refer to the "culture of corruption" with Democrats in Congress. "Culture of corruption" has a familiar ring. Democrats used that phrase to describe Republicans in the 2006 mid-term elections when they took control of Congress away from the party of the elephant.
In an attempt to highlight what they refer to as a House Democratic “culture of corruption,” Republicans have zeroed in on the alleged ethical improprieties of a handful of senior Democrats with ties to the now-defunct PMA lobbying group. But it doesn’t seem to be working — at least when it comes to the political fortunes of the members at the heart of the controversy.
The four senior Democratic appropriators — Reps. Jim Moran (D-Va.), John Murtha (D-Pa.), Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.) and Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), whose earmarking practices have come under scrutiny — remain well-positioned for reelection, with only Murtha facing the whiff of a competitive 2010 campaign.
Democratic operatives attribute their durability to several factors. First, they represent solidly Democratic districts, making it next to impossible for any Republican to mount a serious challenge.
And since they’ve represented their districts for decades, they’ve established sturdy relationships with constituents that insulate them from allegations of ethical misconduct. But more important, their seniority enables them to secure millions of dollars in pet projects for their home districts.