The Democrat Culture of Impunity

Republicans go to jail for crimes Democrats pay no price for.

It's always a shame and a disgrace when any public servant violates the public trust.  By granting authority to governmental authorities - whether they be policemen, Senators, or clerks at the DMV - we grant them the privilege of wielding the Majesty of the Law in a way that private citizens and private businesses simply cannot.

Precisely because the power of government is so vastly greater than even the largest private business, the penalty for abuse of office should be vastly greater too, no matter what other good the offender may have done.

The BBC brings us sad news of such an event:

Former New York City police chief Bernard Kerik, hailed as a hero after the 9/11 attacks, has been sentenced to four years in jail.  Kerik pleaded guilty in November to eight charges, including lying to the White House and tax evasion.

Lying to the White House hardly seems a crime seeing as the White House lies to us every day, but tax evasion and similar corruption is another matter.

Kerik admitted accepting a $250,000 payback in the form of house renovations from a company to which he gave a city contract.  The company installed marble bathrooms, a jacuzzi and a new kitchen in Kerik's apartment in the upmarket New York suburb of Riverdale.  He also admitted tax crimes including failing to report more than $500,000 in taxable income between 1999 and 2004.

Mr Kerik had been hailed as a national hero following the 9/11 terror attacks...

Mr. Kerik was a national hero, as was his mentor Mayor Guiliani.  Alas, heroism can go to your head, and even the bravest of heroes may not be stainless elsewhere in their lives, as a court of law has found to be the case with Mr. Kerik.  His brave deeds can't make up for his corruption and theft; as distressing as it is to incarcerate a hero, prison is the right and proper place for him.

Why, then, do we not see prison sentences for other notables who have stolen more, and accomplished less?  Mr. Kerik's skillful leadership of the New York City police force led to stunning drops in crime; statistically speaking, you could say that his policing saved the lives of hundreds if not thousands of New Yorkers.

Yet he's behind bars.  What can "Turbo-Tax Timmy" Geithner say in his own defense that's greater than Kerik?  How about Rep. Charlie Rangel and his tax-evading offshore villa?  At least Tom Daschle lost the chance for a cabinet seat over his unpaid taxes, but he's still breathing the free air.  We could go on for days in the same vein.

What do the not-yet-convicted have in common?  They are Democrats.  The inability of the mainstream press to say a bad word about Democratic corruption is legendary - if the crime is so egregious that it has to be reported, the articles have a noted tendency to omit the crook's party affiliation and hide on the back page.  Whereas, a criminal Republican gets awarded a front-page banner headline to the effect of "Republican Scumbag Arrested for Usual Republican Corruption: Will Be Convicted and Imprisoned with Other Republicans!!!"

Let's face it: There are Republican scumbags - Illinois prisons are full of them, and that's where they belong.  Mr. Kerik apparently is another one, and his penalty is the same.

Why, though, can't we treat Democrat scumbags the same way?  It shouldn't matter what your party affiliation is if you're a crook.  Let's lock them all up evenhandedly.

That might make things easier on Republicans, or perhaps not, by getting rid of a great campaign issue.  But it doesn't matter: it would be good for the country, and if we can't agree on anything else, surely we should be able to agree that we don't want to be ruled by crooks?

Now if we could just get Mr. Obama to stop appointing them!

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments
"Alas, heroism can go to your head, and even the bravest of heroes may not be stainless elsewhere in their lives"

Two words. John McCain.
February 19, 2010 9:04 AM
Good point.. why don't we see jail time for politicians who violate the Constitution as well? Mr Cheney would not be safe, nor would many of his associates in the CIA, nor any Congressman who supported laws that deny us our First or Second Amendment rights, to say nothing of the 4th 5th or 6th...
It is a pity the Founding Fathers did not specify penalties for a member of Congress or Administration who either make laws contrary to this basic legal document, or hold it in such disrespect..
Given the travesties of the Bush Administration, it is no wonder the people elected Obama, thinking no one can be worse.. given the ineptness of Obama, will we see a return to more arrogance & stupidity, or a new party to sweep aside the old disrespect politicians have for their constituents, or just the same old, same old ??

February 19, 2010 9:13 AM
I believe we've been through this before. Do please name a crime committed by Cheney, Bush, or the CIA, other than anti-liberal "thoughtcrimes." And be careful regarding the CIA, the legalities are not at all what you think they are.

The Founders did actually intend punishments for unconstitutional actions by politicians: we the voters are supposed to boot them out of office, if necessary by demanding that our other leaders impeach them. It's our own fault that this doesn't happen.
February 19, 2010 9:24 AM
Petrarch, don't waste your time.

Irvnx is a one-trick pony who can't stop reminding conservatives of his dislike of George Bush. For some reason, he, like Obama, thinks the United States needs to stay mad at Bush for sins of the past instead of dealing with the political reality of today.

We are each victims of our own perspective. Some people have a short perspective.
February 19, 2010 9:45 AM
the accolades are already in.. for a web site based on limited government you both are dropping the ball in defending Mr Bush and his statist mind set, in his reckless spending, wars, and attacks on American freedoms.. what you ignore is that this sort of mentality enabled the election of an equally sinister threat to this country in the form of Mr Obama; why you fail to make any manner of logical inference escapes me, but as Ayn Rand said, "the greatest sin is in not thinking".. and escaping contradictions is not feasible, presuming one wishes to maintain sanity.
Re Dick Cheney: Most great criminals don't get caught, let alone their crimes discovered. True it is insufficient to to only have hunches, but given the depth of government growth under the Bush/Cheney watch, anid untold billions in increased spending? That money went somewhere..
Until someone who actually praises liberty and fiscal restraint in the same breath, to say nothing of limited police powers, my abhorrence of the administrations & their Congress of this decade shall continue unabated- perhaps your dislike is in a failure of self-introspection

February 19, 2010 7:11 PM
There's a difference between discussing relevant things and defending Bush. Bush is no longer relevant. We'd like to discuss Obama who is 10 times worse than any bad thing Bush ever did and doing 10 times as many horrible things to our society.

I have seen no "defense" of Bush here other than to say he committed no crimes, which is absolutely true.
February 20, 2010 8:32 AM
I find it interesting that the party that claims to be for limited government still spouts the continual bromides while acting against its own interests..not only did this contradiction give us Obama, it suggests the moral perversion inherent in such an illogical position will out itself, as it did with Obama, so it will with the Tea Party.. it remains to be seen if the Republicans will subvert that to their level of incompetence & degradation: it already seems so.
It is not so much as I dislike Biush as it is that he is so simliar to Obama in his approach to gevernment, and that those who despise Obama were so silent while his own socialistr agenda was forwarded, as well as his abnegation of our liberties: all one needs to do is look at the biggest flops in the Bush tenure: the Homeland Insecurity & its TSA, with its attacks on our privacy and freedom to travel, and the bank bailouts- if that is not federal interference with the capitalist system, what is?
What is are more evil: one who lies about their advocacy of limited government, meanwhile subjecting Americans to increased taxation thru deficits, & loss of privacy, or one who claims to admit it?
Most interesting: a study in hypocrisy is most illuminating, and unless one renounces & denounces the farce that is the recent past, we will be forced to relive it.

February 20, 2010 5:10 PM
"so it will with the Tea Party"

Irvnx is a nihilist. He does not WANT there to ever be any party or movement that supports what he supports so that he can be forever cynical.

To suggest that the Tea Party movement is subject to the same 'moral perversion' inherent to those acting against limited government (whatever that means) is farcical.

The Tea Party movement was CREATED from the very anti-government resentment that irvnx continues to beat us over the head with.

Politics isn't about exactness, it's about proximity. The game is horse shoes, not basketball. By voting age, one is supposed to have matured enough to realize that.
February 20, 2010 9:27 PM
Fascinating... to paraphrase Beck, the Republican party needs to fess up and take step one: it has become the antithesis of limited government, fiscal restraint, and liberty: to deny it is to be even more of a joke, and slated for extinction, a victim of its own irrationality & arrogance.
February 21, 2010 11:35 AM
one last shot from the man of a one-pony trick: the continued admiration from those who despise Obama's continuation of the Bush legacy in big government, big deficits, big intrusions into our liberty need only remind themselves that praise of mediocrity & a feel-good mentality invariably lead one to wonder how the party will end: as a recovered alcoholic I cannot but feel pity for those whose party has ended in a sham of denial and moral torture, yet see others partying on without remorse & shame: sobriety is not for the weak and incompetent- it is only for those who have better things to do, such as create, unleash their visions and carve a niche in an unsuspecting universe; to do no less is personal betrayal. Good Luck- Egypt has a river named for those who cannot or will not live on Earth. Its floods would feed thousands, but who wants to live at another's mercy?
I don't...
February 22, 2010 8:47 AM
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