The fallacy of the “everybody does it defense”

I have to boast just a little bit.  Despite driving for more than thirty years, I’ve never had a moving violation.  I have heard, however, that if the highway patrol pulls you over for speeding, it’s no defense to point to the traffic passing you and the officer by, while exclaiming, “But everybody is speeding.”  The officer’s appropriate response is “But you’re the one I caught.”

We all know this.  And we all understand intuitively that having a society with a critical mass of criminal violations doesn’t mean the law is no longer valid.  It may certainly mean the law should be revisited, because it’s damaging to have on the books a law practiced more in the breach than the observance.  Nevertheless, if the law is on the books, if you’re the one caught, well, tough.

Someone needs to teach this to the whiners in the White House, who, having had their hands caught in the swampy depths of the Sestak and Romanoff scandals, are now complaining that “Reagan did it too.”  Aside from the fact that Jake Tapper has exposed this “defense” for the blatant lie it is, the fact is that Reagan is dead and buried, and his alleged crimes, even if they had been true, are buried with him.  Attention whiners:  “We caught you.  Tough.”

The way to stop a culture of corruption isn’t simply to have a pretty boy candidate promise that he’ll have a transparent administration.  Nope.  The way to stop a culture of corruption is to slam people who are corrupt.  Let’s start slamming.

The excrement leaking from corrupt government may soon hit the fan

[Italicized text corrects a misstatement in my original publication, which implied that the Obama team planned the paint balls.]

Peter Ferrera has speculated that Obama may be forced to resign before the end of his term.  My email group rolled the idea around a little bit and then decided that it wasn’t likely.  News today, however, makes it more likely that Obama will be embroiled in a scandal that, in terms of ripeness, melds the Teapot Dome and the Iran-Contra affair.  The rot might seep beyond the tight lock the media has on the dissemination of really bad information (as opposed to their willingness to let their pique show at being ignored), and be sufficiently bad to outrage the public, drive in a Republican Congress, and open the investigation.

The Teapot Dome part is that yet another Democratic Congressman (this one from Colorado) has come forward to say that he was offered prestigious jobs in the administration in exchange for dropping out of the race:

The Obama administration dangled the possibility of a government job for former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff last year in hopes he would forgo a challenge to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, officials said Wednesday, just days after the White House admitted orchestrating a job offer in the Pennsylvania Senate race.

These officials declined to specify the job that was floated or the name of the administration official who approached Romanoff, and said no formal offer was ever made. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not cleared to discuss private conversations.

“Mr. Romanoff was recommended to the White House from Democrats in Colorado for a position in the administration,” White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton said. “There were some initial conversations with him but no job was ever offered.”

The new revelation of a possible political trade again called into question President Barack Obama’s repeated promises to run an open government that was above back room deals.

You’ll notice that, in the last sentence I quoted, the AP coyly makes this sound as if it’s just an image issue, a backroom deal at odds with Obama’s long-ago broken promise of transparency. In fact, these allegations, if true, are major — and felonious — violations of federal law.  The end result that can that people close to Obama, or even Obama himself, take a nice vacation in Club Fed.  (And, just to get you sitting on the edge of your chair, I have it on very good authority that more stories such as this one are probably going to be breaking this summer.)

The Iran-Contra part of the coming scandals involves the fact that it looks as if the Obama administration was somehow connected to the flotilla fiasco.  Bruce Kesler raises the possibility that the insane paintball gun strategy that the Israeli commandos used as they boarded the ships resulted in part from pressure from the Obama administration.  Combine that with the fact that Obama’s buddies, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, helped organize this “terrorist on the sea” cruise, and, as Ricky Ricardo would say, Obama has some ‘splaining to do.

Steve Schippert unloads on the “Slaughter Option” & Jamie Glazov speaks of courage under tyranny

As everyone should know by now, House Democrats are contemplating doing away entirely with a vote on the Senate bill, and simply announcing that they’ve passed it.  After all, why shouldn’t the Constitution bow down before their overweening statism?  Steve Schippert, a veteran, has unloaded both cannons against this attack on core American values and governance:

Lose sight of what you are defending and defense isn’t all that important, is it?

This simple reminder compels us to shift focus for the moment from our combative enemies and onto that which we defend. We do not engage in such rigorous defense – in its many forms – simply to preserve soil or borders or lives. We engage in rigorous defense of ideas. Ideas embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. We do not defend simply the shores and borders and people of America. We defend – rigorously – so much more than that. We defend what it means to be American. We defend what it is that inspires so many countless others to risk life, limb and treasure to get to America even still.

And, to put it plainly, there is tyranny afoot and it must be confronted and defeated with confidence, determination and passion. The confrontation is not about health care or any other piece of legislation. It is not about politicians, politics or parties.

The confrontation is about process. The confrontation is about fidelity to the Constitution.

House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter says she is “prepping to help usher the healthcare overhaul through the House and potentially avoid a direct vote on the Senate overhaul bill.” She continued, explaining how House passage of a separate bill containing “changes” to the Senate version would lead House leadership to “deem” the actual Senate HealthCare Bill passed – without a direct vote.

This is not simply tyrannical in nature, it is absolute political cowardice.

Read the rest here.

Also, I suggest that, after reading Steve’s impassioned defense of Constitutional liberty against tyrannical demagoguery, you read Jamie Glazov’s remembrance of his parents, both of whom stood up bravely against the horrors of the Soviet Union.  Being Jewish, I’ve had the pleasure over many years to know so many refusniks and dissidents who stood up to the Soviet Union and made their way to freedom.  I always admired these men and women.  Now, however, I am reminded that their courage must be universal, or we may find ourselves living through the end of the noble American experiment.

Democrats: doing what it takes to create a one party system

I’ve got a matched set of posts for you today.  The first is an American Thinker article by John Gaski, in which he advances the argument that the Democrats are tuning out the American voters, not because they are blinded by ideology, but because they have a well-advanced system in place for permanent one party rule:

Apart from the troubling question of intent, or whether Obama-Pelosi-Reid just have a novel view of the public interest, the national Democrats are unnaturally and mysteriously sanguine despite growing backlash by the American people. Why? One reason:  The Dems don’t believe they will ever have to face a real election again.


Dictatorship in a one-party state indeed seems to loom for us. As one prominent commentator has pointed out, the normal order of the human condition is tyranny, subjugation, and dictatorship, with only a couple of respite periods throughout history, including our time in the West over the past two centuries or so. It just took that long for the totalitarian types to gain near-total power in our country, which they are now consolidating over the coming year. What are the betting odds that they will ever let it go voluntarily?

I was inclined to give Gaski’s article a pass on the ground that it was just a bit too paranoid to be true.  I mean, it’s well written, and he advances a lot of facts (ACORN, SEIU, registering illegal aliens to vote, universal registration, corrupt Democratic Secretary’s of State, etc.), but I still didn’t seem them coming together in one coherent conspiracy whole.  My skepticism, however, took a big hit when I read that, even if Scott Brown somehow manages to pull a victory out of the special Senate vote in Massachusetts (which is unlikely given ACORN’s and SEIU’s contributions to the process before and during the vote), the Democrats will still act to block the will of the people:

It looks like the fix is in on national health-care reform – and it all may unfold on Beacon Hill.

At a business forum in Boston Friday, interim Sen. Paul Kirk predicted that Congress would pass a health-care reform bill this month.

“We want to get this resolved before President Obama’s State of the Union address in early to mid-February,” Kirk told reporters at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

The longtime aide and confidant of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who was handpicked by Gov. Deval Patrick after a controversial legal change to hold Kennedy’s seat, vowed to vote for the bill even if Republican state Sen. Scott Brown, who opposes the health-care reform legislation, prevails in a Jan. 19 special election.

“Absolutely,” Kirk said, when asked if he’d vote for the bill, even if Brown captures the seat. “It would be my responsibility as United States senator, representing the people and understanding Senator Kennedy’s agenda. . . . I think you’re asking me a hypothetical question but I’d be pleased to vote for the bill.”


Friday, a spokesman for Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, who is overseeing the election but did not respond to a call seeking comment, said certification of the Jan. 19 election by the Governor’s Council would take a while.

“Because it’s a federal election,” spokesman Brian McNiff said. “We’d have to wait 10 days for absentee and military ballots to come in.”

Another source told the Herald that Galvin’s office has said the election won’t be certified until Feb. 20 – well after the president’s address.

Since the U.S. Senate doesn’t meet again in formal session until Jan. 20, Bay State voters will have made their decision before a vote on health-care reform could be held. But Kirk and Galvin’s office said Friday a victorious Brown would be left in limbo.

In contrast, Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell) was sworn in at the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 18, 2007, just two days after winning a special election to replace Martin Meehan. In that case, Tsongas made it to Capitol Hill in time to override a presidential veto of the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Gaski may well be right — the fix is in, and we’re all well on our way to being broken.

Do you care about corruption?

Some discussion in one of the comment threads prompts me to ask, do you really care whether your favorite politician is corrupt?  Sure, we’d all like our favorites to be pure as driven snow.  But, seriously, assume McCain is your man and you believed Obama would do serious damage to America (or assume the reverse; it doesn’t matter).  Would it matter to you to discover, beyond dispute, that your favored candidate was crooked as a three dollar bill and the opponent, who would ruin America if elected, is as upright as a saint?  Would you punish the individual at the expense of the country (the phrase “cut off your nose to spite your face” comes to mind)?

Okay, would it make a difference if the sins of your favorite were entirely personal (Monica, Whitewater) or actual misuse of power (Watergate)? 

We all love to point to the moral failings of the other candidate (gee, Obama provides lots of opportunities, doesn’t he), but does it really matter?  I submit there are a few voters who would punish their candidate at the expense of their country, but I’ll bet they are darn few.  For example, I doubt very many people at all who believe in Obama’s vision for America are going to be persuaded to vote against him because of the people he has associated with.  What do you think?  What would you do?