OK, this is enough. Democrats need to clean house for real. over the past year, even as the Dems laugh at unfortunate Republicans gay cruising airports, they are quickly catching up in the laughably hypocritical department. First on my list is Kwame Kilpatrick. He obviously didn't invent modern Democratic corruption, but he just happens to have been the first jerk off to cross my blog. His oh-how-lame inter office dalliance would have been just a queasy embarrassment had he not been such a sucker covering it up and "defending" himself. His pitiful denials, and sorry as patronizing to his local "fans" was a giant time waste for an already struggling and broke city. And the firing of police officers as part of his inept cover up made this jackass a has been before his 40th birthday. Oh, and he happened to be the so-called "Hip-hop Mayor" too. Thanks, bro.
Then there was William J. Jefferson, exiting Democratic Representative from the Louisiana 2nd District. Now, I can't go so far as to blame this World's Stupidest Crook for Obama not winning the state, but his flat lining reputation sure couldn't have helped. In fact, Jefferson just lost his seat to a total newbie Republican named Anh "Joseph" Cao. (Though I'm actually very pleased that at least Cao is now the first Vietnamese person to server in congress). Jefferson, if you don't geek out on stupid politician tricks and already know the story, was caught with $90,000 in his freezer by the FBI investigating allegations of corruption. Like Kilpatrick, he vowed to stick it out, but was put out of our misery this past weekend by upstart Cao.
And then we have what I hope doesn't become one of the most tragic disappointments. Democratic congressman Charles B. Rangel of Harlem's 15th District has a cloud of questionable behavior around him for some financial dealings and it doesn't look good. Rangel, a decorated Korean War vet and member of congress since 1971, is also chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. This chairmanship gives him major influence over tax laws, which may be what infected his suspected behavior. He's accused of avoiding said taxes on some real estate dealings for one. And the latest strange behavior involves him paying his son (as in, "Daddy!") $80,000 for a crummy website that should have been a default template on GoDaddy. Hey may be shielded from the political rumblings so far, but his reputation is starting to smell like something resembling his fellow shady comrades. Of course, this was before our next entry came to national attention.
Last on my list—simply because I can't predict the future, which will surely include more idiot Dems—is the ballsiest of them all. Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois's brazen and utterly ridiculous attempts to sell Obama's vacated Senate seat redefine the offensive heights of political hubris. The governor is accused of working pay-to-play angles for years and even knew he was under investigation when he dared authorities to wire tap him. This only enforces the rule that these OJ-style "If I did it . . ." declarations are almost as good as guilty pleas. Besides being the kind of politician that tests what little faith you might still have in the system, Blagojevich runs the very real possibility of tainting either president-elect Obama or his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.
All of these guys—with the exception of Rangel, who is still operating in a shade of gray area for now—pretty much have their mangy paws clearly in the cookie jar. Their behavior gives comfort to Republicans who easily remind the Dems of Monica Lawinsky and Chappaquiddick anytime they want. With an incredible role in history about to be formalized on January 20th, it's unfortunate the Democrats have this roster of chumps (and alleged chumps) lurking in the shadows.
In 1990, I co-founded a magazine called URB (urb.com) in Los Angeles. URB captures an intimate view of progressive urban sounds and landscapes in print and online. Beyond my day job, I also explore the world of politics, race and culture, photography and media (new and old). pure/ROKER is designed to be a living and shared notebook of the most discussion worthy aspects. Enrichment is encouraged. Debate and disagreement unavoidable. And dissent welcomed. As always, please leave a comment if you're inspired, subscribe to my RSS or email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.