If there is a Republican out there who does not want to hang his or her head in shame after reading this story, 1) I want to know why, and 2) don’t vote for this individual, no matter whom they are running against., or for what.
For this is the mark of the constitutionally unethical, the same warped comprehension of right and wrong that allows Goldman Sachs executives testify before the Senate, under oath, that they see “nothing wrong with” and have “”no regrets” about selling products to clients that they knew were terrible investments. It represents the credo of Oliver Wendell Holmes’ famous “Bad Man,” whom he described in his speech, “The Path of the Law,” a citizen whose only interest in obeying the law is avoiding penalties, and who can be counted on to lie, cheat and do others harm whenever gaps in the laws permit. And, of course, it typifies the political style of Michael Steele, who, by definition, could never lead an ethical organization, because any organization that will tolerate someone like him must not care about ethics.
Only a month after a fake “Census” fundraising mailing from the Republican National Committee prompted both parties– the House vote was 416-0 — to pass a law banning such scams, the R.N.C. has sent out another deceptive mailing carefully crafted to avoid the technical provisions of the law, while again attempting to fool recipients into believing it relates to the Census.
One word: disgraceful.
The new, Steele-inspired federal legislation prohibits the use of the word “census” on a mailing that is actually a solicitation for funds. Here is section (b) of H.R. 4621, the Prevent Deceptive Census Look Alike Mailings Act:
Matter Soliciting Information or Contribution of Funds-– Section 3001(i) of title 39, United States Code, is amended–
(1) by inserting, in the matter preceding paragraph (1), `; or which bears the term `census’ on the envelope or outside cover or wrapper’ after `such matter by the Federal Government’
What’s different about the latest R.N.C. mailing? The word “census” isn’t “on” the outside, see… it is visible in a clear window through the envelope! So it’s legal…though still as unethical, deceptive, and slimy as the day is long.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who sponsored the bill passed last month, said “What is with these guys? We pass a law in record time, with unanimous bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, to reduce confusion about the real Census– knowing that every census form that isn’t returned costs taxpayers money and hurts accuracy. But there goes the RNC again, right back to trying to make a buck on the Census!”
What is with these guys? Simple, Congresswoman: they are led by a man so cynical, so unable to respect and abide by both the spirit of a reasonable law as well as its letter if there is short-term political or financial gain in violating it, that he is willing to undermine the vital national interests served by the Census and cost his country money at a time when it has none to spare.
Yes, the recidivist fake Census mailing is trivial in the grand scheme of things, and yes, it is stupid, and yes, almost all Republicans will have sufficient ethics sense to be embarrassed by it. But ethical people cannot continue to voluntarily follow unethical leaders and still claim to respect the distinctions between right and wrong. Michael Steele’s conduct is that of a man who will cheat and lie and cause others harm for personal gain, as long as there’s a legal loophole to let him get away with it. He is “the Bad Man” personified, and a party seeking to unseat the Democrats for their deceit and corruption has to reject the leadership of such a man, or be justly rejected itself.