Five Ethics Observations On House Majority Leader Eric Canter’s Upset Primary Loss

CantorYesterday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost the GOP primary in Virginia’s 7th District to virtually unknown economics professor Dave Brat, conservative hard-liner who was backed by the Tea Party wing of the Virginia Republican Party, and the some influential voices on local conservative talk radio. You can get political analysis, though precious little of it objective, almost anywhere you look. Here are some ethics observations:

1. The turnout for the primary was less than 15%. Here is what that means: citizens who give a damn get their way. That is as it should be. An eligible voter who can watch the mess in our national government and sit out any opportunity to make his or her voice heard and vote count is a lazy and irresponsible citizen. This means that in the Virgina 7th District, more than 8 out of 10 voters are lazy and irresponsible. To them I say: I don’t care what you think. You have shirked the sacred responsibility of self-government. Go find a king somewhere. You don’t understand or appreciate democracy, and you don’t deserve one. Continue reading

Are Republicans Really Opposing The Senate Immigration Reform Bill Because They Fear The New Americans Would Be Democrats?

If they think like Ann Coulter, they do.

And that is disgusting.

Lookin' good Ann! And talking bad...

Lookin’ good Ann! And talking bad…

I’m sure Coulter has written in the same vein, but I refuse to read her sometimes amusing but uncivil rants—and they are all rants. Caught in a traffic jam on Route 50 in Arlington, however, I heard her verbal rant on Sean Hannity’s radio show, and of course Sean aped her sentiments, which are roughly these:

It’s outrageous and stupid for Republicans to support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are already here, because they and their relatives will all vote Democratic, and within ten years, that will mean that GOP will never win another election.

The short answer to this is: So what?

So what if the new American don’t like the Republicans? That is not a reasonable, fair or ethical reason to withhold a path to citizenship, if a path to citizenship is the best and fairest course for all concerned. I thought that the conservative objections to “amnesty” were principled, and based on the rule of law: it’s wrong to allow scofflaws and cheaters to benefit from their wrongdoing. That would be true if every single former-illegal was a Ronald Reagan worshiper, and a group as dedicated to principle as the opponents of so-called immigration reform claim to be would oppose giving potential Republicans an un-earned pass to the voting booth as vociferously they would block an illegal immigrant Hillary Fan Club.

Is this really all that the opposition amounts to ? A self-serving effort to avoid adding votes to the Democratic column? Continue reading

Ethical Quote of the Month: Newt Gingrich

The Good Newt (newtus virtuous), once believe to be extinct, was sighted in D.C.

“I do not believe that the people of the United States are going to take people who have been here a quarter century, who have children and grandchildren, who are members of the community, who may have done something 25 years ago, separate them from their families, and expel them. I do believe if you’ve been here recently and have no ties to the U.S., we should deport you. I do believe we should control the border. I do believe we should have very severe penalties for employers… I don’t see how  the party that says it’s the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century. And I’m prepared to take the heat for saying, let’s be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship but by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families.”

—-GOP Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, telling CNN debate moderator Wolf “Blitz” Blitzer his approach to illegal immigration, and spitting into the wind of Tea Party and and conservative Republican ideology on the subject.

Continue reading

One More Addition to 2010’s Worst in Ethics: Sen. John McCain

I inadvertently left a category out of the Ethics Alarms year end awards for 2010, perhaps because it is such a discouraging one. I just remedied the omission, and added this:

Integrity Meltdown of the Year: Sen. John McCain. A sad spectacle indeed: since losing his run for the presidency in 2008 and having to face a strong challenge from the Right in seeking re-election to the U.S. Senate, the celebrated Arizona maverick reversed long-held positions in favor of creating a route to citizenship for illegal immigrants, reversing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and ending the low Bush tax rates on upper-income Americans. He didn’t change his mind because of sudden epiphanies of clarity, either. He just wants to stay in the Senate. True, McCain held fast to other principles, like opposing earmarks, but those were the ones his critics on the Right supported too. Integrity means being true to your core values even when it is inconvenient or unpopular. Once upon a time, that description fit Sen. John McCain. As of 2010, this was no longer true.