Congress Suddenly Constitution-Friendly?

Keefe - KGBThis weekend, Rep. William Jefferson’s D-LA office was raided by FBI agents in relation to a bribery scandal sting where he was videotaped receiving over $100,000 in cash. On the heels of the raid was some rather peculiar voicing of consternation from both sides of the aisle in both the House and the Senate.

Now, part of what makes this interesting is that Jefferson is accused of sending cash money to officials in Nigeria, which as it turns out is a haven for Al Qaeda (not to say that he was aiding them, but just to illustrate that if you or I had sent cash to Nigeria, we’d be worrying a lot more about ending up in Guantanamo Bay than having our offices raided).

Here’s where we need to have some perspective on the whole issue. I figured that most of the Republican and Democrats who are suddenly all in favor of constitutional limitations are… to be blunt: full of shit. It didn’t surprise me that the same elected people who don’t want government into their private lives were more than willing to vote for continued egregious intrusions into yours barely three months ago (aka the PATRIOT Act renewal).

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert now:

“Insofar as I am aware, since the founding of our Republic 219 years ago, the Justice Department has never found it necessary to do what it did Saturday night, crossing this separation of powers line, in order to successfully prosecute corruption by Members of Congress.”

He added: “Nothing I have learned in the last 48 hours leads me to believe that there was any necessity to change the precedent established over those 219 years.”

Hastert on PATRIOT Act (perhaps he’s the one who should start reading the Constitution):

“Ensuring our homeland security is one of House Republicans’ top priorities, and the PATRIOT Act keeps that commitment. This legislation guarantees that our law enforcement can keep the tools they already have in place to root out and prosecute terrorists, and it renews important information sharing provisions among government agencies.
— Dennis Hastert on March 8th, 2006

To summarize Radley Balko’s response: Start protecting our rights before asking us to cry you a river over this.

Update: Here’s a little more schadenfruede for Congress: “you have nothing to worry about if you have nothing to hide.” Wait… that only applies to us?

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

13 Comments
  1. “Nothing I have learned in the last 48 hours leads me to believe that there was any necessity to change the precedent established over those 219 years.”

    Umm… how about a congressman taking a $100,000 bribe?

  2. here’my favorite part of this posting:

    “most of the Republican and Democrats who are suddenly all in favor of constitutional limitations are”¦ to be blunt: full of shit.”

    That was very blunt.

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    Any questions? Go to http://www.birminghamzoo.com
    and be sure to bring your petitions to get Loretta Nall ballot access signatures. Just explain to all the folks visiting the zoo that prison conditions are worse than conditions for zoo animals and Loretta wants improvements.

  4. Cris Ericson: I forgot my rambling decoder ring at home… care to translate that into english?

  5. I just noticed the new LibertyMix banner…

    You should have had the promo on June 6 instead. That way it’d be 06/06/06. :p

  6. I love the subtitle… “The beast launches on 06/06/06.”

    Very awesome.

  7. Congressmen taking $100,000 bribes is nothing new especially the last 48 hours. This more falls along the line of our elected leaders thinking they are above the law, and a bunch of them going “oh shit I need to find a new hiding place”

    I still have not heard did they find anything in his office?

  8. Guys, guys … you have it ALL wrong. Jefferson is the VICTIM. Didn’t you see that this about NIGERIA? He’s just too embarrassed to admit that that $100,000 was part of the deposit he was planning to make to facilitate the transfer of funds from the bank account of the late Mumbo Jumbo, president of the Occi-Klean Petroleum Company, to the United States in response to an email from Mr. Jumbo’s widow and a former bank official pleading for his help.