columnist Richard Cohen is a bit disturbed about ethics charges levelled by Democrats against Republicans
. He points out a rather obvious fact: none of them have been proved.
There are times when I sorely miss boilerplate — those entirely predictable statements made by politicians that often begin with the word “frankly,” then proceed to the phrase “I don’t think the American people want,” and conclude with a thundering banality that a drowsy dog could see coming. That was especially the case last week when I started reading what Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, had to say about Tom DeLay, her Republican opposite. I fully expected boilerplate, something about innocent until proved guilty. But Pelosi crossed me up. DeLay, as it turned out, was guilty until proved innocent.
“The criminal indictment of Majority Leader Tom DeLay is the latest example that Republicans in Congress are plagued by a culture of corruption at the expense of the American people,” Pelosi said — apparently forgetting to add the boilerplate about the American system of justice. If she had those thoughts, they’re not on her Web site and not mentioned anywhere. Instead, the reference to a Republican “culture of corruption” shows that when it comes to a punctilious regard for the legal process, in this instance the Democrats ain’t got no culture at all.