Which is more unethical: Nancy Pelosi staying on as Democratic leader or Nancy Pelosi sabotaging the bipartisan deficit commission?


Nancy Pelosi is labeled an “ethics dunce” by Jack Marshall, in his Ethics Alarms blog: “Pelosi’s refusal to step aside places her own ego above the needs of public service and country, and is as blatant an example of power corrupting judgment as one can imagine. At a time when all ethical considerations argue for her to swallow her pride and let others take over, she is willing to jeopardize not only her party’s comity, unity and image but her own legislative achievements.”

Marshall reserves the dunce label “for those individuals and organizations who display a complete ignorance of ethics through their persistence in, defense of, or comfort with blatantly unethical conduct.”

But Pelosi’s behavior this week is even more deserving of the “ethics dunce” label than her unseemly clinging to her leadership position. Yesterday, within minutes of the release of the President’s deficit commission’s draft report, she blasted it as “simply unacceptable.”

The report lays out ways to solve the intractable federal budget problem—a mushrooming deficit that will bankrupt the nation under current law. It proposes changes and reductions to every government program, including Social Security and Medicare. It acknowledges that the suggestions are “painful,” but “there’s no easy way out.”

Every one of our legislators knows about the problem, but it’s never been addressed as seriously as it is in the Commission’s work. This is a chance to repair a budget time bomb that we’ve known about for thirty years, but never took on. Until now.

So what does the Speaker of the House, the third ranking official in our government, do to advance this critical proposal? Speaker Pelosi, before the commission even had a chance to vote on its draft report, pronounces itsimply unacceptable.”

This is profoundly unethical. She agreed to do the people’s work before they sent her to Washington, and having won election she’s willing to slough off the problem to our grandchildren.

Like all government officials, she swore an oath to “well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

She’s violated that oath. That’s why she’s an ethics dunce.



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