Editor, Daily Nexus,
Paul Jones (“Dems Prove No Party Is Perfect,” Daily Nexus, Nov. 27) is entitled to think that Democrats are as corrupt as Republicans, but his lame attempt at “proving” this as fact makes his column little more than sour grapes written by a Republican apologist.
First, Jones cites the “non-partisan” American Center for Voting Rights Legislative Fund as proof of Democrat engagement in voter suppression tactics. He neglects to mention that this “non-partisan” organization was started in 2005, after the election in which he claims voter suppression occurred. In addition, the supposedly non-partisan organization was founded by and is currently run by the former chair of Democrats for Bush and a former legal counsel to the Bush 2000 Florida recount team.
Then Jones jumps to the improprieties of former Massachusetts Representative Gerry Studds, who engaged in consensual relations with a 17-year-old page over 30 years ago. This is true. What Jones neglects to mention is that the relationship occurred in the early ’70s, when Studds was in his early 30s, and that the 17-year-old page was above the age of consent at the time it occurred, as the age of consent in Washington, D.C. is 17. Mark Foley, did, in fact, engage improperly with a 16-year-old page. What Jones fails to recognize is that the scandal was less about Foley and more about the fact that GOP Congressional leadership knew about his incorrigible tendency to engage in these improper actions, and yet failed to act on them.
Jones is right about one thing: Democrats are hardly perfect. Politicians are corrupt because they are politicians first and partisans second. But the fact that Jones and partisans like him on the Democrats’ side are more than willing to engage in this kind of mudslinging not only denigrates the political discourse, but also does a disservice to his ideas and our democracy. Democracy should be about the competition of ideas, not about half-truths and conjecture used to smear your political opponents. Jones’s column makes me shake my head for the state of our democracy.