He's A Crook, But He's Our Crook


Unabashed liberal Democrat (the man works for Media Matters!) Oliver Willis is steaming about the Congressional Black Caucus opening up its wallets for corrupt Rep. William Jefferson—yes, the freezer guy.

Apparently more so than any other of the Democratic coalition, the CBC favors the old and in power over the good. They supported Alcee Hasting's nomination when everyone else said it was dead in the water (it is), and made noise about Rep. Pelosi stripping crooked William Jefferson of his committee assignments.

And now Jefferson is staying ahead of his less bribe-friendly opponent with a big assist from CBC donations—$5000 from the group itself, $8700 from various members of the caucus. This despite the fact that his opponent is a black woman who'd obviously join the caucus if she got to DC, and despite the fact that Jefferson is one of the most economically conservative members of the caucus. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, but the caucus is weirdly comfortable with a member who supported the bankruptcy reform bill.)

For obvious reasons, no one wants to go after the CBC—the last attempt, by Conor Clarke in TNR, was as harsh a critique I've ever seen, and it was so delicate I had to lay it on my pillow to read it. But really, any congressional caucus that 1) backs a shameless crook like Jefferson, 2) pushes a disgraced former judge as head of the Intelligence Committee, 3) won't tell Julia Carson to retire already, and 4) allowed Cynthia McKinney to be a member for more than five minutes has some serious issues.

NEXT: Look, Ma - No AIDS!

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  1. “But as of the 19th, Jefferson had $177,247 cash on hand…”

    $87,247 of which was at room temperature. Ay-oh!

    Last time I checked, Jefferson was behind in the polls.

  2. Yeah, this is (as usual) disgusting and, (unusually) incomprehensible. I guess it’s institutional inertia.

  3. Thats a cold one joe. But accurate. I expect to see Jefferson turn up on HBO’s The Wire any Sunday now.

  4. Why is Jefferson a crook? Wasn’t the money found in his freezer just Free Speech?

  5. With apologies to Theodore Geisel,

    Big T, little t, What begins with T?
    Tiresome, tedious troll,
    He’s called Dan T.

  6. $87,247 of which was at room temperature. Ay-oh!


    And right out of the gate, joe takes an early lead.

  7. Bitching at the CBC for not telling Julia Carson to retire is pushing it. What about “ageless” Strom Thurmond? Excuse me, but isn’t it the voters who are supposed to decide these things?

  8. WTF!?!?

    A critical article on the democrats own black caucus…and written by David no less!!!

    I solute you good sir.

  9. “Excuse me, but isn’t it the voters who are supposed to decide these things?”

    I guess the voters can send him to office, but they don’t decide who gets access to power.

    Hastings and Jefferson prove that the Democrats don’t quite get it.

  10. “Hastings and Jefferson prove that the Democrats don’t quite get it.”

    …as demonstrated by the way the Democrats denied both of them their committee positions, and the way Jefferson is about to lose an election to a Democratic challenger.

  11. Never forget when J.C.Watts quit the caucus in the 90s. I forget his exact public statement, but it was basicly along the lines the organization served no useful purpose in it’s current form.

  12. JC Watts will never be confused for Albert Einstein, but he was a man of integrity. I’ll give him that.

  13. Thanks for the update, Joe. Hastings’ response? “As we learn in Ecclesiastes, however, for everything there is a season.”

  14. I’ll give this to the Dems – so far they have come right to the brink of making some stone stupid decisions, but they have backed away.

    Now the Reps, on the other hand, have just jumped right over, reelecting to leadership the ‘tards who cost them the majority.

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