Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Little Bit Pregnant?

Have you ever heard of an ethics waiver? Apparently, it means when the president wants someone to do a particular job, and there's an ethical reason why that person shouldn't, a waiver is granted to allow them to do so.

This is not something new to the White House, though it's a foreign concept to me. How can there exist such a thing as an ethics waiver? How can you say that it doesn't matter that there's a conflict of interest, or a past association or behavior that is no longer important in light of the fact that we want you to do this job?

A person, a government, a nation is either ethical or it isn't. It's like being pregnant. You either are, or you aren't. You can't waive a person's ethics! And yet, this White House has done that 16 times in the last 9 months. It was pointed out, by the person the president appointed to be in charge of ethics for the White House, that this is less than 1% of the 1890 jobs awarded. That makes it okay?

I don't know how these numbers stack up against previous administrations, and it doesn't matter. I didn't realize this was going on, and now I do. The previous administrations are over. This one is ongoing. They can make the argument that it is fewer waviers, though I don't know that it is or isn't, but that is a specious argument. There shouldn't be any waivers of ethics ever! A thing is either wrong or right.

You can't be a little bit pregnant or a little bit unethical.

Read the Sept. 4, 2009 article on The Hill website.

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