Friday, September 14, 2007

To resign or not to resign

We've got quite a brouhaha going on here in Tennessee with the Representative Rob Briley drunk driving arrest thing. I mentioned it in a previous post about dropping the Nazi card, which he did after being arrested by serenading the arresting officers with the song "Springtime for Hitler and Germany" in the squad car. I've not made a big deal of it yet because it's mainly a local issue, but there seem to be some national questions emerging.

To recap briefly, this man, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in Nashville, was arrested over the weekend after he smashed into a pickup truck then fled the scene, being chased at speeds up to 100 mph (just like on a TV), finally getting pulled over:
In the video he can be heard cursing at the officer driving him to the station. "Do you have a high school degree, a GED?" he asked the officer driving the car.

Briley later called the officer a Nazi and a brownshirt, then sang the first line of Springtime For Hitler from the Mel Brooks movie and musical The Producers.
So, what's the national political question? Senator Larry Craig was pressured to resign his position for a misdemeanor guilty plea and numerous others have resigned after coming afoul of the law or even a suggestion of such. So far the Tennessee Democratic Party has only suggested that Briley resign his chairmanship (he did, but didn't want to) but not his position in the House, something the Dems are bristling about. Is that fair? Do the voters have a soft bigotry of low expectations when it comes to wrong-doing Democrats?

There seems to be a huge disconnect and double standard in America on this issue. Conventional wisdom seems to be that the Democrats don't run on family values or law and order issues, therefore they are immune from the hypocrisy problem, perhaps true, but does that give them a "get out of jail free card" as well? Bad behavior is bad behavior. I think Mr. Briley should do the honorable thing and resign from the House, as should any Representative under the circumstances.

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