I wonder if anyone recalls the original campaign promises of our current administration. Back when George Bush would raise his right hand as if taking a solemn vow and announce he would restore “honor and integrity” to the White House if elected. Sometimes he would alter the phrase ever so slightly, making it “dignity and honor” and other variations of the same three words.
With today’s Internet, we can easily check on some of the original statements. How about Vice President Dick Cheney, August 2, 2000, offering:
On the first hour of the first day, he will restore decency and integrity to the Oval Office. They will offer more lectures and legalisms and carefully worded denials. We offer another way, a better way, and a stiff dose of truth.
Those were followed by the words of President Bush himself dated September 23, 2000.
Just because our White House has let us down in the past, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen in the future. In a campaign that’s going to restore honor and dignity to the White House...
Lack of Ethics 101
By the time 2005 rolled around, those words were a distant memory. At that time, the indictment of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice charges had seriously tarnished the view point that Bush might bring a higher level of ethics to the Oval Office. One poll taken at that time indicated that by a 3 to 1 ratio, Americans felt that honesty and integrity had declined under the Bush administration and the president's 34% rating for ensuring high ethics in government was actually lower than that of Bill Clinton when he left office.
Fast forward to the year 2007 and the vast array of ethical issues that dominated the headlines. There was Bush nominee Paul Wolfowitz as World Bank President, resigning under the pressure for his ethical lapses including authorizing a $50,000 raise for his girlfriend. Then there was the high profile situation of another Bush appointee, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Whether it be the justices relieved of their duties for supposed incompetence or the push at the hospital bed of former attorney general John Ashcroft to sign off on illegal wiretapping, Mr. Gonzales’ oversight of the Justice department was fraught with a frightening lack of integrity.