The defenestration of political ethics

Earlier this week syndicated columnist Roland Martin explained how a federal judge in Nevada ruled against the state's teachers union when it attempted to subvert the opportunity for members of the Culinary Workers Union to attend caucuses on the Las Vegas Strip. The venues had previously been set up by the DNC itself in may of last year. But with a few days to go before Nevada's primary, the teachers' suit cried about the cooks having an unfair advantage.

Does it matter that the leaders of the teachers union were supporters of Clinton and seemingly had no problem with the caucus process until immediately following the cooks' endorsement of Barack Obama? Does it matter that the cooks (60,000) outnumber the teachers (28,000) by more than double their union size?

The Clintons could have easily declared the move by the Nevada teachers to be undemocratic and distanced themselves from it. In the end, it took a judge to tell the teachers to go do their homework. But the truth is more likely that the Clintons were part and parcel of the orchestrated attempt to undermine the group supporting Obama. After all, political strategists, lawyers and unions do not operate in a vacuum absent a political leader they support. And certainly if such political leader wasn't open to certain political tactics they would not be used.

Unfortunately, two-faced politicians pay no political price for their lies. Even in the case where the Clintons supported a strategic move by a less-powerful lobby to subvert the advantages of a more powerful lobby that sided with Obama, the Clintons will pay no political price. Indeed, Hillary won the day in Nevada. She will continue to win in subsequent arenas as well.

Despite the fact that Martin nailed this political aberration on the head and opened the door for all to see the naked truth of the Clinton machine and its dirty tricks, nothing will be done. No one will pay attention. And most important of all, no one will care.

So where is the outrage? Where is the political cost to engaging in such underhanded tactics while pretending to be above the fray? The answer is simple. If there is enough of a plausible deniability and distance between the group initiating the offending act and the candidate smiling and shaking hands several states away, then the cost of making the effort is free. And how could a candidate like Hillary resist a free opportunity to derail one of the biggest advantages Obama received heading into Nevada? Why resist an opportunity to attempt suppressing a huge support base for your political opponent if you're battling for the Oval Office, arguably the most powerful seat in the world?

Well, there's um, you know the E word.


Then there's the D word.


And oh, there's still that pesky M word.


None of those words proved to have any meaning to the Clintons and supporters of Hillary's campaign. It is fitting that such absence of integrity would be revealed in Sin City.

Unfortunately, the unveiling of the continued flaws of the Clintons also revealed the ongoing ignorance and apathy of the general public. We may say we value democracy. And we may say we value truth, integrity and honesty in our leaders. But at the end of the day, it is lies, distortions of truth, propaganda, and unethical political strategies that reign supreme. And the candidates who successfully use such tactics do so at the enterprising price of zero.

Of course, the candidates pay no price because we pay it. The cost of freedom is paid for by vigilance and active participation in the voting process. Leaders serve at the pleasure of the people &

unless the people are too lazy, ignorant or apathetic to remain concerned about how our leaders take advantage of their positions, wealth and other resources to turn the system in which we trust askew. If a political price were to be paid by our leaders, such strategies and tactics would be less common. And those who indulged in them would not do so without careful consideration of the consequences if they were discovered to be involved in such a political scandal.

Unfortunately, nothing short of conclusive evidence, as though brought by the Supreme Court itself, will rise to a level of public outrage that exacts a penalty upon a leader for attempting to defraud the voters and diminish their power in the process.

Thus, the only guardian of the voting system in which we believe &

and the power of the people to determine the course of this nation through fair, honest and open elections &

is trust in the character of those involved in orchestrating election campaigns and the venues that host them. And it has become painfully clear that the gate has been flung wide open to corruption while the guardian is asleep, if indeed a guardian exists at all.

is an author, columnist and the Content Editor of the Ashland Daily Tidings. He can be reached at .

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