Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Common sense abandoned, part...oh never mind

It appears that the Senate "Ethics" Committee is wanting to take action against Senator Coburn of Oklahoma for the "ethics problem" of delivering babies in a private, for profit hospital. Evidently, it would be OK for the Senator to do exactly the same thing in a government run or free, but if any investor ever makes a nickel from helping mothers deliver their babies safely, even if not due to Coburn's work, that is an ethics problem.

The reality that whether health care is government run or not is also a political issue seems to escape the "geniuses" in the "Ethics" committee, and more hilariously, it appears that all the deliberations of said committee are in secret--as if somehow a committee will be more ethical if they know that nobody's looking. (shouldn't the ethics committee know that they need sunshine more than anyone else?)

The article also mentions that Senators have left the practices of real estate, surgery, and even veterinary medicine to avoid conflicts of interest, which is bizaare to me. Yes, one wants to avoid occasions for bribery, but are we really under the impression that people are going to hire a veterinarian, surgeon, or obstetrician because that person has been a Senator? More or less, "ethics" regulations like this tell those who would enter politics that once they cross the threshold of the Capitol, their entire life will revolve around that building. It's a recipe for corruption.

Which is, IMO, the real reason for the threats to Coburn. It's not about ethics, but rather about payback to a thorn in the side of DC insiders.

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