You know, with a hold on both houses of Congress and a ridiculously popular President in the White House, The Common Man thought Democrats would savor their victory for, oh, say a full month before they went and ruined it. But wouldn't you know, they are a bunch of overachievers. So today, Democrats are getting to deal with, not one, but two Obama nominees dropping out for IRS-related problems and Elizabeth Edwards announcing she's releasing a book that will discuss how she handled all the terrible news she's gotten in her life (like how her husband cheated on her with a campaign worker while she had cancer).
Former Senator Tom Daschle has been battling the news that he mistakenly (or not so mistakenly) did not pay more than $130,000 in income taxes over a three year period since accepting Barack Obama's nomination to head up the Department of Health and Human Services. Not wanting to be a distraction (and clearly not realizing that his glasses were already providing one), Daschle withdrew today. And Nancy Killefer, the nominee to become chief performance officer (whatever the hell that is) also withdrew from consideration for having a $950 lien against her house. This, of course, comes a few weeks after Timothy Geithner, Obama's pick for Treasury Secretary, was grilled by Senators for shorting the IRS of almost $26,000. At this point, it's fair to wonder if any Democrats have paid their taxes.
As a general rule, The Common Man has no problem with being taxed. Despite what crazy libertarian types will tell you, taxes are absolutely necessary to provide valuable services, promote responsible economic and scientific growth (though that hasn't gone so well lately), keep the roads in good shape, defend the populace, and pay for a totally awesome inauguration last month. But he'd appreciate it if those who were levying the taxes against the rest of the population would take care to, you know, pay the taxes they ask everyone else to. Don't any of you people use H&R Block???
At least President Obama has been appropriately contrite about his decision. "I think I screwed up," the President told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "I don't want to send a message to the American people that there are two sets of standards -- one for powerful people and one for ordinary folks who are working every day and paying their taxes." His attitude is a welcome change from the Bush administration, who would stubbornly insist for six months on pushing forward with the nomination as the right thing to do, act insulted when the media put forth honest questions and concerns about the nominee, then four years from now some member of his inner circle would write a book about how wrong the President was.
But at least these are relatively clean scandals. Making an error on your taxes is stupid, and not good for someone who needs to be embroiled in and aware of all the details of a massive bureaucracy, but it's not like prominent Democrats were rolling around in the hay with campaign workers again. Which is why today's news that Elizabeth Edwards is going to release her book, Resilience, next May, reminding everyone of just how big a scumbag her husband has been, is particularly disappointing. See, The Common Man, having properly castigated the former Senator and Vice-Presidential nominee back in August, was all set to let Edwards ride off into the sunset andnever bother anyone other than his wife ever again. And now, today of all days, Elizabeth has pulled him back into the public spotlight, a dirty reminder of Democratic sins past.
Then again, The Common Man supposes that eight years of scandals with Democrats in power beats eight uneventful years with more of increasingly shrill and marginalized Republican Party.