Newt and the Slippery Slope

For years, Newt has presented himself as a moral watchdog over Congress. A collection of his quotes:

“I am amazed and appalled that a member of the House of Representatives Ethics Committee would be engaged in activities that if not illegal, are so clearly on the borderline of conflict of interest.” (1974)

“The Ethics Committee seems to be serving only its fellow Congressmen. They are keeping the investigation quiet and the public in the dark. [They have] a duty to lay the facts before us and prove the guilt or innocence of these men.” (1976)

“My wife Jackie, and I… both teach at our church’s Sunday school. These years have taught us the importance of setting an example that would help our young people believe in some old virtues like honesty, sincerity, and integrity.” (1976)

“I’m not saying we should all be saints, but people should expect their representatives to obey the laws they are passing.” (1979)

“The rules normally applied by the Ethics Committee to an investigation of a typical member are insufficient in an investigation of the Speaker of the House, a position which is third in the line of succession to the Presidency, and the second most powerful elected position in America.” (1988)

“It is vital that the Ethics Committee hire outside counsel and pursue these questions thoroughly. The trust of the public and the integrity of the House will accept no lower standard.” (1988)

“We must reestablish as the first principle of self-government that politics must be an inherently moral business. The first duty of our generation is to reestablish integrity and a bond of honesty in the political process.” (1990)

And since he himself has been under scrutiny?

“My defeated opponent, various embittered Democrats, various folks who idealogically disagree with me have each come up with spurious charges.” (1995)

“I am so sick of the way the game is played by the news media and the way the game is played by the Democrats in this city that it is, frankly, all I can do to stand in there….Frankly, it hurts….they are misusing the ethics system in a deliberate, vicious vindictive way and I think it is despicable, and I have just about had it. “(1995)