When Tom DeLay (R-TX) stated that he would file an ethics complaint against Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) I thought that this was probably one of the more absurd moments in the history of this recent Congress. But now Roll Call reports on something that is even more absurd:
In the irony-on-steroids category, guess who was defending his graduate thesis on Congressional ethics Monday? Cover your eyes and guess, then sit down for the answer.
It was Michael Scanlon. Yes, that Michael Scanlon, the one who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. His topic, as Scanlon himself confirmed, was an “evaluative history of the House ethics process.” … Our source says Scanlon got up and gave a roughly one-sentence introduction of his thesis before taking questions from the four faculty members and nine other students in the room. He says Scanlon talked about the House ethics committee and argued that the “system now is not broken, but functioning in the same manner it has since its creation.”
Scanlon essentially argued that the House ethics process is “political in nature” and that Members were never expected to do a very good job at policing each other, the source says.
Scanlon, when asked why he was getting his master’s at such a “precarious” time in his life, responded that he finished his master’s six years ago but didn’t get around to arguing his thesis until now. Hmmm…six years ago. What happened to Michael Scanlon almost exactly six years ago? Oh yeah, Scanlon left Tom DeLay’s office in April 2000 to work for Jack Abramoff. Bad idea.