"In my heart, I don't think he's committed any crime," Jon Fleischman, publisher of the influential conservative Website www.flashreport.org told me. Still, Fleischman added, "No one has ownership rights to a seat in Congress.
There's a responsibility to your party to acknowledge that objective data show you cannot win'' -- under less of an ethical cloud, Doolittle barely squeaked to victory in 2006 with 49 percent of the vote -- "and to step aside." People who know Doolittle well don't want to hurt him by saying publicly that he should bow out, although some party biggies have made it clear they want Doolittle to just go away.
As one who knows Doolittle less well, all I see is the rot that has corroded the Republican Party. This is the party that lost votes in 2006 because the leadership was too free spending other people's money. The conservative Club for Growth recently issued a RePork Card to grade members' voting record on 50 bills designed to fight wasteful pork-barrel spending, known as earmarks. A "perfect 100 percent" went to 16 members, all Republicans, who voted against all 50 pork bills. Doolittle scored 2 percent.
He voted against only one earmark. So when John Doolittle calls critics "weasels," I guess he figures that voters have a duty to pay for his pork -- and like it.