Wu-hoo! Welcome to another freaky ethics fiasco brought to you by the D.C. den of dysfunctional Democrats. This one comes clothed in a Tigger costume, wrapped in blinders and bathed in the fetid Beltway odor of eau de Pass le Buck.
Liberal David Wu is a seven-term Democratic congressman from Oregon who announced Tuesday that he'll resign amid a festering sex scandal involving the teenage daughter of a longtime campaign donor. He won't, however, be vacating public office until "the resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis." Translation: Call off the U-Haul trucks. Wu's staying awhile.
Wu's sexually aggressive, alcohol-addled and erratic outbursts stretch over decades. He admitted in 2004 that he engaged in "inexcusable behavior" as a 1970s undergrad at Stanford University. School officials disciplined Wu after his ex-girlfriend told campus police he attempted to rape her and stifle her screams with a pillow after they broke up. Last fall, Wu's senior campaign staff quit en masse after confronting him about his ongoing drinking problem, watching him throw hissy fits at the Portland International Airport and at a local Democratic Party event, and receiving the now-infamous e-mail photo of him smiling in a Tigger costume.
Wu's staff received another photo of him seemingly passed out on a bed in the same costume in the wee hours of the morning, along with incoherent e-mails from his official government BlackBerry signed in the names of his tween-age children. The staffers so feared what Wu might do next that they kept him hidden from public view in the final days of the campaign. Gotta love that new era of transparency. In February, Wu's advisers publicly demanded he get treatment.
House Democrats -- whose fundraising arm poured more than $80,000 into Wu's re-election coffers last cycle -- remained silent and took no action. Not until this weekend's revelations about Wu's alleged teenage victim were published by The Oregonian newspaper did Nancy "Drain the Swamp" Pelosi call for an investigation by the House ethics committee. Note: The victim called Capitol Hill in May to complain, months after Wu's own staff demanded he get help and several left-leaning newspapers published editorials calling for his resignation.
On Tuesday afternoon, White House spokesman Jay Carney claimed ignorance of Wu's decision to (eventually) resign when convenient. He then downplayed the scandal as a sad personal tragedy about one "troubled individual," rather than a systemic ethics morass.
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