This brings me to the latest revelation in the scandal surrounding Tom Daschle.
Daschle reportedly waited nearly a month after being nominated to be secretary of health and human services before informing President Obama that he had not paid years of back taxes.
The Washington Post reported Sunday that Daschle paid $140,000 in back taxes and interest to the U.S. Treasury on Jan. 2, and about two days later informed the White House and the Senate Finance Committee, the White House confirmed to the Post.
In other words, Daschle held all of this information back until after being nominated. This is unthinkable and clearly shows that Daschle cares more about his own ambitions than he does about the success of the Presidency.
That's why it should be not only stunning but troubling that President Obama continues to support Daschle. Often it is in the best interest of the President to cut loose those that deserve loyalty. President Bush would have done his Presidency much good by cutting Donald Rumsfeld loose long before 2006. Here Daschle has shown he deserves no loyalty at all. Instead of expressing outrage and immediatley dropping Daschle, President Obama had dug his heals in.
As such, between the nomination of Tim Geittner and Daschle, the Obama Presidency is sending the message that tax impropriety is perfectly acceptable. That isn't new or hopeful but corrupt. This is the worst of politics. It means the powerful can get away with whatever they want and face absolutely no consequences. Both Daschle and Geittner are now a heartbeat away from the most powerful person in the world, even though both committed offenses the rest of us would have faced financial punishments that would have crushed us if we had committed.
Daschle must be removed because not removing him sends a message that the White House accepts corruption, it accepts cheating, and it accepts behavior that would put the rest of us in an untennable position. Such is not the message of a White House that stands for hope, change, and a new kind of politics.