Representative Jefferson (D-La) is a world of trouble. The Democratic Caucus has voted to remove Representative Jefferson from the Ways and Means committee.House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has called for Jefferson to step aside for several weeks now. He has refused. There have been intensive behind-the-scenes negotiations but Jefferson seems determined to stay.
The wrench in the works has been the posture of the Congressional Black Caucus. For the most part, they have supported Representative Jefferson. They've stated that he is being singled out and being given unfair treatment.
While the Congressional Black Caucus may have a point, as they say in show business, timing is everything. If the Democrats want to ever be a relevant force in national politics they must take a stand on ethics. The Republicans have refused to take any type of stand on ethics. The Democrats must show that they are different and that they are sincere.
Congressman Jefferson may be innocent. The allegations seem to be damning. In this political atmosphere, any nationally elected Democratic leader who is under a federal indictment, simply must step down. If the person in his Black, White, Brown or polka dotted -- that person must step down until after he or she is completely exonerated of any wrongdoing.
The Congressional Black Caucus is fighting the right battle but unfortunately this is the wrong time. they need to quietly stepped back and let this opera play out. Of course, Black constituents will be asking representatives of the Congressional Black Caucus, did you do everything that you could? In my opinion, the right thing, the ethical thing, is to ask Congressman Jefferson to step aside.