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When former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., rendered himself ineffectual with warm comments about Sen. Strom Thurmond’s 1948 presidential campaign, some of us were quick to call for him to step down.

He did.

Yet, more recently, when three members of Congress on the other side of the aisle made comments that were stupid, deeply offensive and anti-American, they were given a pass.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., in December offered what sounded to many of us like praise of Osama bin Laden. She rationalized his attacks on America and excused those who support him throughout the world. There were a few stories in the national press, following WorldNetDaily’s elevation of the local story, and then the controversy died.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, last week did Murray one better. She compared bin Laden to America’s founders: “One could say that Osama bin Laden and these non-nation-state fighters with religious purpose are very similar to those kind of atypical revolutionaries that helped to cast off the British crown.” Once again, WorldNetDaily elevated the local story to a national one for a few days. Then the story died.

Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., was next up to bat. He blamed the impending war in Iraq on American Jews: “If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this. The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should.”

In each of these cases, the offenses were far more egregious than Lott’s. Lott was quick to apologize unequivocally for his ill-advised remarks – not once, not twice, but over and over in multiple venues. He didn’t make excuses for what he said. He just admitted they were wrong. He said he was sorry.

Yet he was condemned fairly universally – by Democrats, Republicans and independents alike. The story had long legs. No one in the press would let it go.

Contrast that reaction to the coverage and response to the remarks by the three stooges of the Democratic Party – Murray, Kaptur and Moran. With a few exceptions, they have been one-day stories. They’ve been let off the hook. It’s back to business as usual. All three are still serving in Congress. All three have escaped censure. All three still have access to national security secrets. All three are still collecting paychecks from American taxpayers. All three are free to insult us, give more aid and comfort to the enemy, to trash America, to make more offensive comments.

What’s wrong with this picture?

I, for one, am not going to let these miscreants off the hook. I’m going to do everything in my power to keep this issue before the public. Why?

Because it’s a disgrace that men and women like this should be permitted to serve in the Congress of the United States. There must be a price to pay for such stupidity, such offensiveness, such insensitivity by public officials.

We no longer seem to have even minimal standards for members of Congress – at least those who are members of the Democratic Party.

But I don’t blame the Democrats. I blame the Republicans. It was the Democrats who forced the issue with Lott. Frankly, I think they did the nation a service by doing so. But where are the Republican members of Congress now? Why haven’t they made an issue of the three stooges? Where is the majority? Why isn’t it exercising its power? Why is the GOP so timid? Why doesn’t it lead a fight against such abuses?

It’s time for the Congress to clean house. As the nation embarks on a perilous military campaign, it’s time to uphold some standards, to regain some decorum, to rein in the mad dogs within their midst. At the very least Murray, Kaptur and Moran should be censured. More appropriately, they should be ceremoniously unseated as members of Congress.

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