The federalist

Democrats turned a blind eye to Bob Menendez’s corruption until he became irrelevant.

Will Senate Dems turn ⁤on Bob Menendez?

That question served as the ‌title ‍of Tuesday morning’s edition of Politico‌ Playbook. The question⁤ mark wasn’t long for this world: the headline for Playbook’s afternoon newsletter⁤ simply ⁢stated, “The Senate Dam⁢ Breaks For Menendez.”

In the less than eight hours between⁤ the two updates, embattled Sen. Bob Menendez’s enemy list had grown substantially. His New Jersey colleague, Sen. Cory Booker, had⁤ joined 13 other Senate Democrats to call for his‌ resignation. Other Senate Democrats followed shortly after.

A truth about ⁤Washington politics

A truth about Washington⁣ politics is Republicans are⁢ quick ​to turn on their own (a reporter need merely hand Sen. Mitt Romney a​ microphone, for‌ example, to hear him condemn a fellow Republican). Democrats, on the other hand, typically⁣ exercise greater party discipline. The same holds true today, even with Booker‍ joining his colleagues ‍in twisting⁤ the knife on their ailing⁤ colleague.

“NJ’s Golden Boy Sets The Bar​ Higher,” Politico ⁣blared, because we’re all to believe Golden Boy was shocked to hear‌ the allegations against the senior senator.‌ This is impossible to square with Menendez’s ‍well-earned reputation, however; even ​in the public eye, allegations of corruption ⁣and whoring have hung low over the senator for more than a decade.

The Daily Caller broke a story in ⁣2012 claiming Menendez was both corrupt and using prostitutes.‌ While federal prosecutors eventually found “corroborating evidence” for ⁤the prostitution claims, ⁣they didn’t pursue ‍them further, ⁤and in 2015 instead decided to charge the⁤ Garden State’s senior senator with ⁢corruption. Two ‌years later the​ jury deadlocked,⁢ the ⁤judge declared a mistrial, and Menendez‍ was acquitted, getting off with a harsh rebuke from the Senate Ethics Committee.

Golden Boy wasn’t so quick to admonish his powerful friend back then, though, choosing instead to donate ⁤$40,000 to The Robert Menendez⁢ Legal Expense Trust. See, six years ago Menendez was still useful to Booker and his friends.

Hours after the mistrial,‌ The New‌ York Times reported, “every major Democrat ‍power broker in the state quickly endorsed Mr. Menendez for re-election in 2018.” “This is‍ the man ⁢that we need in this fight,” Booker ⁤declared at Menendez’s ​re-election rally. Hillary Clinton helped him raise money. Democrats returned him to powerful Senate ​posts. Those posts, Mother Jones reports, “gave Menendez the power that the Justice Department now alleges he ​used corruptly.”

“The allegations ‌are hard‌ to reconcile with the person ​I⁣ know,” Booker lamented Tuesday morning.⁤ But casual observation ​showed the world‌ what kind⁣ of man Menendez really was.

Those Democrats who ‍worked ‌closely with him? ‍They knew the truth better than most, and they gave him the power to continue. ‍Now, a short ⁢year before his next re-election campaign (and with Republicans nearly winning the governorship in ‘22), the tune has changed.

At the climax ‌of “The Departed,” ⁣Jack Nicolson’s character​ denies he’s ‌meaningfully betrayed any of his colleagues.

“I ⁢never gave anybody up,” he protests, “who ⁣wasn’t going down‌ anyways,”

“I believe,”‍ Booker ​wrote,⁣ “stepping down is best for those Senator Menendez has spent his life serving.”


How does‌ Senator Booker’s call for Menendez’s resignation reflect the changing dynamics of Washington​ politics and the Democratic party’s commitment to integrity and accountability

Y ​Caller did a deep​ dive on the Menendez scandal as⁢ far back as 2013, and ⁢even at ⁤that point, it was clear that there was something unsavory about the Senator’s conduct. Yet, despite the mounting⁤ evidence and public perception, Senate Democrats stood by Menendez, defending‍ him and‍ dismissing the allegations ⁤as baseless attacks from political opponents.

But now, the‌ tide seems to ⁤be turning. The recent trial and subsequent mistrial on corruption ⁢charges against⁤ Menendez​ have painted a bleak picture of his ethical standards. The jury deadlocked ⁢on ⁣whether Menendez accepted bribes in ​exchange for political favors, but the damage had already been done. The trial exposed Menendez’s questionable relationship with a wealthy eye doctor, Salomon Melgen, ‌who provided him with luxurious vacations ⁤and substantial campaign contributions.

It​ is worth noting that some Senate Democrats, ⁢like Booker, are not calling for Menendez’s resignation ‌solely based⁢ on the corruption charges. There is also the issue of trust and integrity. As elected⁣ representatives, ⁣Senators have a duty ‌to uphold ​the highest ethical standards and to act as stewards of the ‍public⁣ trust. The allegations and ​subsequent⁢ trial have ​shaken that trust, and ​it is no longer tenable for Democrats to ‌continue to support Menendez in the face‍ of such overwhelming evidence.

But while some Senate Democrats are speaking out, others have remained conspicuously silent. This raises questions about their motivations and whether they are willing to prioritize party loyalty over standing up for what is ​right. ⁣Menendez’s trial⁣ may have exposed the fault lines within ​the Democratic party, ⁢as some members grapple with ⁣the‌ decision between protecting their colleague and maintaining the moral​ high ground.

It is undoubtedly a difficult position for Senate Democrats to be ‌in. On one hand, they risk alienating their base by continuing ⁤to support a senator with such⁢ serious ethical questions hanging over his ⁤head. On‍ the ‍other hand,⁣ they risk creating a precedent ⁢where any senator can be easily ousted by mere allegations⁢ and accusations.

The changing ​dynamics

While Democrats have‍ traditionally exercised greater⁢ party discipline, there is a growing​ recognition that times ⁢are changing. In the⁣ era of #MeToo and increased scrutiny on powerful individuals, politicians⁤ can ⁤no longer rely on party loyalty to‌ shield⁢ them ⁣from the consequences of their‍ actions. The public and the media demand accountability, and voters will not ⁤easily forget or forgive those who turn a blind eye to corruption and misconduct.

This new dynamic is ‍perhaps most​ evident in the actions of‍ Senator ‌Booker. As a potential presidential candidate, Booker could ill afford to ⁢be associated with an embattled colleague. By calling for⁤ Menendez’s resignation, Booker is distancing himself from the ‌tarnished ⁢image of the senior senator and positioning himself as⁤ a champion of integrity and accountability.

As‌ the situation evolves, it will be⁣ interesting to see whether⁣ other Senate Democrats follow Booker’s lead or continue to remain silent. The Menendez‌ saga has become a litmus test for the Democratic party, a ‍defining moment that will reveal whether they are truly committed to cleaning ⁣up politics and holding their own accountable.

In conclusion, the question of whether Senate⁣ Democrats will turn on Bob Menendez has ⁢been answered resoundingly by the growing chorus of calls for ⁤his resignation.⁤ The changing dynamics of Washington politics, combined with the gravity of the corruption charges against Menendez, have forced ‌Democrats to confront their⁢ own party and make a difficult decision. The days⁣ of unquestioning party loyalty may be coming to an end, as politicians are increasingly held to account ‍for their actions. The future ⁣of Menendez⁢ and the Democratic party hangs in the balance.



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