- The Washington Times - Friday, February 16, 2007

Nobles: The White House, for refusing to buy into more stalling tactics from the Palestinian government.

The Bush administration could use some good news right now on the foreign policy front, so it was particularly reassuring that it didn’t take the low-hanging fruit offered by the Palestinians this week.

In a much hyped agreement reached last week, the two rival Palestinian parties of Hamas and Fatah formed a new coalition cabinet, which they both hope would end the factional fighting and perhaps lead to the lifting of international sanctions. On the latter, not so, said Bush administration officials. Not until the Palestinian government meets a number of conditions, including the recognition of Israel. Until then, the United States will boycott all ministers in the new coalition cabinet.

This is good news because all too often U.S. administrations are eager to accept anything resembling progress. The White House said no at a time when it very easily could have said yes.

For sticking to principle, the Bush administration is the Noble of the week.

Knaves: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for giving up on her campaign rhetoric to “clean up” Congress.

Moving beyond the knavish behavior of Democrats regarding the Iraq war, Mrs. Pelosi has decided to give Rep. William Jefferson a seat on the Homeland Security Committee. Mr. Jefferson, you might recall, was caught by the FBI last year with $90,000 stashed conveniently in his freezer. That was apparently enough of an embarrassment for Mrs. Pelosi to kick Mr. Jefferson off the powerful Ways and Means Committee. But, you see, that was before the Democrats took control of Congress. Principles change once you’re in power.

And so it seems with Mrs. Pelosi’ principled stand last year to “clean up” Congress. Voters can be forgiven for assuming she meant that all members under investigation and/or indicted would be excluded from powerful committee assignments pending the outcome of an investigation. While Mr. Jefferson has yet to be indicted, a former aide and a businessman, who alleged that he bribed Mr. Jefferson in return for congressional action, have pled guilty.

As The Washington Post reported, it seems that although Mrs. Pelosi has the courage to stand up to the Bush administration, she gets weak in the knees before the Congressional Black Caucus, which has been lobbying hard to return Mr. Jefferson to a committee seat. If only Mrs. Pelosi had the courage to just say her crusade to clean up Congress was a campaign tactic, then maybe the media would just stop reporting all the ways she’s gone back on her pledge.

For rank hypocrisy, Mrs. Pelosi is the Knave of the week.

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