Was Republican corruption the tipping point?

The highly competitive post election spin battle over which constituency or issue was truly the tipping point for the smashing Democratic victory on November 7th continues unabated. Pundits and experts offer their analysis and theories, while exit polls are wrung out for their secret truths.

The issues most credited for the Republican demise are (a.) unhappiness with the results of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and (b.) populist economic messages, particularly concern for the impact of international trade policies. These two issues are considered the paradigm shifters for many voters. But I want to make a case for the underdog in this race for issue supremacy: Republican corruption.

Let's go back and take a look at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) report on the Twenty Most Corrupt Members of Congress, released in September of 2006. Entitled "Beyond DeLay: The 20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress (and five to watch)," the report documents the "egregious, unethical and possibly illegal activities of the most tainted members of the 109th Congress..." with transgressions "analyzed in light of federal laws and congressional rules."

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