Representative Vito J. Fossella has been extremely popular here in New York City (as a congressman, he represented all of Staten Island and a portion of Brooklyn). While he has been highly valued by his constituents, his behavior teamed with an undeniable failure to accept responsibility for his actions are just two examples of how morally defunct many Republican leaders have allowed themselves to become. According to The New York Times:
Mr. Fossella's political career was imperiled after he was arrested on May 1, 2008, in Alexandria, Va., and charged with driving while intoxicated. He immediately apologized to his constituents "for embarrassing them, as well as myself." On May 8, 2008, Mr. Fossella acknowledged that he had had an extramarital affair with Laura Fay, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, and that the two of them had a 3-year-old daughter together.
And now, after being sentenced to five days in prison, Fossella is "...exercis[ing] his right to a second trial in a state appeals court..." His right? While he surely has the legal standing to make such a claim, honoring his sentence seems like the most applicable, appropriate and commensurate course of action. He apologized back in 2008 and admitted his fault, but now that it's time to pay his debt to society, he appears to be backing away from the penalty he deserves.
Sadly, this failure to accept responsibility is exactly what leads Americans to vote for the opposing party. Democrats are gaining false confidence with sweeping victories, while in actuality the American electorate is voting against the corruption that has permeated the Republican party and not for the liberal inclinations new found Democratic gains provide.
In Fossella's case, New Yorkers followed suite and elected a Democrat -- something that rarely happens in Fossella's district. According to The New York Times:
And, for the first time in nearly 30 years, the Congressional seat was won by a Democrat, City Councilman Michael E. McMahon.
It's time for GOP leaders to get back on track. By allowing Washington to change our party we are subsequently letting the left win. Fossella should serve his minimal sentence, then focus on rebuilding his reputation and -- if possible -- his political standing.
This piece was written for Billy Hallowell’s Red County blog located at http://www.redcounty.com/nyc