By Robert N. Roberts, Marion T. Doss Jr.
The two decades since the Watergate scandal have seen an unprecedented focus on ethics in government. The public integrity scandals of the Clinton administration have, once again, focused national attention on ethics in Washington. This work addresses this very topical subject and the authors come to some unusual conclusions. Tracing the origins of the modern public integrity war back to the very birth of the nation, the authors explain how conservatives and progressives have used allegations of unethical conduct in an effort to persuade the American public to accept their respective visions for American society. A cynical public, anesthetized to the distinction between actual wrongdoing and partisan attack, follows ideology and self-interest rather than character, allowing politicians to get away with even the most egregious conduct.