The Democrats have voted to strip alleged bribe taker Rep. William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson of his seat on the House Ways and Means Committee:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — With members of the Congressional Black Caucus crying double standard, House Democrats met behind closed doors Thursday and voted to strip Rep. William Jefferson of his seat on the Ways and Means Committee.

Jefferson, 59, an eight-term Louisiana congressman facing a corruption investigation, attended Thursday’s caucus meeting, where he addressed his colleagues, briefly spoke to reporters and left.

To her credit, Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi had tried to get Jefferson to step down on his own while the investigation proceeds, but he was having none of that. And now the Congressional Black Caucus is having none of his ouster:

Asked if he thought race was a factor in Pelosi’s decision, Jefferson replied before the vote, “It’s not happened before. The first time it’s happening, it’s happening to an African-American.”

The assertion that race is a factor has already been floated by members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Watt, who question why Rep. Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, a white Democrat who also is under investigation, was allowed to keep his seat on the equally powerful Appropriations Committee.

That is a good question. Nancy, got an answer?

Didn’t think so. She’s too busy trying to pin something on the White House.

The move was led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, who already had asked Jefferson to step down voluntarily, a request her embattled counterpart rebuffed.

“This isn’t about proof in a court of law. This is about an ethical standard,” Pelosi said in a brief statement after the vote. “I wish that the White House would take our lead on this.”

And do what, exactly? Rove’s been cleared; Libby is no longer working for the reich.

The Democrats can’t even make a good move with class.