Better late than never

A couple of weeks ago, U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson said he wasn’t going to judge his criminally troubled chief of staff until the latter had his latest day in court.

Last week, he fired I. Lanier Avant.

Nothing overtly changed in those few weeks, other than perhaps the Democratic congressman finally realized it didn’t look so good for him to stand up for a lawbreaker, particularly one who repeatedly failed to pay the taxes that go toward funding all the social programs Thompson supports.

Thompson should have fired Avant a year ago, after the aide’s initial conviction on the tax charges. The latest charges of lying on security clearance forms are just an outgrowth of the other offense.