Sunday, January 01, 2006

Let's Make a Deal

It's been on CNN's site for a couple of days now that Jack Abramoff is close to a plea deal on charges of conspiracy and fraud. It is said that he facilitated the purchase of more than a few of our saintly legislators on behalf of various gambling interests. And apparently, at least one Indian tribe found out that some senators can be bought, but don't necessarily stay bought. Slippery devils, they are. And -- surprise, surprise! -- most of them seem to be affiliated with God's Own Party: the GOP. You know, the party that restored morality and integrity to the White House. The party of the great new permanent majority status in both houses of Congress.

Democrat partisans may be inclined to think that a really big GOP corruption scandal will deliver Congressional majorities back to them. They shouldn't be too cheerful quite yet. For one thing, it's a long time from now to November. For another, the great American voting public includes many, many people who are quite fuzzy on the difference between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Of course, I don't want to imply that my countrymen are pinheads ... let's just say that they often don't seem to be paying attention. The chances of their getting it right, and then remembering it until the fall elections, do not seem particularly good.

Meanwhile, I'm glad, in a way, that Abramoff is facing enough legal trouble to motivate him to dime out a bunch of our wonderful legislators -- the more, the better, and I can always cross my fingers that my own miserable clown of a Congresscritter, Mark Souder, might be prominent among them. But, in another way, I tend to think that Abramoff shouldn't be the one who's in trouble. I sort of think that when somebody buys a "public servant," it's the seller, not the buyer, who is guilty of the real offense against the public. Hang 'em all, say I; hang 'em high.


LP Mike Sylvester said...

I truly dislike Mark Souder. I think he is one of the worst Congressmen around.

That being said, I think he is more honest then the average politician.

lemming said...

Isn't there a bit of conventional political wisdom that says Americans might view other members of Congress as corrupt, but that their senators and representatives couldn't possibly be guilty of wrong doing?

The Democrats really need to get their acts in gear. Hillary Clinton is smart, but she's a terrible choice for the 2008 nomination. Why are no other Democrats rising to the fore?

Bartleby said...

I believe that both of you are correct. It is an American tradition that MY Congressman is OK, but he's the one shining exception in a den-o-thieves ... and it is also true that Marky Mark is highly contemptible.

Mike, I agree that Souder is probably more honest than the average among his peers. But, my oh my! what a low standard of comparison!

Lemming, I think there are several possible explanations for the Democrats' failure to present anything like a real opposition. One is that the Democrats are not institutionally antiwar; between that, and Bush's willingness to buy their assent to the war with lavish domestic spending, it's not clear that they have any real disagreement with him. Another one carries a little of the flavor of tinfoil headgear, but may be worth mentioning: maybe the Bushies have done a lot more domestic spying than we've heard of ... and maybe they've got the goods on a lot of prominent Dems. That could explain the strange flaccidity of the Donkey opposition.

I tend to buy into the first explanation. Most Demos, including Mrs. Clinton, are members of the War Party first and foremost. Hillary's complaint about Bush hasn't been "too much war," but "not enough" instead; the same was true of Kerry, and Dean for that matter. The occasional exception (Kucinich comes to mind) is marginalized within the Democrat Party (just as anyone who has a real commitment to limited and constitutional government is marginalized within the Republican Party). But when a Bush and a Kerry oppose each other, I don't think the Empire really cares much; it wins either way.