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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Gop- Corruption Institutionalized

I know this is so last week but it bears repeating. Like what Tom Paine said here, The Bipartisan Excuse
The kind of corruption one sees within the Republican power structure, in contrast, has been institutionalized.Entire organizations have been established for no purpose other than serving as conduits for the circular flow of money and influence. Through the "K Street Project," detailed two years ago by Nicholas Confessore in the Washington Monthly, Republicans in Congress tell lobbying firms whom they can and cannot hire, and strong-arm them into becoming little more than an arm of the Republican Party. "The corporate lobbyists who once ran the show, loyal only to the parochial interests of their employer, are being replaced by party activists who are loyal first and foremost to the GOP," Confessore wrote.

Democrats have taken to describing Republican rule as a "culture of corruption." But in truth it is less a culture of corruption than an infrastructure of corruption. Corruption has been systematized. A few Democrats in years past may have become corrupt, but today's Republicans made a conscious decision almost from the moment they took power to trade access and legislative favors for campaign contributions and political support to a degree never seen before, and created a smoothly humming machine to keep the system going.

Contrary to what many people may think, you can't buy a congressman's vote on abortion or gun control. But you might be able to get him to slip in a narrowly tailored provision into a tax bill that will benefit your company. It will be buried with a few hundred other such provisions, and no reporter will ever write a story about it. Your investment of a few thousand dollars—or a few hundred thousand—can return to you a hundred or a thousand fold. Tom DeLay didn't come to Congress burning with a desire to make sure Mariana Islands sweatshops (some using virtual slave labor) could label their clothes "Made in the USA." But after a trip organized by Jack Abramoff (with some time fit in for golf and snorkeling), he was only too happy to help. (Abramoff's efforts on behalf of the Marianas are ensnaring more than one Republican lawmaker; a Montana paper reported over the weekend that Sen. Conrad Burns suddenly began opposing a bill heightening oversight of the Marianas after an official of one of the island's garment manufacturers made a $5,000 contribution to Burns' PAC.)(all emphasis mine)

Doesn't this seem like petty cash to you? The rewards are huge. But if you want to take over the world, it seems like it doesn't take a whole lot of money, not where this congress is involved...