Monday, January 23, 2006

on abramoff and congress and corruption

I came across a recent statement from a person knowledgeable about the Washington political scene. A few excerpts:

"The Abramoff scandal has been described as the biggest Washington scandal ever: bigger than Watergate; bigger than Abscam; bigger than Koreagate; bigger than the House banking scandal; bigger than Teapot Dome. Possibly so. It’s certainly serious and significant."

"Believe me, if everybody benefited equally there would be scant outcry over a little bribery and influence peddling. As our country grows poorer and more indebted, fewer people benefit. The beneficiaries are not the hard working, honest people who pay the taxes. The groups that master the system of lobbying and special interest legislation are the ones who truly benefit."

"Finally, why not try something novel, like having Congress act as an independent and equal branch of government? Restore the principle of the separation of powers, so that we can perform our duty to provide checks and balances on an executive branch (and an accommodating judiciary) that spies on Americans, glorifies the welfare state, fights undeclared wars, and enormously increases the national debt. Congress was not meant to be a rubber stamp. It’s time for a new direction."

Some complaining Democrat, mad about the Bush ascendancy and still not over the election? Not quite. The statement is from Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul, and he isn't happy. I can't agree with everything he writes here -- he's too libertarian for my tastes. But I admire his willingness to speak about abuses by members of his parties instead of marching in lockstep with the de facto Bush Administration and the DeLay/Hastert regime. That last paragraph in particular -- pretty damn straight talking.