I would appear that the Republican Party is falling apart at the seams. It was predictable and predicted that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would soon be unemployed and he was, of course, preceded by Karl Rove and a host of others. Now we have Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho joining the ranks of former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla. and Sen. David Vitter, R-La. And lets not forget about the tried and true, the gold old-fashioned corruption driven by greed and power. Some of these guys actually get to go to jail: Super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, potentially John Doolittle and others.
Wait a minute. That’s right. Scooter doesn’t have to go to jail - felonies don’t apply to the Vice Presidential staff, apparently.
Yes, there have been incidents of impropriety on the Democrat's side of the aisle in the recent past as well. Rep. William Jefferson, D-La. comes quickly to mind. But the Republican Party just can’t seem to keep its collective nose clean. Some call it a “culture of corruption.” Perhaps, but this is nothing new and certainly not unique to the Republican Party. There might be a bit of residual arrogance involved - having only just recently lost control of both houses of congress. Maybe the idea of losing that power never crossed their minds - and that previously protected behavior (someone had to know about Foley, c’mon!) is no longer squelched behind an impenetrable party curtain.
Maybe, what if, perhaps… it doesn’t really matter. I still believe that most of our elected representatives are there for noble reasons. Sure, it is their career, but many of these professional politicians could find much more lucrative work outside of holding office. Power? I am sure that element exists as well, but one need only ask Abramoff what kind of power is available to the private sector. There is more to it and I certainly believe that the majority of congressmen and women are there to serve - at least to some extent.
And then there are the bad apples. Some are maliciously so and others haven’t a clue (Mr. President). The executive sold us an unjust war (strike that, is selling) and at the same time using it to usurp power from the legislative. In reality there are two camps - each consisting of two teams. Those teams are the same in each camp, but the camps are supposed to be checking each other. In theory, congress is supposed to relate in an adversarial manner with the executive. Partisanship combined with the same party holding power in two of the three branches has allowed this relationship to become a very one-sided affair.
So what is a Republican congressman or woman to do? First, don’t do anything stupid like your terribly misguided colleagues. That should be the easy part. Second, it is time - has been time - to break ranks with the Whitehouse. I mean seriously, and with as much noise as possible. It has become a no-brainer; whatever loyalty you are exhibiting is bind, deaf… and dumb. The war is a disaster and getting worse. The ignorance (and I am being very kind) of this President is embarrassing. Stay the course? To where? The evidence is now and for some time has been overwhelming. Nowhere.
Here, perhaps this will make it easier. I’ll play to your instinctive sense of self-preservation: Save yourself - jump ship, it is sinking fast. In less than two years, the whole sociopolitical landscape will change - do you want to be a part of it? Stand up for your institution and the constitution. Start checking… and balancing - take your power back. The President is not a king, he was never intended to have this much power… and here’s a little secret: We’re not at war. There has been no declaration. Would you declare war if it came before congress today? No? Then do the right thing, it would go a long way to help the rest of us forget about the likes of Abramoff, Vickers, Craig, Foley, ad nauseam.
The beat will go one...
As an Indian, I can't comment on your
political system or the lack of it or whatever. But it made a good read.
Glad Michele sent me here.
Michele sent me here before I got a chance to pop over and read this for myself. Of course, I can't speak for her, but if I could, I'm sure I'd say that she agrees with every word. Except the ones she doesn't.
As for me, I think that you are too nice to the Pres, and you overlook the pullers-of-strings in the background: the groups who insist on massive tax cuts for the uber-wealthy, the ones who insist on corporate shills being made justices of the supreme court, so that corporations can be legally regarded as the equivalent of super-citizens, like the rest of us except with bigger and more important rights....
But if I got started, I'd go on and on.... so I'll stop now...
The depth of corruption in America's political infrastructure stuns me. Sometimes, it seems as if this kind of behavior is the norm, that the only way to survive and crawl to the top of the political heap is to lie, backstab and otherwise screw anyone who gets in your way.
The latest scandal, the airport sex sting, is a perfect case in point. The moron says he was framed, that they set up a sting. Sorry, but I've flown to enough places in recent years to know that when you're in an airport washroom, you keep to yourself and ignore everyone around you.
If some cop started tapping the stall beside mine, the last thing I'd do is tap back. The idiot doesn't even have the cojones to admit he was cruising.
I'm glad I live where I live. Not that our politicos are absolutely clean. They're not - it is, after all, a function of the democratic process. But American politics seems to be plumbing new depths these days. Disappointing, to say the least.
On the bright side, Michele sent me to say hi. Hope you had a great week, Mike!
Right on, Mr. A! God's party? Yeah, right.
I think you'd like Anna Quindlen's column in the current issue of Newsweek.
As you might know, I have a self-enforced rule that I never express my political opinions online. However, here I am. I should also follow gautami's lead and not offer my opinion because I am an outsider. However, I seem to be somewhat opinionated today, so let me say....
As an observer of the U.S political scene, it is quite possible to view the scandals, falsehoods and hypocrisy of the Bush Administration through a purely partisan lens. Yes, recent events have created a series of embarrassing events and they now implicate several Republican legislators. It is possible to take more glee than pity about this, simply due to the fact that it is not uncommon to take pleasure in finally seeing those who subvert a doctrine of love, to express their hatred for others, finally be exposed as being just as painfully human as everyone else.
It is so easy, for so many, to find some sense of justice in these events. The wrong and those who have wronged have finally had their day!
But have they?
The call for Republican leaders to abandon Bush's position will most likely not be heard. This is, after all, politics. The tide will turn, such as it always does in two-party systems. The Democratic Party must also do something it seems to have great difficulty with: they must unify behind a candidate. They have to control the agenda. If not, well, please recall the last election, as Kerry was defeated by a very weak and somewhat unpopular incumbent president.
It is a common belief that this era in US Political History will not be a proud one. But, your neighbours in Canada, or at least this one, will watch your future election unfold with both interest and caution, with very much caution.
p.s. breadbox is correct in stating that Michele would agree with every word, because, well, she does.
Corruption in politics has been going on since the inception of... well, politics. I am not a Bush fan, but you have to admit, his initial response to the 9/11 attacks was good. Also, he was re-elected. Then Iraq...Were the reasons behind the attack 'Mickey Moused'(invented)? We'll never know, but at least he finished what his dad should have completed back in '91.
As for all of the elected officials that have been caught in precarious positions? I heard something on the radio today about Larry Craig that made me laugh..."If it had happened in Massachusettes, noone would blink an eyelash"!!! VERY TRUE!!
I'm visiting via Michele and hope you have a nice weekend free from any political controversy that avoids jail time.
From an outsider point of view this has been an eye opener. Where the US goes, the UK goes with you and we are all being led down the garden path seemingly by a moron with too much power in charge of a corrupt government. I can tell you that this does not look good from the outside at all but you already knew that I guess.
BTW, we have a Queen and the monarchy doesn't have that much power really, not unless they are a dictator :) Well put as always Mr A!
Corruption in American politics seems to know no bounds. It never ceases to amaze me what they get away with. I do feel you are being a bit harsh towards Bush, and blaming him for all that has gone wrong, but I do believe some of the decisions he has seem to make him look as though he is not the brightest bulb in the box. That being said, I can say that, to a degree, I agree with what you have said, with the exception of labeling the situation in Iraq as an unjust war. I could go on, but then I would hijack the comments. :)
Very good read Mr. Althouse. I enjoyed it immensely.
I forgot to say that Michel sent me, but I visit often anyway. :)
Here from Micheles place
I have to clap everything u wrote...Not being from the US..my opinion is a mute point. As a canadian, we to have problems and are far from perfect..but I am thankful that we are not in Irac ..my heart goes out to all the troops and their families however...all yours who have been sent to Irac..and ours who are in Afganistan...
I am here via Michele's today but I am a frequent reader of your blog anyway...have a great weekend!
It is at times in politics like these that I wish that I wrote political jokes for a living. Well, that, and I wish that I had the talent to do so -- there are certainly lots of jokes to be made:
Larry Craig was forced to come out of the (water) closet....
If the party can force him out, they'll be flushed with success....
After the SC chair of Rudy's campaign was charged with coke distribution, his unpleasantly racist father was appointed to the post: Republican family values....
Michele sent me, this time.
As someone who works in politic (on the D side) I can honestly say there are idiots on both sides of the isle. That being said, I do feel a great sense of joyful glee watching the Rs scramble and fall all over themselves with shock over many of these recent scandals.
The arrogance the Rs are demonstrating now is no different then the arrogance the Ds had when they were in power in the 1980’s and early 90’s (I just happen to not mind their arrogance – but I admit I am a partisan weasel)
As for the President, all I’ll say is at least when Clinton lied, the only thing that got messed up was the Blue Dress.
As always, a pleasure reading something from a fellow central valley person.
On my own for this visit, maybe I’ll be back later with a hello from our Fav Canadian
I so agree Mike...Wjat a bloddy mess this all is---and I use that word because that is just what it is in Iraq...! I dobelieve there is a POWER HUNGRY GROUP in The Republican Party that doesn't care what it has to do to get what it wants. None iof the peopl ever come clean...None of them even admit to their lies and transgressions and in the case of Busg and Co., THRY don'r think there is amything wrong with ALL that they do to change laws, ussurp power, etc....If one Democrat did any of these things...Let alone have sex in the oval office...(They still lovr bringing that one up...) impeachment prioceedings would commence, ASAP! We are in such deep shit here. The sense of entitlement on the part of Bush and Co., is psychotic ans sopciopathis, too!
Incidentally, those beautiful blossoms have no scent whatsover. Surprising, isn't it?
I think we need a different drum, eh?
Michele sent me over again
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