Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Man Offered Me Money, the Crook

“Jeez, the man offered me money, the crook. Wanted me to vote his way. So I took the money and I voted his way. What a crook the guy is, they oughta put him in the slammer.”


The Washington Post, in an editorial, says of Scott McClellan’s White House refusal to comment,

“Under these circumstances, asking about Mr. Abramoff's White House meetings is no mere exercise in reportorial curiosity but a legitimate inquiry about what an admitted felon might have been seeking at the highest levels of government. Whatever White House officials did or didn't do, there is every reason to believe that Mr. Abramoff was up to no good and therefore every reason the public ought to know with whom he was meeting.”

Every reason to believe Mr. Abramoff was up to no good? Are they serious? 


ScottmcclellanTens, and probably hundreds, of legislators, staff of legislators, appointed officials and staff of appointed officials—at the highest levels of government—possibly and quite probably including White House staff, have been paid-off by this guy. There is no other word for it—paid-off.


The absolute outrage is that the Washington Post (and other media) timorously talk of ‘asking’ about Abramoff’s White House meetings. They ought to be pounding on doors, pulling down the walls and giving no rest to an administration that made a business out of selling off the nation’s political integrity.


Tom DeLay reveled in his K-Street operations that, without a single whimper from the law, sold off lobbyist access like they were Virginia hams. Possibly they were. Legislators carved up, bagged and hung in that curing-shed they call the United States Congress, to be sold off to the highest bidder.


And the nation wonders, breathlessly, what will become of Jack Abramoff—stands around and speculates on whether Tom DeLay will beat the rap.


Wake up, America! These are not side issues to American Idol and whether the stock market is up or down a few points. You’ve been sold-out.


The so-called conservatives among you, who delight in what has been done during the past six years of the Bush presidency and the ten years of Republican domination of Congress, might wake up to the fact that government to the highest bidder wounds the right as deeply as the left. A civil society depends upon the balance of interests.


If we lose that belief that the Congress of the United States works in our individual and collective interests, if we become convinced that our present and future is being auctioned off to the guys with the most dough, then civility in our society is at great risk.


Abraham Lincoln, remember him? He said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”


I suggest to the Washington Post and others, who mistake the indictment of one criminal for the curing of crime, that they stop staring at their shoes, lift their eyes and demand wide-ranging criminal prosecutions. Wherever they lead, down and through the halls of the White House and the corridors of Congress. The scandals of Wall Street were merely momentary afflictions to our pocketbooks and we chose to send their CEOs off to serious prison sentences.


I want to hear of no reconfiguring of the rules of limits on bribing our lawmakers. Don’t test my patience, you Democrats who would promise a new integrity in the government, if only you had your chance at the levers of power. You can’t promise integrity, you either have it or you don’t.


But you can promise prison and the selling of a vote is a felony.
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