The money-making opportunities for politicians are myriad, and Mr. Schweizer details the most lucrative methods: accepting sweetheart gifts of IPO stock from companies seeking to influence legislation, practicing insider trading with nonpublic government information, earmarking projects that benefit personal real estate holdings, and even subtly extorting campaign donations through the threat of legislation unfavorable to an industry. The list goes on and on, and it’s sickening.
Astonishingly, none of this is technically illegal, at least not for Congress. Members of Congress exempt themselves from the laws they apply to the rest of us. That includes laws that protect whistleblowers (nothing prevents members of Congress from retaliating against staffers who shine light on corruption) and Freedom of Information Act requests (it’s easier to get classified documents from the CIA than from a congressional office).
The corruption isn’t confined to one political party or just a few bad apples. It’s an endemic problem encompassing leadership on both sides of the aisle. It’s an entire system of public servants feathering their own nests. (Sarah Palin, via WSJ)
Yes, there is that oily “I’m shocked, shocked to find thatcorruption is going on in here!” quality to Miss Sarah’s piece.
And, voulez-vous cesser d’aimer posseder la chose aimee, am I right? But the 2008 election showed that to be a non-starter, so Miss Sarah will have to continue schlepping around the country to earn her millionaire status.
That doesn’t make her wrong, however.
Miss Sarah’s WSJ article serves as a depressing corollary to yesterday’s quick post. What she maintains, and you know in your heart to be true, is there is not a nickel’s worth of honest difference between Left and Rights, Dems and Reps. All the aforementioned care about is maintaining and protecting their elevated status and damned be the individual or Bill of Rights that gets in their way.
As common sense suggests, and the excesses of the Bush-Cheney administration aptly demonstrated, the only possible result arising from such a situation is cronyism, corruption, and -eventually- an economic meltdown that will make the last couple of years seem as idyllic as the 50s. 1