Corruption: We’re #1

 

There should be no further commentary or complaint from the U.S. Congress regarding Afghan, Iraqi, Pakistani or Central American corruption. By comparison to our Congress those guys are in the low minor leagues. When it comes to institutionalized political corruption no one else can even come close to our numbers. We’re # 1, Yea!

The Senate Majority Leader stands to the podium and essentially says that “most” Senators have gotten something important to them into the health care bill.  He goes on to say, in essence, that if they did not get their goodies, they weren’t doing their job.  In other words if you did not get in on the feeding frenzy, if you did not “sell” you vote, if you did not engage in the worst kind of political corruption, “too bad for you, what a stiff”.  “We had a fire sale and you did not show up”.  What manner of victory is it when victory must be buttressed with disingenuous venality?

The converse of the Leader’s comment is, if you actually tried to craft a bill that made sense on a national basis, or let principal guide your vote or looked for rational compromise, you’re some kind of later day fool for being left out of the game.  Fools indeed!

The symptoms tell the story.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 states are exempted from some of the bill’s provisions, it may be unnecessary to point out that all are states represented by Democratic Senators.  Those Senators realized that certain provisions of the bill would have a negative impact on their constituencies.  The other 38 states are left to suffer those negative consequences and to pay the bill for those states exempted.  So the question simply is, if it was bad for your state why would it not be equally bad for all of the others?  If it was equally bad for the others why the hell did you vote for it?  Our Senators constantly speak to “national issues” and “the will of the American People”,  but when the heat is on it’s every man or woman for themselves; national interests be damned.  It’s a new twist on the old joke about “well, we’ve established what you are, we’re just negotiating the price”!   

We even have media commentators praising Senators for getting something out of the process. Opining that no matter how unpopular the bill is with the public, the most corrupt of the lot will be welcomed as heroes at home for bringing home the bacon.  Not only are we deep in the dark pit of institutionalized, legislated corruption, portions of our news media are cheering it on and declaring the worst scofflaws, heroes!  What has become of us?

Bill Nelson’s interview with Greta Van Susteren last week, where he announced his belated support for the bill had the look of a hostage tape.  The only way Senator Nelson could have looked more uncomfortable was if someone had shoved a pine cone down his pants and made him do push ups.   

Imagine; the CEO of a corporation going to major shareholders and offering hundreds of millions of dollars of company money to support the CEO’s pet project or board selection.  We can be reasonably assured that there would be a perp walk in that CEO’s future, and there should be.  Help! Someone explain the difference between that and what we’ve seen in the House and Senate.

We could probably cover the entire tab for Afghan corruption with what Mary Landreaux got for Louisiana or what Bill Nelson got for Florida of what Chuck Schumer got for New York.  The hypocrisy of the righteous indignation we level at others compared to what we actually do ourselves is nearly beyond rational comprehension.