John Emerich Edward Dalberg, Lord Acton (1834–1902)
Just because those feeling friendly towards me on this web site call me ‘Porc’ should in no way be construed as approval of the antics being exposed by the Abramoff bribery indictment.
Although this has been portrayed as a ‘Republican Scandal’, there is evidence that it is really bi-partisan, and reached deep into a culture of, shall we say, relaxed ethics by members of both parties. (While the Republican names have received wide media attention, the Democrat names have not, so I am happy to provide you a list of names and dollar amounts through the link to Blue State Conservatives - HERE).
Now, however, another scandal is looming which may well fit Porcupine’s description of a Christmas gift for his fellow Cape Cod Today Blogger JC of Rapp City – “a nasty Republican scandal to be named later” (Note to JC – the Globe appears to be working on delivering you the other half of my gift, the Duval Patrick gubernatorial candidacy).
It was reported today that former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, a California Republican forced to resign after being convicted of bribery, attended meetings with fellow legislators, including meetings of the Armed Services Committee of which he was a member, wearing a wire for the FBI.
The reaction of one top Congressional aide was telling – “Holy ‘bleep’, Duke knew everybody and cut deals all the time!” Holy bleep, indeed.
Of course, Federal probes of Capitol Hill activities are not new. It was 15 years ago that a joint Postal Inspection Service and FBI probe was launched on Capitol Hill to investigate allegations of corruption involving employees of the House Post Office. That probe, which Capitol Police had initially conducted but then felt was stymied by congressional leaders and turned over to the FBI, ultimately resulted in the conviction of nearly two dozen Congressional staff and notably the then Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski. Back then the Democrats were the party in the majority, and it was primarily Democrats who were affected.
In all, the House Post Office scandal led to the resignation and defeat of nearly 100 members of Congress and helped propel the Republican takeover of the House in 1994. At the time, the Post Office scandal was paralleled by the House Bank check-kiting scandal.
So, it would appear that turn about is fair play, and the party that is now in the majority is about to learn that crime does not pay.
The tagline of my blog is and has always been, “I stand Firm for True Conservative Philosophy and Against Rapscallions of ALL Political Stripes”. While Porcupine is a Republican, he is not a blind and deaf partisan. It is his sincere hope that any and all guilty of abusing their trust and the responsibility of their office will be swept away, even as they were 15 years ago. Porcupine imagines this will damage the GOP more than the Democrats for the simple reason that there are more of them, and that bribes are for influence, which resides with the majority in any institution.
Congress has become the province of multimillionaires, not at all the group of citizen-legislators envisioned by the Founders. The pressure to be reelected which comes from the decision to make Congress a career instead of a brief service will be blamed, no doubt.
But that pressure was self-applied, and those who sport that excuse are indeed rapscallions, and deserve to be swept away with the other detritus of history