X-Raying Politics

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It is amusing to watch otherwise intelligent men and women pretending to be upset over the behavior of the governor of Illinois. If one wants to understand the nature of government, they need only begin with that classic line from the Watergate era: “follow the money.” This is all it has ever been about: the forced transfer of wealth. And, as I heard the bill of particulars recited yesterday morning, all that Blagojevich was charged with was intending or conspiring to use his office to generate such a transfer to himself. Did such transactions actually occur, or is endeavoring to do so enough?

After the feigned shock expressed by as many political dignitaries as could be herded before network microphones, the news readers went on to calmly inform us that Congress may vote, today, to provide their corporate friends in the auto industry with some $15 billion of booty! No sense of shock; no talk of impeachment; no FBI officials making sunrise arrests at the homes of those voting on this measure. This is the way such thievery is supposed to proceed, with Congress serving as the established croupier. Nor can such plundering be done on the cheap. Blagojevich wanted a paltry sinecure of $300,000 for the sale of a senatorship, and the politically self-righteous went into a moralistic fit. Congress is eager to give more billions of dollars to the corporate owners – in addition to the trillions already shoveled out of the Treasury – and is praised for its “pragmatic” solution to the problems it has helped to create!

Is Blagojevich to be condemned only for stylistic defects? Ought he to have sought the advice of more seasoned politicos as to how to pull off these scams with more socially acceptable rhetoric? “We’re doing this for the children” might have worked. So might such empty phrases as “change” and “hope,” uttered by the man whose senate seat vacancy precipitated this. Or, for the sake of bipartisanship, recourse could be had to another empty slogan: “country first.”

Do Democrats expect their politicians to disguise their spoliation in the dulcet tones of the Kennedy’s, and to get upset when such officials come off sounding like Nixon or Bush? Is Blagojevich’s alleged crime, in other words, to have been so brazen about the self-serving nature of all of politics as to alarm Boobus?

10:28 am on December 10, 2008