Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Corruption and Plantations

It's nice to see the Democrats offering a far superior proposal to clean House. (Yeah, the pun was intended.) It's nice to see that even the Post is starting to report the truth of the Abramoff scandal, though through a third party:
Frank Clemente, director of the watchdog group Public Citizen's Congress Watch, drew a distinction between the corrupt actions of individuals for their own benefit and the "systemic" corruption that Abramoff's actions have uncovered: the routine, glitzy fundraisers and entertainment junkets that seemingly lead to official action; the revolving door that allows congressional aides to become high-priced lobbyists; and the fleecing of clients with the promise of access to power brokers in Washington.
This really is a Republican scandal. Abramoff is a GOP operative and has been since his days with Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed while they were members of the College Republicans (seems like even recent College Republicans are just as corrupt--more on that later).

I think my favorite part of the legislation is requiring legislation to be publicaly available for 24 hours. It's been a shame the way the House has been run the past several years: Holding votes until the middle of the night, only giving congresspeople a couple hours to evaluate the legislation, cutting off the microphones of the minority party, and so on. I've been complaining about this for some time because I think people would be shocked to hear about it--and the people I do talk to about it are appalled. So it was nice to see Hillary Clinton bring up this issue:
Clinton, who is seeking re-election this year, said during a Martin Luther King Day event in Harlem this week that the House "has been run like a plantation," in that "nobody with a contrary view has had a chance to present legislation, to make an argument, to be heard."
It is also nice to see her sticking to her guns and not rolling over. Agreement from Barack Obama and Gregory Meeks was also nice.

Nothing is going to get done to fix the problems our country faces so long as the current crop of GOP congresspeople are in power. I was never really overtly partisan until I saw how much the GOP was destroying the American ideal on so many different levels.


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