Thursday, January 05, 2006

Ritual Cleansing

R's in DC and elsewhere are falling over each other in a mass stampede to rid themselves of dirty Abramoff cash. The thinking, apparently, is that if you give the bribes back, it's just like the whole thing never happened.

It's notable that the stampede didn't start until Abramoff cut a plea deal and agreed to name names. That got everyone's attention, so now we get the usual DC mass ritual cleansing. The sight of a mass of extremely powerful people all desperately scrambling for self-preservation is ugly and sickening, yet exquisitely funny. It's amazing how, suddenly, nobody ever knew the guy, the name Abramoff simply doesn't ring a bell, maybe they met him at a campaign event once, long ago, but it was just small talk about the weather, and there was certainly never a quid pro quo. Everyone's holding their own outraged news conference, putting out a self-righteous press statement, letting us know they're shocked, shocked that such things could ever occur in Our Nation's Capitol, among Our Public Servants.

You know things are getting out of hand in DC when Newt Gingrich comes across as a rare voice of reason. On this one issue, I mean.

Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not arguing that D's in Congress are paragons of virtue. Remember last time they ran the show? Jim Wright, anyone? Quite a few D's took Jack's money too, but when you're part of a powerless minority party, you just don't attract the same level of cash as the guys who can actually do something useful for you in return. Bribing the powerless is a poor investment.

But enough with the bipartisan fairness. This scandal is just a lot of fun to watch. It's old-school DC all the way. The media hasn't identified the inevitable perky blonde just yet, but the scandal's still in its early days. The best part is seeing this happen to the party that's been lecturing us for years about they're so much more moral than everyone else, utterly without sin or blemish, sternly guarding our nation's virtue, and all that. I think that deep down, everyone across the country always knew that was a lie from day 1, but it's still great to see these hypocrites taken down a few notches, in the most public way possible.

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