Thursday, August 11, 2005

First they came for the restaurateurs ...

GOP heavy-hitter Jack Abramoff is in a pickle as authorities seek to arrest him on a fraud indictment. He's been on the hot seat for awhile in several investigations, including being questioned regarding the murder of a former business associate.

What? Arrest Republicans for fraud? If this is the beginning of a trend, then one has to wonder how long it will take to reach the West Wing.

And whatever is to become of those poor, starving Republican congresscritters now that good ol' Jack may not be around to pick up the tab for their $75 steaks? Perhaps the DC city council will take pity and open up a soup kitchen and VD clinic for them over on K Street somewhere (along with a delousing facility for those of us unlucky enough to come into contact with them).

Democrats have unwillingly worn the Championship Title Belt for corrupt machine politics since ... well, since before living memory. And there's been some justice to the accusation (JFK v. Nixon in 1960, everything else connected with anyone named "Daley," etc.).

If recent history is any indication, however, they've been outmatched for at least three decades now. GOP graft, influence-peddling, subversion of the bureaucracy to partisan ends and general purpose dirty tricksterism should probably be classified as an underground economy on the same scale as narcotics trafficking. The Halliburton no-bid sweetheart deals alone must have Boss Tweed whirling in envy under the dirt at Green-Wood Cemetery.

That Mark Twain's maxim -- "there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress" -- was written in 1897, two years after a Republican takeover of both House and Senate, does not surprise me.

Hat tip to John Stone.

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