Jack Abramoff appears to be the domino that has been sent in motion. Like dominoes, several prominent Republicans are going to start falling. The pay-for-play that has been going on by lobbyists to Congress for years is about to end. In some ways, Republicans are now singing that REM anthem “It’s the end of the world as we know it”. And you know what? They’re right. This scandal marks the end of lobbying in its current form and the end of politics as we all know it.
Scandal-driven legislation is nothing new to Congress. One only need look at the most recent McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act. I’ve long held the belief that once the money is removed from lobbying politicians, there will be a much, much less chance of corruption. If I were a lobbyist, I would want to know that it’s my lobbying that is swaying a particular Congressperson rather than the money I’m contributing to him/her. Of course, that’s probably why I’m not a lobbyist.
One has to wonder how many Republicans this will bring down. We know Bob Ney is one, although he still claims to have done nothing wrong(link goes to Wash. Post. Registration required). Jane, over a Firedog Lake has uncovered not a single Democrat involved in the scandal. She, among many others have been on top of this scandal from the very beginning. And people wonder why Democrats bitch so much about what is going on in Washington. It is clearly, and has been, a pay-for-play or better yet a pay-for-legislation environment in Congress. A little digging has uncovered numerous scandals and shady dealings surrounding Abramoff.
Now batting for the home team, the Congressional Democrats, Abramoff is bound to take down some high profile Senators and Representatives starting with the Hammer himself. Not only is Delay (R-TX) involved in his own mess, it directly correlates to the Abramoff mess. And all because of a jilted lover of Michael Scanlon. Isn’t love grand?
Whichever way this all turns out (bad, worse, worst?), the people who voted these bastards into office had better say penance and get the corrupt officials off the people’s payroll. Peddling influence around Washington D.C. is not going to be allowed for much longer. And the country is going to be much better off because of it.