Thursday, September 29, 2005

Republicans win - Tom DeLay indicted

At first glance Republican House Majority leader "Hot Tub" Tom DeLay's indictment on criminal conspiracy charges seems like a huge plus for Democrats. Although it seems statistically impossible to take back the House in 2006, where Republicans lead a majority of 232 to 202, Dems might be able to narrow the gap by winning up to 10 seats more than they have now. But the real losers of this latest scandal are regular, ordinary conscientious voters like the Curmudgeon.

In Illinois, former Republican Governor George Ryan is on trial in federal court for corruption. Seventy-three convictions related to his administration have already occurred. Illinois' current Democratic Governor, Rod Blagojevich has been referred to as "Official A" in U.S. Attorney filings. (Note to elected officials: being referred to as "Official A" or "B" or "C" in U.S. Attorney filings isn't a good sign.) Chicago's Democratic Mayor Richard Daley claims not to know about a variety of hiring scandals and kickback schemes under his long tenure. And this goes on and on in many other states.

The point is that those of us who don't profit or benefit from the political process may increasingly see it as a futile waste of time and not participate at all. This is a benefit for those in and seeking office as their money driven machines work more efficiently when there is little public attention or participation. Republicans cut education so that the electorate isn't intellectually equipped to fully understand what those in power are saying and doing. Then the good little voters vote against their interests, politicians and their friends and families benefit and then even inject a lethal dose of corruption into the sweatheart deals. Voters find out about it and say, "forget this, I'm going to watch the Packers." Or the Bears or Sox or whatever but they won't be watching the suits in Washington. And the cycle starts all over with a new crop of clueless voters turning 18.

So while DeLay and Frist and Rove and Savafian and Abramoff and the 100 others who haven't been caught, fight ethical and legal battles, people will slowly give up. What's the point they'll say? Why make phone calls, donate money, knock on doors and get out the vote if a few people can rig the system solely for their benefit?

Delay may be (probably) getting what he deserves. I especially liked his comment, before his whining tirade claiming to be a victim, when he said with a smirk, "Just another day at the office." Gee, you get indicted everyday? Wake up, get dressed, get coffee, read newspaper, drive to office, pick up messages, get indicted? That's some office. The "I look forward to fighting these charges" will come next. Personally, I look forward to ABC's "Wife Swap" rather than hiring criminal defense lawyers and possibly getting two years in state prison. That's just me.

DeLay may get convicted or get away again, (he has been found to have violated House ethics rules in three separate cases), but the Republicans who are in power in all branches of government are the real winners. Drive every voter out of the process and you win by default. And by the way, the Democratic prosecutor Ronnie Earle has convicted 12 elected Democrats and 3 Republicans. So much for partisan prosecutor claims. On the other hand should we be happy there are that many elected officials getting indicted and convicted in just one small county in Texas?

Curmudgeon '06 - Crankiness instead of corruption.


Blogger Dem Ranter said...

No, no, no. Republicans don't win. Just because they're in power now, doesn't mean it will stay that way. The Republican "culture of corruption" (I LOVE that phrase!) will drive people in 2006 to vote for honest, Democratic candidates and we WILL retake the House and the Senate! Don't look at so-called experts predictions on races over a year away. A lot can happen in that time. And the fact that the electorate is made up of a large percentage of mostly inattentive voters is to our advantage this time. They are not going to pay attention to well thought out policy initiatives, as Gore and Kerry found out, but they will notice that"Hey, why are the crooks in one party?"

10:59 AM  
Blogger d.K. said...

I think that War, prolonged war, is the one thing that gets people, including the 18 year old crowd, to tune in. We'll see, tho.

7:47 AM  

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