12/21/2005

Newberry: GOP has not made much progress in actual size since 1970, but cheated it's way into power

Vast, Loose and Out of Control
by Stirling Newberry
Wed Dec 21, 2005 at 06:46:46 AM PDT

The Republican Party has not made much progress in actual size since 1970.. the Republican Party has held steady at between 29% and 33% identification. The difference is that the Democratic Party has gone from 49% identification, down to 37%. In short, it isn't that the Republicans are more numerous, it is that they are louder, and willing to break the law to turn 33% support into 100% power. They use force and fraud to fool enough of the people, enough of the time. Bush and the Republicans use this to preside over a government that is vast, loose and out of control.

Key to this is Jack Abramoff, and spygate has accelerated the falling apart of the other side of the Republican machine, the ability to buy power. Rumors are that he is not only near a deal, but is going to implicate the "wive's club".

Abramoff's reach extends outward - he had Bob Ney insert negative comments about competitors into the Congressional Record, he finance indian lobbies that gave substantial sums to Republicans. He has given 127,000 personally in the last 4 years to Republicans, and zero to Democrats. [Hat tip to Roy Temple.

Abramoff's reach taints candidates at the source. It is part of what gives the Republicans a series of lock step DeLay clones to work with. As Bullmoose put it the phants have sold out to the company store.

Originally Abramoff was only charged with actions in connection with the purchase of casino boats in Miami, and not with political actions. Originally, he was willing to take his chances with a jury, or at least wait for the feds to get desperate. However, now it is different. He is personally out of money, he is also seeing the political investigation move forward, in part because of the investigations into coingate and DeLay's TRMPAC.

The other reason that Abramoff is feeling the heat is that other associates are starting to cut deals. It's the problem with all big conspiracies: too many people, too many payoffs, too many interested parties. It is why criminal organizations have "codes of silence", which means that you won't talk, one way or another.

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So why is this important? Is it different from the scandals of the old Democratic house?

Yes. First because the sums of money involved are so much larger. No one, not even Gingrich, could point out how the house scandals of Wright and Rostie and the House Bank did anything more than help out individual members. While a parliament, legislature or congress has yet to sit where there was no corruption what so ever, when pressed, even Republicans are pressed to find one example of money flowing to the wrong contractors. Which war did Jim Wright lead us into on false pretenses? My memory fails me.

Second because this gets at the heart of the Republican scheme to control power Rove's Republic. In this system, the government is run by a lockstep parliamentary majority, and the monetary system is rigged to keep that very narrow parliamentary majority in perpetual power.

This is the flip side of our "war without end" - which is used to make it so that that parliamentary majority has the power to control vast sums of money needed to keep support. Without hundreds of billions of dollars of Republipork in defense and homeland security, there is no Republican Majority. Spygate hits at the nexus betweeen war powers and politics - as does Plamegate - it is the point where war powers are used to keep the parliamentary system in power.

Spygate is important on its face, because it is a violation of our sense of liberties, and the agreement in the 1970's that a presidency cannot be above and beyond the law. The Church commission looked into intelligence abuses, and found numerous cases of the misuse of government power to spy on domestic dissidents. The Church commission looked into the vast array of "war powers" that the government had, and noted that we were in an almost perpetual state of war in one form or another.

The Republicans, while claiming to want smaller government, really only wanted the Cold War back, only this time with the ability to control that Cold War government. It's an old business trick, better than finding a need and filling it, is finding something people think they need and filling it, because a placebo always works. They want to claim that the old rules allowed for the kinds of abuse of power they have engaged in. For example, falsely claiming that Carter and Clinton authorized warrantless searches. They didn't. Basically the Republicans want the good old days of J Edgar Hoover spying on subversives, when the FBI was a fiefdom of the ultra-conservatives used to bribe, blackmail and bully people who wanted to stand up for their civil rights....

Daily Kos: Vast, Loose and Out of Control

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