This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Are the Republicans as crooked as we think they are? Part III – Electoral Politics

Lets look at electoral politics. Three items come to mind: big money PAC and corporate contributions, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the targeting of black voters for ballot challenges.

The first item is endemic to the system and is practiced by the other party as well. Bill Clinton took it to a high art, although Mr. Bush has clearly exceeded even Clinton. The dangerous thing is the similarity between the donor list and the benefiting interests in the first three examples above. However, the same people gave to Clinton.
The history of the Swift Boat Veterans can be traced back to John Kerry’s protest days. (Maybe the Veterans and Kerry could have done a Dr. Phil episode instead to work out their grievances – although Jerry Springer might have been more apt). The same people were attacking him as part of the Nixon Dirty Tricks scheme. They would have been but an announce had it not been for the free media they received, especially on the Republican Fox News network. While they were effective, the sad fact of the matter is if John Kerry had responded appropriately they would not have been.

The targeting of black voters for challenge was widespread and it was illegal. It is the mark of a campaign that was willing to do anything to win. Of course, because they did win both the White House and the Congress the chance that the accusations will get a fair investigation are virtually nil and since people aren’t willing to take to the streets in protest it looks like they will get away with it. Do the actions of a few bad apples, including the President’s brother, mean the entire party is corrupt? It is tempting to say yes, although we are looking for a specific type of economic corruption in this analysis. While the type of self-righteous win-at-all costs mentality is telling of something being wrong, it does not per se mean that one has been bought off.

We’ve laid out the circumstances. However, they are not conclusive since to prove corruption one must prove motivation. Some Republican politicians are undoubtedly corrupt. One examination of the looting of the Reform Party by the Buchananites is enough to prove that. There hasn’t been a looting like that since the sacking of northern England by the Vikings (and this from a candidate who was speaking out against Republican trade policies). The question is: are the politicians and the armies of wonks supporting them out merely for riches. By riches I mean the kind of inordinate wealth pulled down by Enron or Global Crossing.

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