Our current national leaders are so crooked, they need servants to help twist their pants on in the morning. Since 2001, they’ve treated us to a whirling carnival of corruption and graft, but in terms of scandal, last week was livelier than most. It was a veritable Corruptapalooza!
Last week we found out that:
That’s par for the course, though, with the merry grifters who run our country. They’re so crooked that if each one swallowed a nail, the nails would come out corkscrews. But I’ve got to hand it to these folks; they’ve kept their festival of fraud churning for quite a while now.
From paying columnists to distribute political propaganda, to giving White House press passes to gay hookers posing as journalists, the sleaze fiesta never stops. Enron helps the administration write energy policy, then bilks Californians out of $1 million per day. The vice president’s old company gets billion-dollar no-bid contracts. President Bush’s appointees lie to Congress about the true cost of the Medicare drug benefit.
The double-dealing just keep bopping to a boogie beat. Another $700 million gets illegally siphoned away from hunting bin Laden to preparing for a war in Iraq, and our GOP-controlled Congress refuses to investigate. The Secretary of Defense lies about why our troops’ vehicles aren’t armored, then makes some poor grunts from Cumberland take the fall when an illegal torture system he created is exposed.
For fans of outright lying and brazen butt-covering, things haven’t been this good since Mr. Bush’s PR staff gave the “he maintained calm” excuse after he froze up when the World Trade Center was attacked!
While the president is the ringleader of this shady circus, its star performer has been Tom DeLay, his party’s arm-twister in the House of Representatives. When Mr. DeLay came under investigation for raising illegal campaign contributions, he boldly stoked that scandal: after the House Ethics Committee rebuked him. He changed the committee’s rules, had several of its members removed, then replaced them with recipients of the dirty money he’d raised. Bravo!
While Congressman DeLay gives a great one-man racketeering show, he also manages a whole troupe of spectacularly venal money-grubbers. His close associate, lobbyist Jack Abramoff, billed clients for meetings with the president at the White House. Another DeLay ally, Grover Norquist, of the GOP-linked advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform, did the same thing. Who says you can’t rent the White House for private functions?
But sometimes even the best bashes go on too long, get too loud, and the neighbors want them shut down. What finally stops the Bush administration’s thumping, pumping party of pelf may be the so-called “Downing Street Memo.” The memo is a classified report written by “C,” the head of the British CIA, for the leaders of our closest ally. It was recently leaked to the press. It shows that after a meeting in Washington, “C” reported to his government that the president wanted to wage war on Iraq, and that Mr. Bush sought to justify it by saying that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and would give them to terrorists, regardless of whether or not that was true. Can the president’s allies in Congress and the media keep him from being held accountable for his duplicity? Not if the Iraq war keeps going as badly as it is now. If the situation in Iraq keeps deteriorating, recruiting continues to plummet, and American soldiers keep getting killed and maimed at the current rate, sooner or later we’ll all get invited to a political shindig that’ll make the Bush administration’s Corruptapalooza look like a garden party.
What’ll we call this incipient blowout? “Impeachment!”