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As I watch embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich make the media rounds proclaiming his innocence, even though he's on tape trying to get quid pro quo for President Obama's vacant Senate seat, and also on tape trying to trade political favors for campaign contributions, I think to myself.....this guy is a talented politician and really knows how the political game works. His ability to lie with a straight face, to flat-out deny the words anybody can hear for themselves on those tapes, to claim his enemies are out to get him because they don't like his tax cuts, to even have the unbelievable gall to say he was taken out of context......simply marvelous. Blago's machinations give us a rare behind-the-scenes look at how things are really done in the political world.
Kudos to you, Governor Blago. Rather than being ostracized from the Democratic Party, I think they should make you the head of the Democratic National Committee, at the very least. It's so unfair. I mean, look at Hillary Clinton. As Senator, she gave a $5 million earmark to a New York developer who donated $100,000 to hubby Bill's foundation, and they made her Secretary Of State ! No wonder Blago feels put upon. Bill Richardson was offered the Secretary of Commerce job by Obama even though he was under federal investigation for pay-to-play at the time. When he was Governor of New Mexico, Richardson handed out a $1.5 million contract to CDR Financials after CDR's head honcho contributed $100,000 to Richardson's political action committee. (I guess $100,000 is the current ticket price for the Democrats). Senators like Chuck Schumer, Charlie Rangel, and many, many others regularly direct money to their contributors, and nobody is bothering them. Smilin' Chucky Schumer is on television all the time, lying about one thing or another, and I've never even heard anybody ask him about his pay-to-play deals. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has directed millions of dollars to his own family members, and nobody is grumbling about that either. Heck, our new Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, didn't even pay his own taxes, and he was being reimbursed for the taxes he didn't pay. That's a crime (more than one), and he was easily confirmed by the Senate. If I tried to cite all the examples of shady behavior by Democrats in D.C., I'd have to write a book instead of a post. A very long book. Suffice it so say, there aren't any actual moral standards that come into play here. Blago really did only ONE thing wrong.
He got caught.
Blago thought he was doing the smart thing by making his pay-to-play calls from his house rather than his office, but...gotcha!...the FBI bugged his house too. Thus, Blago lost the essential requirement for engaging in pay-to-play....deniability. Hillary, Richardson, Schumer, and Rangel all have it. Blago doesn't (yet he's still trying to run the deniability play. What a persistent guy. And entertaining). Hillary, Richardson, Schumer, Rangel, and the others can all play off their quid pro quo as mere coincidence and say the one wasn't related to the other. Blago can't do that.
So now the rest of the Democratic party has to pretend like they are so awfully shocked and dismayed by such behavior as Blago's. Riiiiight. It's doubly ridiculous when those Democrats come from Chicago, the renowned home of Daly Democratic machine politics. It's ALL quid pro quo, and has been for decades. You want a government contract ? You better donate.
There is even language written into Obama's Economic Stimulus Bill (arguably the worst bill in American history) which specifies that Illinois won't get any money if Blagojevich is still the governor. I kid you not. Poor Blago isn't even getting due process. That's how fast the Dems have turned their backs on him. And I guess whoever put that language about Blago in the stimulus bill didn't realize they were engaging in quid pro quo themselves by threatening the entire state of Illinois ("You want money, Illinois ? We'll make you an offer you can't refuse. We want Blago gone"). On the Glenn Beck show, Blago said a Republican put that language in the stimulus bill, after Blago at first said he didn't know that language was in the stimulus bill and had Beck read it to him twice (I told you he was entertaining). Politicians are shameless.
I don't want any of you to think I'm singling out Democrats here. It's not like the Republicans are any different. Duke Cunningham, Jack Abramoff, Tom Delay...same thing. Republicans are maybe a little more likely to be investigated for it (because the media is more prone to shout Republican sins from the rooftops), but the Republicans sure aren't any different.
The above examples also serve as reminder #3257 for why limited government, low taxes, and liberty are the best way. The less power you give the government, the less corrupt they can be. Our founders saw things the same way, but we seem to be under some kind of spell at the moment, some mass delusion that there's a better way, that by handing everything over to Big Brother (as long as he's a great guy with chiseled pecs like Obama), we'll all be better off. Talk about a fool's paradise.