More Liberal Bias

I read rightie blogs so you don’t have to … to their writers’ credit, the majority of rightie blog posts I skimmed through this morning acknowledged that what Abramoff and associates did was very, very bad, and that Washington politicians had better clean up their act. To their discredit, they are to a blogger clinging to the fiction that this is a bipartisan scandal (example).

It ain’t. Although it is possible a few Dems will be caught in the indictment net, the fact is that the Abramoff operation was a GOP operation. Jack is their boy.

Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and Dan Balz write in today’s Washington Post:

Jack Abramoff represented the most flamboyant and extreme example of a brand of influence trading that flourished after the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives 11 years ago. Now, some GOP strategists fear that the fallout from his case could affect the party’s efforts to keep control in the November midterm elections.

Abramoff was among the lobbyists most closely associated with the K Street Project, which was initiated by his friend Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), now the former House majority leader, once the GOP vaulted to power. It was an aggressive program designed to force corporations and trade associations to hire more GOP-connected lobbyists in what at times became an almost seamless relationship between Capitol Hill lawmakers and some firms that sought to influence them.

A few paragraphs down, Birnbaum and Balz add,

With an eye on November’s elections, Republicans have sought to limit the damage to themselves by portraying the scandal as bipartisan, describing Abramoff as an equal-opportunity dispenser of campaign cash and largess.

So far, the public has not identified corruption as solely a Republican problem. A Washington Post-ABC News poll in November asked Americans whether they thought Democrats or Republicans were better on ethical matters; 16 percent said Democrats, 12 percent said Republicans, and 71 percent said there was not much difference between the parties.

But Republicans worry about two possibilities. The first is that Abramoff, known for his close ties to DeLay, mostly implicates Republicans as a result of his plea agreement. That could shift public attitudes sharply against the GOP. “People are uneasy about what else is out there,” said one GOP strategist who requested anonymity to speak more candidly about the possible political fallout.

This strategy is working well so far, as Digby notes. Most of the media dutifully is reporting the scandal as bipartisan. Dat ol’ libruhl bias strikes again. “The press is surely under tremendous pressure from the Republicans to report this as a bi-partisan scandal and they are already buckling under,” says Digby. “But that doesn’t change the fact that this is a GOP operation from the get — and they know it.” But you know if journalists start reporting facts, the rightie hoardes will swarm upon them and devour them, à la Dan Rather and Eason Jordan. If you don’t have the truth on your side, sheer nastiness will do. In fact, nastiness trumps truth most of the time these days.

And the circle of corruption extends beyond Abramoff. James Wolcott has a lovely time poking fun at Chris Matthews’s smarmy commentary on Abramoff on yesterday’s Hardball:

His performance this afternoon after the announcement of the Jack Abramoff plea was a power-bottom tour de force. He gave the Republican establishment a complete pass. He insisted against all evidence under heaven and stars that this was not a partisan scandal, that 99% of elected officials were honest and upright, that “Duke” Cunningham was sort of a lone wolf, and that Abramoff was a Vautrin-like villain and corrupter of souls.

But there are ties between Abramoff and Matthews, says John Aravosis. Tweety helped Abramoff raise money for one of his phony charities. Funny; I don’t believe Tweety mentioned that on yesterday’s show.

Jane Hamsher found another cause for concern. Alice Fisher, the assistant attorney general in charge of the corruption investigation, is a career Republican, a former lobbyist for the Frist (as in Bill) family healthcare company, and she has ties to Tom DeLay’s defense team. If she had an ethical bone in her body she would have recused herself. She didn’t. So much for a fair investigation.

Be sure to read Juan Cole’s “Abramoff and al-Arian: Lobbyist’s ‘Charity’ a Front for Terrorism.” Here are details you aren’t likely to see on Faux Nooz. Probably not anywhere else, either. Roger Ailes the Good also surveys rightie sites. Think Progress’s “The House That Jack Built” is a vital resource for understanding the scandal. For a quickie rundown on some major players, see John Dickerson, “Jack Attack,” at Slate.

3 thoughts on “More Liberal Bias

  1. round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows….For years I have been ranting to anyone Icould force to listen that if I had my way,capitol police would frog march ever lobbiest out of of the halls of congress FOREVER.

    These people never lobby on behalf of individual.. they lobby on behalf of corps, who don’t have any constitutional right to be begging for favors.Those in congress seem to forget who they work for….”we the people” have been left behind for huge corp. donors .If you call your congressman or senator TODAY you don’t have a snow balls chance in hell of speaking with them.WHY? Because there is nothing you can do for them and they damn sure won’t be doing anything for you,much less listen to you.Write them a letter,, they will never even read it.Some flunky in their office “files” it in the proper place.If you work for some K street firm, however, I am willing to bet you are put right thru.They can always make time for those folks ,, a long lunch after some free golf perhaps?

    What we have now is government bought,installed and paid for by corp.America…all the way up to our president who used the enron jet to campaign in1999/2000 while the employees were getting ready to lose their futures.

    Some things have to change.The lobby business needs to be put out of business.No more lobbying allowed for any for profit group.
    I hear the idea out there that our leaders should be pro business and that that is a good thing, but our government was not set up for business and we (the people) should find it disturbing anytime someone who wants to lead us puts business before the public.

    I also believe in public funding of elections and FREE tv time(they are the peoples airwaves after all).No more political ads.But cost free EQUAL time to discuss issues, given on a local basis for local elections and on a national level for nation elections.

    Right now, what we have is a circus, and WE have to take the big top down or it will never end.People don’t get into government to help people any more,, they get in to line their pockets.WE can stop that.

    The senate and congress do not need to make as big of a paycheck as they do, this is where the problem starts.They should make no more then the average American.Housing in dc should be free to every senator and congressman, they would live in houses owned by the government.Airfare back and forth to their home state should be free,, this could be funded by the pay /benefits reduction.

    Doing those things would get people to run who are interested in making good government,, not making money.And it would remove the argument for why they need to make more then the rest of us.

    Will we enter a debate in this nation now,among the PEOPLE, to work towards some changes(whether they are mine or not)? Or will we all just bask in the glow of scandal and go back to corruption as usual?

  2. Why do you think Ralph Reed was on the Enron payroll and the Microsoft payroll? Not because he was doing work for them.

    Can the Democratic party put all their operatives to work in cushy corporate jobs( look at those Ford guys) while they do their political work?

  3. Juan Cole’s article hit the nail on the head.
    I posted a similar opinion at this site several months ago, and was refered to as “anti semitic” by another “poster”.
    More horrible revelations will unfold as the Abramoff scandal is brought into the sunshine.This cancer runs deep.
    Sammi Al Arian was railroaded, he’s lucky to have been incarcerated in Fl, instead of being shipped to Gitmo or beyond.His life has been damaged beyond repair.
    The term “outpost” is laughable, it brings to mind the old Jackie Mason skit where the Jewish mother refers to her truck driver son as a “Controller” when speaking with her friends who’s sons are doctors and lawyers, justifying the term because he “controls” the truck. There is no difference between an outpost, settlement, or village….except in wording.Stealing land is the same whatever you call it, and Rachel Corrie died trying to make that point, run over by a beast on a bulldozer.(funded by American tax dollars)
    Our tax dollars funded the much touted Gaza pullout several months ago, to the tune of “between” $250,000.00 and $300,000.00 PER Israeli FAMILY.Great, first we pay for the “outpost”, then we pay for yearly grants, then we pay for relocation.As I understand, health care in Israel is funded by the Govt, as is education, and both are affordable by all.Such is the power wielded by AIPAC and other lobbys.
    Look, I have no hate in my heart for Jews ( or Muslims, Hindus, or pygmies), but blind, unconditional support for Israel is killing our country. If any other country pulled this crap, there would be outrage, but someone has convinced a large portion of America that Jews are God’s Chosen people, and Israel is to be guarded at all cost.I’m also not saying let Israel get clobbered by hostile neighbors, but this crap has got to end.The “accountability” moment has arrived.Until the ethnic cleansing of Palistine is arrested, there is no hope for peace in the region, and some stupid little token state statis ain’t gonna get it . Between all the money and time spent on this bullshit, we could have given each and every Israeli and Palistenian a million bucks each , a villa on the French Riviera, and called it quits!” MR Sharon, tear down this wall!!” (Fat chance, no pun intended)I will now expect the hatemail and verbal abuse associated with dissing Israel. BTW, Sharon’s son may be arrested shortly for corruption.
    End of Rant.

Comments are closed.