Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Vitamin K Street

It’s just a week since the mid-term elections of Aught Six, one they’ll be talking about for a century at least, and I’m still waiting for all the dust to settle. The Democrats are in control of the House and Senate. True oversight—what the founding fathers had always intended—can finally return to Washington, D.C. It really is morning in America, unless you are a Republican who is mourning America.

The first morning after the elections Dubya must have got up from the wrong side of the bed because the first thing he did was fire Donald Rumsfeld. Everyone was surprised. That’s because just last week he told us that Rummy would be staying on for the next 2 years. He knew these statements were false when he made them because he was already interviewing for Rummy’s replacement.

The Fibber-In-Chief. The Ends-justify-the-mean-In Chief. The Hypocrite In Chief.

Yet, it’s still progress. Rummy’s gone!

Will there be true oversight in Washington? Only if the Democrats are not bullied into sitting down and shutting up. I’m afraid that’s already begun.

During the election the Right Wing Echo Chamber Orchestra tried to scare The America Public™ by telling us that if the Dems took control, they’d tie up the President and the government for the rest of this administration with hearings and subpoenas, hereafter known as The Clinton Maneuver, after the last time a president and government was tied up for years with hearings and subpoenas.

It’s a funny thing about The Right Wing Echo Chamber Orchestra. While tone-deaf to what the people need and deserve, its melodies are still so infectious that the So-Called Left Wing Media are singing their tunes as soon as they leave the theater. Soon they are asking questions based on nothing more than those ephemeral notes in their heads. [F’rinstance: John Kerry’s bungled joke.] So, no sooner did the Dems take control, than the So-Called Left Wing Media extracted a promise from party leaders that they wouldn’t start issuing subpoenas, or extracting revenge.

Luckily for those of us who prefer that High Crimes and Misdemeanors go punished, or just those that hate Dubya [Full disclosure: I am in both camps], these were promises made by politicians. Therefore, Aunty Em really doesn’t expect them to be kept. I can dream, can’t I?

Aunty Em’s dream is Bush's worst nightmare. With both sides of the House in Dems hands, he now HAS to either make nice, or back the Dems into a corner, so they don't turn over any more Abramoff rocks.

And that, boys and girls, is the theme of today’s Blog Book Report. I’ve just closed an amazing book by investigative journalist Matthew Continetti, "The K Street Gang; The Rise and Fall of the Republican Machine." It's all about the Jack Abramoff/Tom DeLay/Lobbyist/Washington, D.C. Scandal. It’s also a very up-to-date book, current up until early 2006. Therefore, it’s filled with the latest skullduggery.

This book spells out—chapter and verse, referencing emails and news articles—the corruption and greed of the Abramoff/DeLay circle. It also details how these schemes—these crimes, actually—were a triumph of greed over Republican values. In one instance after another, when the choice was to line their pockets or stick to the Republican blueprint for shrinking government and regulation, they chose the former.

This is why the federal government under Shrub has grown despite the rhetoric of the right wing.

Usually criticism of the sort in “K Street” is dismissed as leftist propaganda. This book cannot be dismissed for two reasons: 1). All the evidence is there; 2). Continetti is a Conservative arrived in Washington during the Reagan administration. This was at a time when entire wave of Conservatives arrived, including people like Newt Gingrich, Tom De Lay, Karl Rove, and a host of other names you’ll recognize. They came to tame Big Government. Some of them were co-opted by Big Money instead.

Continetti was dismayed to see how Big Money and Big Lobbying tarnished the entire democratic process, to the point where the lobbyists were actually writing the laws which were being passed in the People’s House.

“The K Street Gang” exposes all of Abramoff’s (known) schemes. Each chapter is an entirely different fleecing. Abramoff had so many different ways to steal money, that it takes an entire book to detail them all. While reading the book I marveled at how complicated and Byzantine were some of these nefarious plots. It’s no wonder it took investigators years to untangle this myriad of webs. One can not help but admire this kind of deviousness and the agility of mind to come up with these schemes that The American Public™ will be paying for for many years to come.

“The K Street Gang” should be required reading for every member of both chambers. It’s a cautionary tale of how our elected officials, if they have no moral compass, can lose their way on a path is strewn with dollar bills.

Now the Democrats now have to prove they can do better. The honeymoon’s over, as far as Aunty Em is concerned.

With all my love,

Aunty Em