Statistics show that there are still people that support George Bush. They think he’s doing a good job as President. And, there are still Republicans that are able to make themselves believe that the Republican party may have a few bad apples but is overall worth backing. Are all of the scandals isolated incidents of politics gone awry? Or, is this a systemic problem? I definitely think it’s the latter, and I think most newsreaders would be surprised to open a paper without hearing about some major scandal.
Proving the frequency and severity of these issues, Senate2008Guru has a post entitled Republican Culture of Corruption: 2007 So Far. The post lists a major scandal (complete with links to details) for every week in 2007. Some examples:
March 6, 2007: I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney found guilty of obstruction of justice and perjury
March 27, 2007: Ronald Reagan’s budget director, David Stockman, “indicted on charges of defrauding investors and banks of $1.6 billion while chairman of Collins & Aikman Corp., an auto parts maker that collapsed days after he quit”
April 23, 2007: Federal auditors find repeat violations of federal election law from the 2004 Senate campaign of Republican Senator Mel Martinez
July 2, 2007: President George W. Bush commutes the sentence of former Cheney Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby following Libby’s conviction on obstruction of justice and perjury
Certainly, the point is not that only Republicans commit crimes or are at the center of scandals. But, hopefully everyone can agree that this indicates that these aren’t isolated incidents. Rather, it’s a system-wide problem that needs to be addressed by system-wide solutions. Republicans openly favor tax cuts for the rich, oppose minimum wage increases, and keep a perceived terrorist threat as a top political issue. They’re not even slightly affected by requests for investigations and flat-out lie in responses to the media. There’s clearly no accountability, and many of these people go on to get huge increases in salary by working for the private section. Is this what we want from American government?