Three in four Americans (75%) last year perceived corruption as widespread in the country's government. This figure is up from two in three in 2007 (67%) and 2009 (66%).
The public has its reasons, which are not unfounded. Consider this USA Today story about how the
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has allowed its employees to stay on the job despite internal investigations that found they had distributed drugs, lied to the authorities or committed other serious misconduct, newly disclosed records show.
Lawmakers expressed dismay this year that the drug agency had not fired agents who investigators found attended “sex parties” with prostitutes paid with drug cartel money while they were on assignment in Colombia. The Justice Department also opened an inquiry into whether the DEA is able to adequately detect and punish wrongdoing by its agents.
“Dismay?” How about outrage, indignation, or cold fury? One reads informed analysis, every day, on the question of why Donald Trump seems to have gained traction with a considerable segment of the American public? There, in part, is your answer. The government’s drug agents peddle drugs and pay for prostitutes with drug money and nobody gets fired, much less sent off for a stretch in the can?
Makes you wonder about the other 25%. Must be people who work in government.
In The Selling of the President, Joe McGinniss details how Richard Nixon’s handlers micromanaged every aspect of his public persona in 1968, to craft an image for a fickle public that had rejected the longtime politician eight years before.
Senator Rand Paul, who is expected to announce a presidential run on April 7, made the case on Fox News tonight that the eventual Republican nominee needs to "go after" the "corruption" of Bill and Hillary Clinton:
Tom Cotton’s letter to the Iranian regime has spurred furious blowback from liberals. They want the president to cut a deal with Iran, and Cotton’s letter gets in the way; thus, they’ve engaged in a specious fight over inter-branch protocol. Never mind that the president is looking to sign an agreement with an enemy without the advice and consent of the Senate.
It is said that history is written by the victors. Maybe so, but in the United States over the last century, history has largely been written by the liberals. This inevitably leads to bias, which inevitably operates on even the most impartial of minds. While most historians try to be fair and judicious, the fact that the overwhelming majority of them are on the left generates an inexorable tilt to the American historical narrative.
Since the founding of our nation, political defeat has been a catalyst for innovation. Federalist triumphs in 1796 and 1798 prompted the Jeffersonian opposition to develop the first party organization. The collapse of the Whig party, morally ambivalent on the issue of slavery, in the early 1850s gave rise to the Republican party’s staunch support of “free soil.” Thanks in part to the defeat of the Cox-Roosevelt ticket in 1920, Franklin Roosevelt learned how to sell progressivism to the nation at large, preparing the way for his landslide presidential victory in 1932.
House conservatives complained loudly about the Export-Import Bank during last year’s midterm campaign. The hope was, with Republicans controlling both houses of Congress, that conservatives could find the will to kill the program -- which, by the way, should be relatively easy. If Congress does nothing, the Ex-Im’s charter will expire.
More ugliness may surface, but it should be clear by now to Kitzhaber that his credibility has evaporated to such a degree that he can no longer serve effectively as governor. If he wants to serve his constituents he should resign.
I have just finished a new book on political corruption. The book takes a broad overview of corruption, across the whole history of the nation, explaining its typical patterns over time.The most pertinent revelation is how the government captures private interests, which in turn capture the government right back. Indeed, reciprocity is a real phenomenon in government. It leads inevitably to conflicts of interests, and thus corruption.