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Hey diddle diddle, the pot and the kettle

By Michael J. Smith on Friday January 6, 2006 08:59 AM

From the LA Times:
Democratic congressional leaders have signaled for months that a central theme of the party's 2006 campaign will be that Republicans have focused more on the concerns of lobbyists and special interests than of ordinary families.

"It is time to put an end to … the pay-to-play politics that are going on in Washington," said [Montana] state Sen. Jon Tester. "This kind of politics … doesn't really represent the rank-and-file folks that are out there every day trying to make ends meet."

Quite apart from the remarkable Freudian slip of referring to the public as "the rank and file," there's a breathtaking effrontery in this, coming from any Democrat. As the indispensable Joshua Frank points out on his blog, "Since 1990, the Democrats have received almost 70% of all pro-Israel campaign contributions. Republicans have only pocketed 31%. "

Starting with the 2000 cycle, Abramoff and his clients pumped about $4.5 mil into the American political pigsty; during that same period, the corresponding stream of pro-Israel bribery was a little shy of $22 million. Go back as far as 1990, and the total is almost $56 million.

I'm not sure what Abramoff got for his money, but I can tell you at least one thing the Israel lobby got for theirs: the Iraq war. I know, I know, there were other factors, bla bla, but there can be no question, I think, in the mind of anybody who is paying attention, that pressure from the Israel lobby played a crucial, perhaps even a decisive role in getting this murderous folly going. Just as there can be no doubt that Democrats are even more willing to dance to AIPAC's tune than Republicans are -- and that's saying something.

So if you're still scratching your head about why the War Democrats are sticking to their guns, so to speak, even while the public is heading for the hills (not, I hope, the Hills), there's your answer: a long-standing "culture of corruption" that makes Abramoff look like some poor small-time schlemiel who has to buy retail.

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