The Moose observes that the Duke performed a service for his colleagues.
Congressman Cummingham's tearful admission of guilt was useful for his Republican colleagues. As the Abramoff Congress comes to grip with their manifold sins, Duke was a role model of how to accept responsibility for the outcomes of the culture of corruption.
"The truth is, I broke the law, concealed my conduct and disgraced my office."
Those may be the watchwords of ten years of Republican rule. Perhaps, the Moose is unfair - after all most of the House elephants are honorable men and women. But, they have allowed the Delayicans to corrupt their revolution that was ostensibly built on reform and smaller government. Instead, the Abramoff Congress is just a plutocratic kleptocracy up for grabs for the highest bidder. And, as we witnessed in the Medicare drug debate, ideology is no barrier to the furtherance of the payoffs to maintain power.
Old brother Duke was found guilty of "dishonest graft". The truth is that "honest graft" is the norm on Capital Hill. Now that Michael Scanlon has flipped in the Indian gaming scandal, we may have an interesting test of whether "business as usual" will continue in the Capitol.
Reports coming out of Washington in the last week indicate that federal investigators may be looking at the question of whether a wide array of legislators made interventions on behalf of Abramoff and his crew because of contributions and favors. If this is accurate, then we may soon have a test of whether "business as usual" will continue here in D.C.
Jeff Birnbaum writes in the Washington Post,
"After years in which big-dollar dealings have come to dominate the interaction between lobbyists and lawmakers, both sides are now facing what could be a wave of prosecutions in the courts and an uprising at the ballot box. Extreme examples of the new business-as-usual are no longer tolerated."
The Duke-stir was obvious and egregious in his corruption. But, perhaps he is not alone. This Congress has been bought and paid for - from the mundane to the profound. Both "Little misdeeds" on behalf of gaming interests and "big misdeeds" by shifting wealth to the wealthy are the norm for this Congress.
The Moose submits that many more than Congressman Cunningham have disgraced their office. --