Monday, June 26, 2006

Masters of the Universe

The Moose reflects on the invincible.

The Moose has had an unique vantage point on politics in Washington over the last several years. He has witnessed the rise and corruption of the conservative movement. He is now witnessing the left feeling their oats. They have one defect in common -


The Norquists, Reeds and Abramoffs thought they were invincible. And they became intoxicated on their association with power. They were players. They had come to Washington to do good - and they were doing well because of their relationship with power. From Capitol Hill to the West Wing Political Director's Office, they were the Masters of the Universe.

The latest Senate report on the Abramoff gang scheme highlights the corruption of a movement. The movement served as their conduit for money and control. Laissez faire economics met laissez faire ethics. They were the Supermen of the Nation's Capitol. And they all had clever and not-so-clever rationales for their behavior. The Washington Post,

"Call Ralph re Grover doing pass through," Abramoff wrote in a stark e-mail reminder to himself in 1999, a year in which Norquist moved more than $1 million in Abramoff client money to Reed and Christian anti-gambling groups. Reed was working to defeat lotteries and casinos that would have competed with Abramoff's tribal and Internet gambling clients."

The Republican Congress created the environment in which Abramoff thrived. But, neither party has a monopoly on virtue. Humility, modesty and civility are strangers to contemporary politics and partisans. Incredibly, even before they taste power, some of the left's leaders in the blogosphere are displaying some of the traits that undermined the right.

They are certainly not the Abramoff gang. Theirs are not the sins of financial corruption. But, like their brothers on the right, anything can be justified on behalf of the "team". Excommunicating heretics is the order of the day. They are the masters of their domain. It is left-wing Norquistism.

Usually, however, over-reach occurs after power is attained This time it comes before the ascendancy. David Brooks wrote perceptively yesterday,

"Sounding like Tom DeLay -— who is his moral doppelagnger - — Kos says that those who crash the gates and take on the establishment are bound to be attacked...

"And so the Kingpin has his relationships and his understandings and his networks and his compromises. In just a few short years he has achieved a level of self-importance it took those in the pre-blog political class decades to acquire.

"He has challenged his enemy and become it."

Beware hubris.
-- Posted at 6:09 AM | Link to this post | Email this post