[quote=“spook”]Consequently, political parties in the U.S. are largely irrelevant because they’re converging into self-serving clones of one another with the same purpose in mind – perpetuating their tribal agendas and little more while trying to create the illusion of being agents of public service.
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
[quote=“MikeN”][quote=“s.b.”]Reason: No differentiation.
Case in point: Senate Minority Leader Reid (D-NV)
[quote]Reid had separate meetings in June 2003 in his Senate offices with two Abramoff tribal clients and Edward Ayoob, a former staffer who went to work lobbying with Abramoff.
The meetings occurred over a five-day span in which Ayoob also threw a fundraiser for Reid at the firm where Ayoob and Abramoff worked that netted numerous donations from Abramoff’s partners, firm and clients…
Abramoff, a Republican lobbyist, has pleaded guilty in a widespread corruption probe of Capitol Hill. Reid used that conviction earlier this year to accuse Republicans of fostering a culture of corruption inside Congress.
AP recently reported that Reid also wrote at least four letters favorable to Abramoff’s tribal clients around the time Reid collected donations from those clients and Abramoff’s partners. Reid has declined to return the donations, unlike other lawmakers, saying his letters were consistent with his beliefs.
In a way it’s unfortunate because the Bush agenda really should be halted, but it’s obvious that Democrats are not the people to do it.[/quote]
[quote]AP’s Solomon: Sen. Reid (D-NV) voted against state boxing commission after accepting the commission’s boxing tickets which Senate rules say he was allowed to accept.
(All joshing aside, if I didn’t know better I might think that Solomon was developing something of an Ahab complex with that Great White Whale of the Senate, Harry Reid. Back in February, Solomon produced a lengthy expose on Team Abramoff’s alleged efforts to sway Reid to support their Marianas sweatshop clients, without ever mentioning that Reid consistently voted against the Marianas sweatshop owners. That’s a rather salient fact. And once you knew it, the whole piece pretty much collapsed, leaving Solomon with a quid in search of a quo. And perhaps not even a quid. The whole thing was a genuine embarassment. Now, Solomon’s back reporting that Reid accepted boxing tickets he was allowed to accept from his home state’s boxing commission and in exchange voted against the people who gave him the tickets. ( He voted for more federal boxing regs.) When will the corruption end? Paul Kiel has the details.)[/quote]
Mike, there might be an argument to be had about the degree of Reid’s guilt in this dirty game, but I’m not sure which one you’re trying to make.
First I mentioned nothing about the Mariana’s minimum wage deal, I have no disagreement with you here.
Second, I quoted about the letters he reportedly wrote on behalf of Abramoff’s tribal donors. Donors he voted with, incidently. (He reportedly claimed to be a long-time supporter of their position–and considering his professional history that seems plausible. Interestingly, even his excuse suggests he is every bit as controlled by industry as a Ney or whatever. And, he’s keeping the money, money Jack stole, right?) Your TPM quote (and link) mentioned nothing of his relationship with the tribal clients, only the Mariana thing.
Finally I mentioned nothing of the boxing ticket issue, because I thought it wasn’t so black and white. But since you bring it up, I think regardless of whether the ethics rules prohibit, or merely warn against, taking multiple gifts from state agencies (the Gambling Commission–I wonder if they would be lackeys of a particuar industry?), clearly it was McCain (?-AZ) who did the right thing in that situation, he paid the market value of his ticket (several hundred dollars) and refused to be given a free ride by folks wanting his ear on legislation. Bad move on Reid’s part.
Bottom line for the Fall 2006 Dog and Pony Classic: Because Democrats are playing the exact same game as the Republicans, the differences will appear to much of the voting public to be as insubstantial as they really are. I mean do most folks really care if the bribes being taken are being taken legally or illegally, especially when the bribees make the rules? I don’t.