Sunday, January 15, 2006

Yet again, Frank Rich--Is Abramoff the New Monica? - New York Times

Rich's Sunday essays in the Times have been consistently penetrating and thoughtful, a must read.
Is Abramoff the New Monica? - New York Times: "They preached a take-no-prisoners strategy and a specific ideology - do away with taxes, privatize government, free business from any regulation - that changed Washington far more than Washington changed them. Their triumph can be found everywhere today, from Halliburton's no-bid contracts in Iraq to the K Street project, a Norquist-championed and DeLay-sanctioned operation to intimidate corporations with business before Congress into hiring exclusively Republican lobbyists like Mr. Abramoff.
But it's not only the genealogy of the Abramoff scandal that separates it from its predecessors. So does the distinctive odor of its possible criminality. In its financial shenanigans and some of its personnel, the Abramoff affair doesn't so much echo Teapot Dome as the business scandal that engulfed Mr. Bush's former No. 1 corporate patron, Enron, in our new century. The Abramoff scandal's pious trappings are sui generis as well. They adhere to the Karl Rove playbook that wraps every hardball White House tactic in godliness and exploits 'faith based' organizations as political machines to deliver the G.O.P.'s religious right base. "

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