Friday, January 06, 2006

Echoes in Wisconsin

The WSJ editorializes on Abramoff. It doesn't take much imagination to substitute "Wisconsin Legislature" into the text here, does it?

More broadly, however, the Abramoff scandal wouldn't resonate nearly as much with the public if it didn't fit a GOP pattern of becoming cozy with Beltway [Madistan] mores. The party that swept to power on term limits, spending restraint and reform has become the party of incumbency, 6,371 highway-bill "earmarks," [guaranteed profits for gasoline retailers, liquor wholesalers, taxation-without-representation, Selig Stadium] and K Street. And it's no defense to say that Democrats would do the same. Of course Democrats would, but then they've always claimed to be the party of government. If that's what voters want, they'll choose the real thing.

...Lobbyists per se aren't the problem; most of them are hired to protect Americans from a federal government that wants to take more of their money or freedom.

...Republicans won't escape voter anger by writing new rules but only by returning to their self-professed principles. Gradually since 1994 they've decided they want to reform and limit government less than they want to use government to entrench their own power, and in the case of the Abramoffs to get rich doing so. If Speaker Dennis Hastert, [John Gard,] interim Majority Leader Roy Blunt [Dale Schultz] and other GOP leaders are too insulated to realize this, then Republicans need new leaders, and right away.

HT: Betsy's Page

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