I recently re-read Carmel's Robinson Jeffers's Shine Perishing Republic. One fragment of that poem resonated with me to the point that I tweeted about the need for "dead white poets" to remind us that "corruption is not compulsory…" and it still haunts me. It seems so necessary as corruption seems to be just part of the landscape on Washington. I should have put a couple of explanatory hashtags in that tweet: #ensign would have been appropriate and probably #coburn. That the Sen. from Oklahoma can face the public after using his influence to help out a colleague who can't keep his pecker in his pants is really an example of just how cynical the public has become… like we seem to expect this of our electeds.
This made me go back to check the Anticorruption Republican, a blog that was once a reliable source of info on all of those Republicans slimed by association with Jack Abramoff. Alas, since most of them are gone, so is public access to that blog. But then, personal proclivities was not their main target anyway.
Now, I read that ex-Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold (maybe going to run for the seat of retiring Sen. Kohl) with a blast at the ties some Congressional Democrats have with big business. If Wisconsin does send him back, it would make an interesting show.
What it obvious out of all of this is that Jeffers was right. Corruption is truly not compulsory. It is the result of a series of decision made consciously over time. Whether to use one's power to help a friend hide is problem, as Coburn did, or to become the lapdog for corporate interests most of the decisions seemed to be "logical" at the time. But as one decision follow another, at some point, it just become the way they do business.