Stop the presses! A politician lied? Say it ain't so...
If that crime were widely prosecuted, there would hardly be a Congressman or Senator left standing in Washington. Not to excuse Blagojevich's behavior -- he was apparently a two-faced political sellout -- but who in Washington hasn't lied?
As Ross Perot will tell you, nobody ever got elected telling the voters the truth they don't want to hear. Especially when it involves the national debt -- a topic that's still off limits during virtually every political campaign. Lying is a matter of course for "successful" politicians, from the day their campaign begins to their last day in office (and often, even continuing far after...)
But let's get to the more serious criminal charge here: That Blagojevich allegedly attempted to sell a U.S. Senate seat. Again, not to excuse Blagojevich's behavior (which was despicable), but isn't every U.S. Senate seat ultimately for sale?
How do you think Senators get elected? They run campaigns paid for by corporations and special interests groups. These campaigns can cost tens of millions of dollars, and the corporations that pony up this cash don't do it out of the good of their hearts... they expect something in return. And that payback comes in the form of legislative votes that favor the financial interests of the very same companies who put these people into office.
Thanks to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that now allows corporations to anonymously contribute unlimited funds to a candidate's campaign, the U.S. Senate may be more accurately described as an open legislative bazaar where any vote is ultimately for sale to the highest bidder. Or, to translate it into internet vernacular, it's a grand legislative ebay.
Blagojevich's crime, if indeed he is ultimately found guilty of it, was being too blatant about selling the seat. To really master the art of Washington corruption, you have to be more subtle about it. Spout some nice-sounding words like "jobs" and "freedom" while you're selling out your voters behind their backs. That's what the voters really want, after all: To be lied to by nice-sounding politicians so they don't have to think about where America is really headed (and who's really running things in our corporatocracy).
Now, I know Blagojevich isn't a Congressman, but his blatant deceptions inspired me to use a caricature of his face for this cartoon which features hilarious dialog between a U.S. Congressman and his doctor.
Doctor: "Well, Congressman, you have no backbone, you're spineless, you lack vision and you suffer from a severe deficiency of personal integrity."
Congressman: "Yeah, but is there anything actually WRONG with me?"
What's implied here, of course, is that deceptive members of Congress don't even see their behavior as faulty in any way. Lying to the voters, compromising the long-term health of the nation for short-term political gains, and refusing to stand up for real justice are such common traits in the U.S. Capitol that members of Congress don't even consider them to be faults.
See, it's not merely that members of Congress sell out the voters and compromise America's future for their own short-term power interests; it's that they don't see anything wrong with that! This is the real source of the problem: The lack of personal integrity.
The health bill we got, it turns out, wasn't intended to help the American people at all. It was rigged from the start to protect Big Pharma's sick-care monopoly -- the same monopoly that has now been exposed as a complete farce and a total waste of money (http://www.naturalnews.com/029506_B...).
See, Rod Blagojevich may have attempted to sell out a U.S. Senate seat, but the Senators already in office sold out their entire country. They betrayed us all by pandering to the profit interests of Big Pharma. And they will continue to do so, again and again, because Big Pharma contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to their reelection campaigns, drowning out the irrelevant financial influence of everyday citizens like you and me.
Let's face it: The entire U.S. Congress is already for sale. If Blagojevich is a criminal (and I believe he probably is), then so is virtually every member of Congress.
Of course, I understand there are exceptions. I know there are some members who practice personal integrity, who say what they believe and who attempt to fight the despicable lies that typify behavior in Washington. People like Rep. Ron Paul come to mind, of course, and there are undoubtedly some others who deserve recognition for taking a stand against political corruption.
But honest people are a rarity in Washington -- or indeed in any nation's seat of power. Washington is a seductive place, you see. Even well-meaning people who intend to stand up against corruption and genuinely vote the interests of their constituents all too easily end up seduced by the siren song of continued power.
To stay in power in Washington almost always means compromising your principles, because he who rocks the boat gets thrown overboard. So if you want to stay in the boat, you've got to go with the flow. And the flow, as usual, is ultimately just cash flow paraded around as Democracy.