The decline to moral bankruptcy of the GOP


#5806

If they did it right you wouldn’t. That doesn’t make it right.


#5807

I’m pretty sure there were three in just the last few months. Are you really arguing that this sort of corruption isn’t, well, commonplace?


#5808

Other than the guy who started this discussion, here are 40 other guys in the house who held investments in medical corporations while they voted on laws affecting them.


#5809

https://www.npr.org/2018/08/08/636666323/new-york-congressman-indicted-on-insider-trading-charges

This has several instances

Oh, also apparently insider trading wasn’t illegal until 2012!


#5810

Which, I should note, is a bipartisan list.

And we wonder why real medical reform is so hard and doesn’t really tackle the root financial causes.


#5811

They get pensions and benefits.

You know, unlike everyone else anymore. Also they tend to leave Congress as multi-millionaires with easy consulting/lobbying jobs that pay 6-7 figures on top of that.

Now If you’re talking about Mayors or the like… sure maybe there should be more leeway. But government pensions have always been a thing and they didn’t gut those along the way, unlike they did to everyone else.


#5812

Really needs to be read in whole.

The first insurgency was the nomination of Barry Goldwater for president in 1964 …

During this first insurgency, the abiding contours of the movement took shape. One feature—detailed in Before the Storm , Rick Perlstein’s account of the origins of the New Right—was liberals’ inability to see, let alone take seriously enough to understand, what was happening around the country. For their part, conservatives nursed a victim’s sense of grievance—the system was stacked against them, cabals of the powerful were determined to lock them out—and they showed more energetic interest than their opponents in the means of gaining power: mass media, new techniques of organizing, rhetoric, ideas. Finally, the movement was founded in the politics of racism. Goldwater’s strongest support came from white southerners reacting against civil rights. Even Buckley once defended Jim Crow with the claim that black Americans were too “backward” for self-government. Eventually he changed his views, but modern conservatism would never stop flirting with hostility toward whole groups of Americans. And from the start this stance opened the movement to extreme, sometimes violent fellow travelers.

The corruption of the Republican Party in the Trump era seemed to set in with breathtaking speed. In fact, it took more than a half century to reach the point where faced with a choice between democracy and power, the party chose the latter. Its leaders don’t see a dilemma—democratic principles turn out to be disposable tools, sometimes useful, sometimes inconvenient. The higher cause is conservatism, but the highest is power. After Wisconsin Democrats swept statewide offices last month, Robin Vos, speaker of the assembly, explained why Republicans would have to get rid of the old rules: “We are going to have a very liberal governor who is going to enact policies that are in direct contrast to what many of us believe in.”

As Bertolt Brecht wrote of East Germany’s ruling party:

Would it not be easier

In that case for the government

To dissolve the people

And elect another?


#5813

Scott Walker is a piece of shit, and also doesn’t understand Venn diagrams.


#5814

Is lying and deception some kind of STD that’s infected all Republicans?


#5815

Hatch issues a statement regretting the things he said on CNN earlier this week. He also uses it as an opportunity to tout his proposals to ‘reduce overcriminalization’, with four links that basically all point to the same proposal, a mens rea requirement for every crime in the criminal code.

Of course, the point of a strict mens rea requirement is to make it much harder to prosecute white-collar crime. No one ever argues that a bank robber or a drug dealer or a burglar didn’t really intend to commit those crimes, and proving mens rea beyond a reasonable doubt in the case of those crimes is easy to do. But many do argue that e.g. Paul Manafort didn’t mean to launder money, or Michael Cohen didn’t mean to evade taxes, or Donald Trump didn’t mean to order Michael Cohen to break campaign finance laws; and proving mens rea in that kind of case can be quite hard to do.

In one of the links, Hatch acknowledges the criticisms of his proposal but dismisses them on the grounds that his proposal is fair because it applies to all crimes, and that everyone would therefore benefit. But this strikes me as a bad-faith argument, because Hatch surely knows differently.

And that Hatch points to this now makes me think that will be his take when Mueller points the finger at Trump: That no one can prove Trump knew he was committing a crime. Who can know what’s in another (rich white) man’s head?

https://www.hatch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=releases&id=5D5C96B3-0B4D-4988-97B6-D9EA99A8D640


#5816

God, I hate that craven little shit.

Those are all very valid points you bring up. Thankfully in this particular case, we would know what was in Trump’s head because he’s a dumbass and already admitted it.


#5817

The Law, in its infinite Majesty, forbids both rich and poor to sleep beneath the bridge.

I’m starting to think the guillotine deserves to make a comeback.


#5818

But Trump will argue that Trump is a notorious liar, and no one can rely on his admissions of guilt for that reason. Republicans will nod their heads sagely and say “that’s true, he is.” And I mean this seriously.


#5819

As a highway patrol man once told me, just because I didn’t know something is illegal does not mean that is an excuse to do an illegal thing.

Screw this white collar crime loophole baloney.


#5820

I’m starting to think the guillotine deserves to make a comeback.


#5821

To Krugman’s point, it’s a damn good thing the Democrats way n the house because it’s now clear that the Republican response, when faced with irrefutable evidence that the president committed crimes would have been to simply rewrite the laws in his favor.


#5822

My new battle cry whenever anything odd is happening: “maintenance de routine!”


#5823

I don’t understand Flynn’s defenders argument that he didn’t know it was bad to lie to the FBI because nobody told him it was bad. I think they are floating that out there because it is the defense Trump would use.


#5824

They are floating that defense because there is no other possible defense. It’s the only thing they can say other than “yeah, he’s definitely guilty.”


#5825

Career military guy doesn’t know lying to FBI is wrong. He should get extra jail time just for saying that.