Monday, May 16, 2011

Senator Scott Brown: Not The Brightest Bulb In The Box

I understand his message on one level, but his rationale smacks of a re-election justification. If so, it's one of the weakest arguments ever used:

Senator Scott Brown said yesterday that the federal corruption trial of former House speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi highlights the dangers of one-party dominance in Massachusetts and a go-along-to-get-along political culture.

Injecting politics into a normally celebratory moment, Brown said in remarks delivered at the Lasell College commencement ceremony: “I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican — just as one political party can’t be right 100 percent of the time, it shouldn’t have 100 percent of the power. Unchallenged power grows arrogant over time. It is what has given us one case of graft after another.’’

Brown is the only Republican in Massachussetts' congressional caucus (House and Senate) and one of the few elected in the state.

There are a myriad of reasons why one party should not hold a unanimous dominance over politics, the most important being that, in a democracy, the minority view must be taken into account. People are dumb, but a person is smart, and if enough persons have an issue with something, they ought to be listened to. The majority is not right often enough to let them lead all the time.

But graft? Senator, graft happens. Graft happens not because one party dominates or the other, but because the agglomeration of power becomes the prime focus of elections. Even the minority party is subject to graft, indeed, one could argue they are more susceptible precisely because it is through "legalized" graft that they can accumulate enough political influence to ensure that either they will be re-elected or that they can influence someone else's election.

This is particularly true in America where winner takes all, but look: in England, which has a Parliamentary government, meaning that minor parties can capture seats and even help form coalition government, graft. Still. Happens.

And in no way can you say that England has a system that could be totally co-opted by one party.

Getting the genie back in the bottle will be difficult, because your cohorts on the right have gamed the table where we all sit down and try to influence our legislators and politicians. Now that corporate money, unlimited and openly, can be used to buy candidates, there will be no stopping graft. Oh, we'll politely call it "influence," and Jack Abramoff must be kicking himself for getting caught two years too early, but it's bribery.

And it stinks.

And it stinks that you're defending the very people who caused it to become settled law.