One of my favorite movies is "The American President". In it, the character Sidney Wade makes the point that "politics is perception", and the phrase has stuck with me ever since seeing this movie, simply because the truth in it is so succinct and so powerful.
When I woke up this morning and saw that Abramoff had flipped, one of my first thoughts was "how in the world will the main stream media spin this one in Bush's favor?". It soon dawned on me through less than 5 minutes of CNN that the tactic would be to try to paint it as a general scandal, not just a republican one. Slipping away to the wonderful world of Kos for a minute, sure enough, here were all the usual suspects lamenting that Tweety said this, the apologists said that.
What's worse, some of you even acted surprised, as if there had been some paradigm shift away from the MSM shilling their hearts out for the Bush Admin. I know you keep hoping to see them change, but it's time to stop expecting it and to come to the harsh reality that most of the MSM is bought and paid for. When you finally allow that reality to be acceptable in your mind, regardless of how painful it is, it is a liberating experience. It allows the next thought to form, and it's that next thought that is the important one.... and that thought is "Does it matter if we lose a couple of Dem congresscritters if we take down the Republican funding aparatus?"
The answer is No.
Politics is perception. When one who is not well versed in politics goes to the polls, their perception of the republicans and the Bush administration will be one of scandal. Sure, the MSM is shilling for it to be perceived as a bipartisan scandal, but in elections, a perception of corruption in governments hurts incumbents. If... and this is a big if... we have a fair election, then this corruption hits rethugs hard, even if a few democrats get tossed in the mix.
As a response tactic, what I would propose is this - we need a patriotic congresscritter on the dem side to tearfully resign in shame.
WTH, has cre8fire lost his mind???
Nope. Our critter with the most ties to Abramoff should tearfully resign, saying he didn't feel he could continue representing his constitutents well knowing that he had been connected in any way to Abramoff. That sets the bar at resignation - and sets it LOW - just a slight connection to Abramoff is resignation material. But that then protects every one of our critters with less connections, as that level of corruption would not then rise to resignation. I'll hold my breath waiting for this to happen.... really, I will.
OK, so that probably won't happen. But I wanted to express my opinion that it wouldn't be that bad if it did - we need to be against corruption, ESPECIALLY within our own party. Our people don't want us to hold the party line for a person corrupting the party.
Politics is perception. In order to mold that perception, we must be in the news to do it. We should come out fully in support of an investigation into both parties' ties to corruption, and then skillfully play the perception game. Coming out in favor of a corruption inquiry into both parties' ties to Abramoff gives us the moral high ground - and if we discover through that inquiry that there is a corrupt dem or two, then we needed them out of the party anyway. The people know who is in power, and corruption will hurt them far worse if we who are not in power make ties to Abramoff a grave sin than if we look like we have something to hide as well.