Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Junk In The Trunk
For a while there I was seriously considering re-registering myself as a Republican. I know, I've got old-school JFK-lovin' Irish-Catholics on one side of the family and all pinko union people on the other, so it seems like blasphemy. Plus there's no telling what kind of looks I'll get when I stroll into the Liberace Memorial Gay Immigrant Abortion & Racquet Club all decked out in my GOP-required finest: an Izod golf shirt (collar not popped), my Dockers pleated khakis and sensible, color-free loafers, all worn unironically. If the entire membership weren't all a bunch of pansy pacifists, I'd fear for my safety.

Until very recently, I was at the end of my rope with these goddamn Democrats. I mean, I keep hearing about all these Republicans getting busted for corruption and bribery; these people are clearly working. The job of serving the American people in Congress involves a time-honored tradition of openly, brazenly doing the work of the wealthiest few in exchange for a small consideration in the form of a satchel loaded with small, unmarked bills. This is how democracy has always worked. John Adams famously endorsed brand-name medical leeches over "inferior, unsafe" generic ones in exchange for the princely sum of $75 dollars. The party of my youth seems to have forgotten that.

I gave them a lot of slack because it's not really their fault. I mean, what's the point in bribing a Democrat? There's something so Pet Rock about the idea. I can only imagine that a really good corrupt lobbyist would only do it for the kitsch, for the novelty of it. Maybe they're just completists, like they have to have ALL the Congresspeople on their payroll the same way other people collect entire sets of baseball cards, even the guys nobody ever heard of like, say, everyone who ever played for the Milwaukee Brewers.

The point is that, without any arrests, I don't see the Democrats working. They're just sort of standing there, yakking away about how awful it is to take money in exchange for services rendered and what an abomination it is to cheapen the office of Member of Congress by selling influence to the highest bidder. That just sounds like jealousy to me. The scoliotic, asthmatic mathletes in high school don't hate the jocks for their athletic prowess--that can be dismissed as genetics--wethey hate them because they are banging half the varsity cheerleaders, an action wethey denounce as "gross" and "cheap" and the girls are "slutty whores", but in the dark, all alone, wethey think: why oh why can't they be slutty whores who are in to integers and a sexy spinal curvature? If one of the geek squad could find a chick who thought your extensive Dungeons & Dragons miniature figurine collection was hot, the high-moral argument would suddenly lose some of its currency.

That's why I was happy to see that finally--finally!--someone on our side was getting a piece of the action. Look! A Democrat is doing something! It was a signal to me that there was someone out there, somewhere, who felt like a Democrat was important enough to bribe. Even if it was just an FBI agent working a sting, that's fine. They don't sting you if you're not corrupt and you can't be corrupt if you're a total nobody.

I can relate somewhat because I've had a lot of different jobs. Loading delivery vans? Nothing. Work in a video store? All handjobs in the store-rooms. Being the guy who operates the computer that records the late-fees, that's power. I know what it means to have leverage.

Republicans know times are changing as well. They got right out in front on this whole Jefferson bribery thing. They're all up in arms about the search on a Congressman's offices. For "constitutional reason" not because it could affect them directly in the short-term, noooo.

See, they don't even care how it sounds. They basically have come out in support of the guy who has been filmed taking bribes. This is part of the reason why I was considering switching; these are people who know how to run a kleptocracy.

Sure, Rep. Jefferson's own personal scandal is sort of stupid: taking money in order to send it to Nigeria. It's sort of embarrassing that this whole thing could have been avoided had he a) learned to better filter his unsolicited e-mails and b) made one visit to Look, just because they say they're the former president of Zaire's widow who has $160 million to launder ASAP in the e-mail doesn't mean it's true. And you should never send them any money. You know how Africans are with money; they'll spend it all on alcohol, bling and other Congresspeople.

Yes, it's ridiculous as scandals go, but still it's a scandal. And that's the reason why I'm not switching. How hard have times been? Rep. Jefferson is said to have taken money from agents and put it into the trunk of his 1990 Lincoln Town Car. They've been long, lean years, my friends. But now I know Democrats can still get it done. Now all we need do is find a way to lose seats in the upcoming midterm elections and I'll be happy to remain a part of the Democratic party I've known for most of my adult life.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 6.5



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