January 07, 2006

The Abramoff "Circus"

The major reason I haven't posted anything about the Abramoff debacle is that I don't view it as a political issue. Pure and simple, it is a criminal justice affair -- the man is a crook, he's going down for it and that's the way of things.

It is no surprise to me, given their desperation to discredit Bush, that the Angry Left has been doing their best to spin this into a Bush-bashing event.

What connections there are to any politicians on either side of the aisle(Harry reid's name has, it seems, been mentioned briefly in connection with an Abramoff associate) will be unlikely to have any significant impact upon their respective political careers or incur any criminal charges, though Representative Robert W. Ney(R, Ohio) would seem to have been a smidgeon more receptive than most of his colleagues to Abramoff's largesse, and may or may not encounter the roosting of his proverbial chickens as a result.

That said, Jack Abramoff is a criminal, a lobbyist gone bad(at least, gone bad and been caught at it), not a politician. His actions are just that: His actions, and can only be laid at the feet of the administration by political opposition for political purposes, without any honorable or even remotely respectable foundation for any accusations levelled. In short, only leftist hacks need apply.

In fact, a well thought out column appeared in Review & Outlook in yesterday's WSJ Opinion Journal with which I tend to agree, and that, friends, is the last I have to say about the reprehensible Mr. Abramoff and his well publicized legal problems.

As for Bush Administration involvement?

...it's worth pointing out that Mr. Abramoff and his coterie aren't getting off easy. His plea deal includes a likely 10-year sentence, which is the same as the one handed to Enron's Andy Fastow. Co-conspirator Michael Scanlon has also copped to a felony, and others are expected to follow. No one can accuse the Bush Justice Department of giving these GOP scoundrels a pass, in contrast to the way Janet Reno's Department went soft on Harold Ickes and others after the 1996 campaign-finance shenanigans.

Note: Emphasis mine.

It's also notable how few Members of Congress so far have truly been implicated, beyond accepting entirely legal campaign contributions. The most culpable is Ohio's Bob Ney, who has been cited in a "criminal information" for receiving trips and other favors in return for statements entered into the Congressional Record. Mr. Ney says that he too was duped, but there's no question he was willing to tap dance on cue for Mr. Scanlon, and that alone is sleaze-by-willing-association. If the House Ethics Committee serves any useful purpose, sanctioning Mr. Ney ought to be it.

Here is the entire column.

Posted by Seth at 05:14 AM |