Abramoff – little reform coming

Clients of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff spent $72 million on political influence, including contributions to about 500 members of the U.S. Congress.

But the Senate isn’t about to reform itself

It is fitting that, on the day that disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff was sentenced to jail, a U.S. Senate supposedly jolted into recognizing the need for major lobbyist reform by the Abramoff scandal passed a bill that scrapes a little of the muck off the Capitol building and then engaged in self-satisfied congratulation. Mr. Abramoff earned his roughly six years in jail, but one of the legislative bodies on the receiving end of his illegal overtures still can’t come to grips with its addiction to money and perks.

The system itself is corrupt. That’s why piecemeal reform like that proposed in Kos’ “Crashing the Gate” won’t work. Bringing reformists into a corrupt system in hopes of changing things, yet relying on the same old fundraising system to do it, is doomed from the start. Band-aids do little when the patient has been poisoned, and that’s what D.C. has become, a system poisoned by special interests and money.

As long as profits can be ensured by buying off politicians, politics will be dirty and corrupt. This is a fundamental feature of government under capitalism. It is necessary to go beyond the confines of the bourgeois discourse about the Abramoff scandal and use it to expose the rotten nature of capitalism.

To get rid of people like Jack Abramoff and everyone he was able to buy and sell throughout his career, a new system is needed—one where no profit motive or ultra-rich ruling class exists.

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