Did you catch the gangster look Jack Abramoff was sporting as he walked out of court yesterday? He was decked out with his trench coat and his mob topper, as if to announce his status to the world as the Al Capone of the K Street set. He’s clearly preparing for his stay in the slammer, he’s bulked up and now he’s building up his street cred. Way to take it like a man Jack, I’m sure you’ll make some lifelong friends over the next 7 to 10.
Jack Abramoff may be going down, but he is determined not to go down alone which is good news for the country. At first it was Rep. Bob Ney who was the chosen one, then it became up to 12 Congressmen who would get to share the joy. Now Abramoff is spouting off saying he can implicate up to 60 lawmakers. You have got to love this guy’s spirit! I just hope he has the evidence to back up his claims. Being able to show that he gave Congressmen money or services in return for specific legislative gains is one thing, simply implicating them in activity that has become commonplace in DC is something all together different. Here’s to hoping that he’s got the goods on these dirt-bag Republicans.
I spent a lot of time watching C-Span today and I have to say that the signs are pretty encouraging. There is an awful lot of quiet from folks who can’t ever seem to say enough and there was a lot of scurrying around today dumping any bit of money Republicans could track down that came from Abramoff. Even the President got in on the action giving $6000 of Abramoff tainted money to charity. I wonder what happened to the other $94,000 Jack raised for Bush/Cheney '04, I guess it was already spent on all those secret computer programmers at Diebold. The fear is palpable and DC residents may want to invest in some floatation devices, what with the river of sweat flowing down the Capitol steps.
So the big question is, what if the dream comes true and 60 Republican lawmakers are indicted on charges of bribery? That still doesn’t translate into an automatic shift in the balance of power on the Hill. Tom DeLay has shown that being indicted of a crime doesn’t mean you have to give up your Congressional seat. He may have lost his power position as majority leader, but he still represents his district and continues to be a loyal vote for the Republican Party. Most likely there will be a few indictments on bribery, a handful more aides charged with influence peddling, and lots of sleazy yet legal activity will be revealed both within Congress and the Bush administration. I’m not as confident as some that this will bring about victory for Democrats come November. It would be the logical outcome of a scandal of this magnitude, but unfortunately, electronic voting machines have their own kind of logic, one created in the corporate offices of Diebold, Sequoia and ES&S.