Sunday, June 11, 2023

Prosecution Vs Persecution

The SCOTUS actually overturned the conviction of a Republican for acting like a typical politician. Amazing! Could this be the start of some semblance of equal treatment under the law? 

We all know that the typical politician in the US starts from fairly modest means, moving up the ranks to once reaching the House or the Senate, being in the "top 1%" or higher. Even self proclaimed Socialist Bernie Sanders has managed to amass a $5 million net worth.

Some of the key reasons for this are: 

  • Book deals
  • Being able to keep significant amount of campaign contributions 
  • A very cushy retirement plan.
  • Generous expense accounts.
  • A housing allowance that covers the cost of their living in DC
All of those are generally legal. The book deals are often questionable, and companies or individuals seeking favor may buy a lot of books, often through "straw purchasers". 

Covering "the costs" of speaking fees are often quite generous. 

If you are a "friend" of a government official and take them with you on an expensive trip, let them use your vacation home, pick them up with your private jet, etc, these are nice benefits. It doesn't directly increase your wealth, but you don't have to spend your cash for vacations that the rest of us save up for. 

Then there are the "foundations". The Clinton foundation took in well over $200 million until Hillary lost in 2016. Then, for some reason, donations dropped. Odd? Your foundation can own planes, boats, real estate, etc, all of which are "charitable" ... certainly flying donors on the foundations plane to encourage them to donate is legit. 

Many lower level politicians have their foundations ... they can often live in a home owned by the foundation with all the expenses covered. 

Traditionally, Democrats have had zero scrutiny. Jim Wright, Democrat Speaker of the House from '87 to '89 was an exception, as the very politically and media savvy Newt Gingerich took him down over a book deal on the way to the Republicans taking the House majority in '95 for the first time in 50 years. 

Power always corrupts to some degree. The issue is when the corruption is not limited for both sides of the political spectrum. The idea that the rule of law is applied equally to all is highly in question these days. Democrats strongly believe that Blacks are discriminated against on the basis of how many are incarcerated. They naturally assume that it can't be because Blacks commit a disproportionate amount of crime. We all know that predominantly black areas of our large cities are the safest and lowest crime, right? 

So is it good news that "standard corruption" will now be overlooked for both political parties? To some degree, yes, however a little thought is in order. Perhaps some degree of honor needs to be returned among the political thieves? 

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