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Tuesday, July 03, 20071183510496

The Libby Clemency: Men of Law, Men of Principle, Men of Cash

No comment on the Libby Clemency/potential-pardon other than this: Corrupt Republicans tend to be corrupt out of principle. Corrupt Democrats tend to be corrupt out of greed.

(Which is more dangerous for our Republic?)

Most Republicans who get into trouble did their deeds, like Libby, out of dedication to the Party, the Administration, or some other higher ideal. Most Democrats who get into trouble, like Representative William Jefferson, are looking to cash in.

If Republican officials tend to be men of principles, and Democratic office-holders are men of cash, then who are the men of law?

19:54 Posted in Republicans | Permalink | Comments (13) | Tags: libby, corruption


When did loyalty become fidelity? [1]

I think you're whitewashing this: Demons (them; note the "dem") and Angels (Us, who have principled angles.)

[1] http://www.fifthgeneration.phaticcommunion.com/archives/2007/03/loyalty_vs_fidelity.php

Posted by: Curtis Gale Weeks | Wednesday, July 04, 2007

And as a counter point, see George Ryan, crooked governor of Illinois

Posted by: Steve French | Wednesday, July 04, 2007

And also Jack Ambramoff, Bob Ney, and Tom DeLay for that matter. Solid upstanding citizens.

Men of principle, sure. But what if those principles (like a fourth branch of government allowing for executive privilege claims without being in the executive branch) are contrary to the Republic itself?

Posted by: Steve Pampinella | Wednesday, July 04, 2007

"But what if those principles... are contrary to the Republic itself?"

The point exactly. Wealth tends to be structurally conservative, while ideology is structurally radical. Which is safer? How much does the actual implementation --- who gives money and for what, who spreads ideas and for what -- matter?

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I doubt Bush saved Libby's ass out of principle. I believe Bush saved Libby due to Libby's ability to blackmail. That's not exactly a principle.

To Steve Pampinella's list, I would add
Conrad Burns
Jerry Lewis
Katherine Harris
Crazy Curt Weldon
John Doolittle
Duke Cunningham

Besides, Democrats haven't held any power for so long, there really hasn't been much of an opportunity for any greed-based corruption.

Posted by: a517dogg | Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The secondary source for the central claim in this post is "Understanding American Government" by Welch, Gruhl, Comer, & Rigdon, page 309. Without the text in front of me I am unable to provide a primary reference, though I assume it ties in with the researchs agenda of J. Peters and S. Welch [1], who are both interested in the study of corruption.

The authors use the phrases "honest graft" to describe the Democratic Party style of corruption, which originates with (Democratic) Tammany Hall official George W. Plunkitt. [2]

[1] http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&lr=&safe=off&q=j.+peters+s.+welch+corruption&btnG=Search
[2] http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5030/

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Wednesday, July 04, 2007

It's a stretch to tie Tammany Hall into a modern discussion.

In 1860 most Democrats in the South were called Confederates. Now a great many progeny of the Confederates are Republicans.

Was Ulysses Grant a Tammany Hall Democrat?

Posted by: sonofsamphm1c | Wednesday, July 04, 2007

It's been a while since there was a good 'groaner' post here. Thanks for the update.

Posted by: Aaron | Thursday, July 05, 2007


Posted by: Jeffrey James | Thursday, July 05, 2007

I'll take good ol fashioned greed over ideological nonsense any day. The former can be rather easily spotted and prosecuted with patience and oversight. The latter is far more insidious and less revealing to the common witness.

Posted by: Eddie | Thursday, July 05, 2007


Thank you for addressing the questions in the post. It's odd so many leap to the assumption that because I differentiate principled corruption from cash corruption, I automatically assume principled corruption is better for our country and our constitution.

I'm very sympathetic to your position. Liberalism grew in western Europe in those countries where there were enough independent centers of wealth to prevent the State from easily doing her will against the monied and the landed.

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Friday, July 06, 2007

"It's odd so many leap to the assumption that because I differentiate principled corruption from cash corruption, I automatically assume principled corruption is better for our country and our constitution."

Noted! ;)

Posted by: Curtis Gale Weeks | Saturday, July 07, 2007

It's so easy to confuse indirect and corrupt with bad, and principled and smart with good...

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Saturday, July 07, 2007