Ho-Hum: Another Week, Another Republican Scandal

There seems to be no end to this.

The Washington Post reports today that Republican presidential contender and wanna-be gargoyle Fred Thompson’s BFF and biggest contributor is a convicted coke dealer.

Republican presidential candidate Fred D. Thompson has been crisscrossing the country since early this summer on a private jet lent to him by a businessman and close adviser who has a criminal record for drug dealing.

Thompson selected the businessman, Philip Martin, to raise seed money for his White House bid. Martin is one of four campaign co-chairmen and the head of a group called the “first day founders.” Campaign aides jokingly began to refer to Martin, who has been friends with Thompson since the early 1990s, as the head of “Thompson’s Airforce.”


Martin entered a plea of guilty to the sale of 11 pounds of marijuana in 1979; the court withheld judgment pending completion of his probation. He was charged in 1983 with violating his probation and with multiple counts of felony bookmaking, cocaine trafficking and conspiracy. He pleaded no contest to the cocaine-trafficking and conspiracy charges, which stemmed from a plan to sell $30,000 worth of the drug, and was continued on probation.

Are you surprised by this? Anybody?

No, me neither.

The arrogance, corruption, and just plain stoopidity in the GOP has reached monumental proportions. I suppose there must be a Republican somewhere who isn’t a crook, a friend of crooks, a sexual hypocrite, a would-be dictator, or an extremist religious whacko, but I couldn’t tell you where to find them. One gets the feeling that the the ones not currently under indictment or otherwise embarrassed by revelations of thievery, calumny, greed, or cruelty just haven’t been investigated yet.

Just yesterday the NYT reported that Rudy Giuliani knew perfectly well that Bernie Kerik had ties to the NY mob before he appointed him Police Commissioner and later nominated him to be director of Homeland Security. Now Fred “Me, Reagan” Thompson’s best bud was once a cocaine trafficker. Yet the RWNM has, well, nothing bad to say about any of this. They’re too busy wondering if Rudy’s habit of wearing a dress in his off-hours will hurt his chances with fundamentalist crackpots and why the librul media won’t take Freddie’s campaign seriously.

It’s gotten to the point where it isn’t just the party itself that’s a joke, it’s the cement-headed minority who continue to support these hopeless clowns that’s becoming fodder for comedy. The best – THE BEST – who have any hope of attracting votes from the GOP base are panderers, criminals, the dear dear friends of criminals, cross-dressers, fringe religious fruitcakes, opportunists without consciences or convictions that didn’t come from obsessive polling, and anti-democratic despots. It’s as if Ken Mehlman recruited the casts of My Mother, the Car  and The Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight to run for president of the most powerful country in the world.

And we’re not supposed to treat this party like a lounge-lizard joke with a bad punchline? No wonder Ron Paul is looking good by comparison.

Why, in the name of all that is politically civilized, are Democrats siding with these goofballs?

14 Responses to “Ho-Hum: Another Week, Another Republican Scandal”

  1. L.Step says:

    Right you are… and how come the inhuman recommendations for torture come from such as Schumer and Feinstein — hold up now… these are said to be Democratic liberals? What’s going on? (sorry I asked) Anyhow, yes, Paul not only LOOKS good by comparison, but the fact is he IS good.

  2. mick says:

    No, he isn’t. That’s the point. If the GOP wasn’t wallowing in absurdity and corruption, if the Dems weren’t wallowing in the mid-level of authoritarian hell and institutional cowardice, Paul would look exactly like what he is – a faux libertarian with fascist tendencies. The fact that he’s got just enough sense left to buck the two worst mistakes of both national parties makes him seem sane, but it’s an illusion. Underneath, he’s almost as nuts as the rest of the GOP field.

  3. CosmoReaxer says:

    You’re getting all bent out of shape about Philip Martin, who did some seriously illegal stuff a wuarter of a century ago, when Norman Hsu did some other seriously illegal stuff at the same time he was a Clinton contributor? Well, it’s your prerogative, but if I were you I’d save the fake outrage.

  4. LaPopessa says:

    Now, now, this is VERY different from most Republican scandals. It doesn’t involve stealing the people’s money or “straight” Republican men hitting on men. Not boring at all – they’ve branched out!

  5. xranger says:

    WASHINGTON – A defiant Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton says she has no intention of curtailing her fundraising in the Chinese community despite reports that she accepted cash from dozens of questionable donors in Chinatown earlier this year.


  6. xranger says:

    The Sun-Times first sought to interview Sen. Barack Obama on March 14 about indicted businessman and longtime supporter Antoin “Tony” Rezko and a series of troubled low-income housing deals involving Rezko’s company, Rezmar Corp. Obama’s staff asked for written questions. It responded Sunday but left many questions unanswered and didn’t directly address some other questions.


  7. xranger says:

    “In financial terms, a much larger scandal has virtually escaped media coverage altogether. The last week of August, the Federal Elections Commission fined the George Soros-funded group Americans Coming Together (ACT) $775,000. This was the third largest fine the FEC had ever levied on an organization or campaign. ACT’s violation was that it had violated campaign finance laws during the 2004 election cycle. ”

    “Finally, there was the largely one-day story about the 11 Democratic politicians in New Jersey who were indicted last week, by a Bush-appointed U.S. Attorney, Christopher Christie. Surprisingly, as this New York Times article states, many Democrats are blaming no one but themselves. State legislators, mayors and local assemblymen are among the 11 arrested. According to the Times, “Hardly any Democrat was accusing Mr. Christie of playing politics. Instead, many praised him and the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents who worked on the 18-month investigation.” The crimes were mainly bribes for the awarding of contracts. ”


  8. mick says:

    Jesus, x.

    To the former: What’s your point, that two wrongs make a right? IAC, Obama was a junior attorney and unlikely to have had any contact with the principal. Are you equating the two?

    To the latter: Do you really want to do that? Cite AIM? The far-right wackos who accused Ken Starr and the Gingrich Republicans of “covering up” for Clinton? Who insisted for 20 years that the NYT was secretly run by the KGB and that Fidel owned NBC the Washington Post? Really? That’s your source?

    Just how gullible are you, anyway?

  9. mick says:

    That’s “NBC and the Post”.

  10. xranger says:

    Not gullible: refute their claim. If it was incorrect, please advise and I’ll retract.

    Your post sounded like ALL Republicans are corrupt and evil at heart.

    I was merely pointing out that both parties are fallible. Indeed, they are populated by human beings.

  11. (Edited version cross-posted at PE)

    I hate crap like this- so the guy has a close adviser who was convicted of some felonies related to the War on Drugs 25 years ago- so what? Given the size of the US’ prison population and the number of hangers-on that all politicians have (especially presidential candidates), I’d tend to think that most politicians, who are in a shady business to begin with, have close connections to criminals of various stripes. The bigger question when things like this come out is what does it say about the War on Drugs, other than that it’s made drug dealing a very lucrative business.

    The ad hominem suggesting that all Republicans are crooks, etc. strikes me as particularly out of line. Not so long ago, I remember the Dems being the ones who were most frequently coming up in scandals of various sorts: Abscam, the Keating Five (four of whom were Dems, including all three found to have acted most inappropriately), Bob Torricelli, Marion Barry, the various “Gates” of the Clinton years (some of which were very real), Gary Hart, the political machines in several major US cities, and countless others. Fact is, the Republicans are a political party dedicated to getting party members elected, just as the Dems are. That is the only purpose for either party; it just so happens that at this moment in history conservatives tend to be Republicans and Progressives tend to be Dems- but those ideologies exist independent of the parties. The problem occurs when people conflate the ideology (which is really a personal philosophy about the role of government) with party dogma (which is geared towards electing and empowering candidates).

    Rather than making corruption and criminal behavior by politicians a partisan issue, maybe we should be asking what it is about government more generally that creates corruption and attracts criminals. In other words, maybe we should be asking why we continue to be surprised when the old maxim that “power corrupts” proves true, and why we don’t do something to diffuse that power. The politician’s first duty will always be re-election and maintenance of power since power is what is needed to implement the politician’s ideology; problem is, of course, that the ideology will over time become increasingly corrupted by the need to get re-elected or gain more power. And so, over time, policy becomes increasingly driven by doing favors for those who are most useful to keeping you in power or getting you more power.

  12. mick says:

    x: No. AIM has zero credibility and I’m not going to waste time debunking obvious lies from an infamous liar. You want to believe what they say despite their despicable (not to mention laughable) record, it’s on you. Find a more credible source and I’ll pay attention.

    To both: I thought the tone of that post was pretty clearly somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I didn’t think I had to add smiley-faces to make that obvious. After re-reading it, I still think so, and I can’t figure out if it only comes out that way because I know it was supposed to or if you’re both being a little over-sensitive.

    Whatever. The main point is serious enough: there is a built-in, institutional quality to GOP hypocrisy, arrogance, and criminality that is entirely missing from the Donkey party – as yet (an unfortunately sizable chunk of Dems seem hell-bent on copying them, tho). I mean, the corruption that’s been uncovered is undeniably more common and widespread than anything we’ve ever seen before – from either party. It’s a different order of magnitude that has arisen since movement conservatives took over, which makes sense because they’re by nature extremists who don’t acknowledge boundaries to their ambition or greed. I can’t believe that you would have – or could have – found a tenth the criminality of movement conservatives in the pre-94 GOP if you investigated them for 100 years. The new GOP is a different animal altogether, and that needs to be acknowledged by Republicans before any change can happen.


    Fact is, the Republicans are a political party dedicated to getting party members elected, just as the Dems are. That is the only purpose for either party…

    Not quite. Movement conservatives – and this has been in the open for years; Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, James Inhofe, James Sensenbrenner, and Rick Santorum have said so publicly (among many others) – have had as a primary goal making the US a one-party country. I will add (since it’s been proven over and over) by hook or by crook. They haven’t exactly been, um, scrupulous about their methods. Getting your party elected is a very different thing from making sure the other one isn’t. There’s a difference in emphasis and tactics: one honors representative democracy, the other tries to destroy it. The latter is the GOP Karl Rove has created on behalf of and with the aid of extremists. If you don’t get that, you don’t understand what’s really going on here.

    Rather than making corruption and criminal behavior by politicians a partisan issue, maybe we should be asking what it is about government more generally that creates corruption and attracts criminals.

    Actually, I would tend to agree. With the Dems apparently moving in the same direction as the MCGOP, the system itself is becoming an attractive instrument for crooks, hypocrites, and corporate puppets as well as a snake-pit that repulses anyone who isn’t at least one of the three. It hasn’t fully matured yet, but that does seem to be the way we’re going. Our political discourse has been so perverted, debased, and trivialized by the likes of Limbo and a corporate media that sees everything, even democracy, in terms of entertainment, that it’s almost impossible to actually discuss issues any more.

    I’ve offered two explanations for this. The first is the RWNM’s increasing reliance on blind obedience and gutter argumentation consisting mostly of lies, fantasies, and name-calling. The other I’ve written about many times, most recently here: $$$.

    Until Republicans of conscience and character repudiate what the likes of Malkin, O’Reilly, and Beck do and say in their names, and campaign financing is reformed once and for all to eliminate or at least minimize the power of $$$ to rule elections, we’re going to be stuck in a downward spiral that will inevitably end in authoritarianism and despot oligarchs.

    I’m buying a ticket to Denmark NOW. 😉

  13. I’m actually thinking Switzerland, but we have slightly different tastes in ideal government :).
    Anyways, if I misconstrued your paragraph, I’m sorry. But it gave me an excuse to talk on my blog about an issue have had a long-standing interest in, to wit, political corruption and what to do about it, so I won’t apologize too much. FYI- my discussion on the issue of political corruption is going to be at least a two-part series, maybe as many as four parts.
    Something I want to mention as well- puppet-mastery is not solely the domain of business interests; if you’ve ever attended a meeting of the AFL-CIO’s lobbyists (as I have), you would see that there are just as many puppet masters on the Left as on the Right (whatever those terms mean). But all that says nothing compared to the most corrupting influence of them all- and one which most political “reforms” just serve to strengthen- the influence of political parties- and in particular as caused by the two-party system- on their candidates and on the electoral process more generally. We tend to forget that the candidates usually need the political party’s approval much, much more than the political party needs the candidates’ approval. It’s very difficult for a candidate or unestablished incumbent to obtain election without the support of a major party; this makes it correspondingly difficult for such a candidate, once nominated, to defy party orthodoxy very often if that candidate wants to get elected. By the time an incumbent is established enough that he can act independently of the party, he frequently (though not always- see Warner, John and Feingold, Russ) will find that all those years of rationalizing his decisions to support the party has resulted in actually believing that the party’s viewpoints are consistent with his underlying , original philosophy. Indeed, the two political parties have so much excessive clout that they actually may have a greater influence on the interest groups than the interest groups have on the candidates (e.g., Cato’s official agnosticism about Ron Paul- borne I think out of a need to maintain credibility with mainstream Republicans; the involvement of labor unions on issues that have exactly zero to do with workers’ rights; Americans for Tax Reform’s involvement in the Fairness Doctrine issue- even though their right, in my view, the issue has nothing to do with tax reform; Human Rights Campaign’s hard-core pro-choice stance, which has nothing to do with gay rights, etc.). Not to say there aren’t any independent-minded interest groups left, but they are increasingly rare and increasingly dedicated to simply making sure one party or the other is elected (some still-independent groups include the firefighters’ union, maybe some of the religious right groups as much as I hate them, some of the veterans’ groups, and for the most part, Cato). But I fear the independence of even those groups is being undermined.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I’m much less scared of interest groups that need to convince 218 individual Congressmen to sign on with them than I am when those same interest groups need only convince a couple influential people who run the political party.


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