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2.8.14 0404
The W - Current Events & Politics - Corruption and Politics - A question of precedent
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Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Has either party (Democrat or Republican) at any point done a "clean sweep" and disavowed one or more standing elected officials in the party due to corruption? I'm talking about cutting them off from national resources, not defending them, basically abandoning the person even if they still held the seat.

Do you think if either party were to do this today that we would see less pork? Could one party do this and gain the trust of Americans?




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Since: 2.2.04
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.08
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Has either party (Democrat or Republican) at any point done a "clean sweep" and disavowed one or more standing elected officials in the party due to corruption? I'm talking about cutting them off from national resources, not defending them, basically abandoning the person even if they still held the seat.

    Do you think if either party were to do this today that we would see less pork? Could one party do this and gain the trust of Americans?


I think the only thing that would drive a party to do this, and I really don't think they would, is the American people demanding it. Which would mean we would see it as "they only did it because we made them, not because they are trustworthy good people". Politicians these days refuse to take a stand unless made to. They're too scared of what might happen if they weren't pussies.
Mr. Boffo
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Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.12
I don't know if a party would ever do that in a two party system like we have. Political parties get so caught up in an "us against them" mindset that it seems like the only thing that matters is party affiliation most of the time. Abandoning a member increases the power of your opposition, as they will be only happy to add a new member, almost regardless of the circumstances of his departure.

I think it would only happen if the people in question had done something so dispicable that it would taint the entire party. Of course, given the scandals we've seen in which the party continues to support the members in question, I don't know what (if anything) would qualify.
MoeGates
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Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.62
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Has either party (Democrat or Republican) at any point done a "clean sweep" and disavowed one or more standing elected officials in the party due to corruption? I'm talking about cutting them off from national resources, not defending them, basically abandoning the person even if they still held the seat.

    Do you think if either party were to do this today that we would see less pork? Could one party do this and gain the trust of Americans?


It's definitely happened on a few occasions. It does take overwhelming evidence and a lot of press though. It generally helps if the person also isn't well-liked in Congress. Mario Biaggi (Congressman from the Bronx) resigned before he could be kicked out after he got caught up in the 1980s NYC scandels. Mike Myers tried to fight out the abscam stuff instead of quitting and got booted out by Congress. Adam Clayton Powell kept his seat, but got everything else taken from him in the early 70s.

The thing is, in those circles, political and personal relationships get so intertwined that "abandoning the person" is kind of relative. You might make it clear to someone that they're "out of the game" so to speak, but you'll still have lunch, talk shop, and maybe try to help them get a job somewhere.

I don't think there'd be any more or less "pork." Pork isn't corruption, it's just regular politics. You deliver for your constituents at the expense of the common purse, and you hope to be rewarded with votes. Now, delivering for interests other than your constituents and hoping to be rewarded with money, or power, or whatever else is different. That's corruption.

You might get a "clean sweep" at a small level (in the 1980s it pretty much happened in most of NYC), but I don't think you ever would nation-wide unless there was a truly nationwide corruption scandel that was sexy and easy to explain in the press. Even then, if a couple people take one for team (Tom DeLay) you can avoid a whole institutional sweep.

Basically, politics is complicated, and Americans today are simple. If you can't explain it "Joe did X, and X is bad" in that many words, they aren't going to care or follow - especially if X doesn't involves sex, drugs, or looking bad on television. And if voters don't really care, there's not really any incentive to do anything about it.



Man's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe.
-
Euripides


Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Well, I've been thinking about pork recently, and I do think that it is corruption. If someone I know in town was getting favors from someone else for spending tax money, I would think they were unethical. I don't know why we excuse this away in America as unavoidable or part of the system.

I'd love to see the Democrats stand up and say that they are the party of the people - and make a pledge that no Democrat would put pork in legislation. I'd love to see a party stand up and take on the challenge of trying to lead the country for the best interest of the entire country.

People say that the Democrats don't have a vision. I'd love for it to be bringing back honesty. I'd love to see at least one arm of the two party system hold their people accountable for being bastards.




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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.37
Guru, pork in and of itself isn't necessarily corrupt. By strict definition, it is simply the directing of tax monies to your district or state from the Federal treasury. While often wasteful, it isn't always. Although most voters say they are opposed to pork barrel spending, in reality they are only opposed to that which doesn't benefit them. It is what helps keep elected officals getting elected. If you listen to voters during campaigns, they speak about what the incumbent brought to the area, i.e. pork. Although they don't look at it that way.

Less pork barrel spending would be great and helpful but it doesn't in and of itself lead to corruption.



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Morcilla








Since: 14.5.04
From: right behind you

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.10
    Originally posted by wmatistic
      Originally posted by Guru Zim
      Has either party (Democrat or Republican) at any point done a "clean sweep" and disavowed one or more standing elected officials in the party due to corruption? I'm talking about cutting them off from national resources, not defending them, basically abandoning the person even if they still held the seat.

      Do you think if either party were to do this today that we would see less pork? Could one party do this and gain the trust of Americans?


    I think the only thing that would drive a party to do this, and I really don't think they would, is the American people demanding it. Which would mean we would see it as "they only did it because we made them, not because they are trustworthy good people". Politicians these days refuse to take a stand unless made to. They're too scared of what might happen if they weren't pussies.


I wonder if this is going through Dubya's head as he continues his stance on Iraq?



Amirite?!
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