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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 16, 2006 / 16 Teves, 5766

Lobbyists traitors to the Republican revolution

By Jonathan Gurwitz


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "This is the way the world ends," T. S. Eliot wrote, "not with a bang but a whimper."


And this may be the way the Republican revolution ends, not with some earthshaking ideological event, but with a snicker.


The snicker comes from Michael Scanlon, the business partner of superlobbyist Jack Abramoff who pleaded guilty in November to one count of conspiracy to corrupt public officials. Scanlon also happens to be a former press secretary to Rep. Tom DeLay. Abramoff has also pleaded guilty to conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion. Both are now cooperating with the federal probe into corruption on Capitol Hill.


Back in October 2001, when most of the nation was still grieving over the 9-11 attacks and most of Washington was focused on protecting the nation, Scanlon and Abramoff were busy enriching themselves by pitting the gambling interests of Indian tribes against one another in Louisiana and Texas.


Scanlon laid out the lobbyists' cynical strategy in an e-mail to his cohorts, made public in congressional hearings:


"Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them. The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees."


It wasn't the only snicker to come from the dynamic lobbying duo. Abramoff, in correspondence, chortled about their clients as monkeys, troglodytes and morons.


But the e-mail is the clearest indication of just how far a former aide of the former House majority leader, a former national chairman of the College Republicans and dozens of others around them with putatively conservative GOP pedigrees came unmoored from the principles that put Ronald Reagan in the White House in 1981 and brought Republican majorities to the House and Senate in 1995.


Anyone who thinks the Abramoff scandal is just another contrived effort to hurt the conservative cause and roll back Republican leadership needs to look at that e-mail again. The corrupt lobbyists who were leading this effort were counting on the gullibility of Christian conservatives and the ignorance of everyone else.


And as Newt Gingrich told Washington reporters, "You can't have a corrupt lobbyist without a corrupt member or a corrupt staffer on the other end."


Other than Abramoff and Scanlon, none of the figures implicated in the investigation has admitted to any wrongdoing, and federal prosecutors have not issued any indictments.


Aside from the legal issues, however, is the betrayal of principle.


"This year's election," read the Republican Contract with America in 1994, "offers the chance, after four decades of one-party control, to bring to the House a new majority that will transform the way Congress works."


Among the pledges made by Republican leaders, including then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay: Restore accountability to Congress, end its cycle of scandal and disgrace and guarantee an honest accounting of the federal budget.


Until recently, DeLay had the Contract with America posted on his congressional Web site among other "Great Documents of Freedom." Interestingly, the link no longer exists.


An exploding federal budget and the monumental growth of pork-barrel earmarks over the past 11 years provide ample evidence that the current Republican leadership hasn't lived up to its 1994 pledge. The ethical morass exemplified by DeLay's "K Street Project" to transform Washington's lobbying establishment into an instrument of Republican power provides another.


GOP uneasiness about the numerous and lengthy connections between the growing Abramoff scandal and DeLay's office compelled the Sugar Land representative to step aside permanently as majority leader. Republicans must do much more to restore their credibility and their commitment to principle.


If the Republican majority does not clean house, voters will surely cleanse Congress of a Republican majority — and the Republican revolution will come to a whimpering end.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jonathan Gurwitz, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, is a co-founder and twice served as Director General of the Future Leaders of the Alliance program at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. In 1986 he was placed on the Foreign Service Register of the U.S. State Department.Comment by clicking here.

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© 2005, Jonathan Gurwitz

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