Unsurprisingly, the chatter is dense and immense about how barely ordinary children of celebrity parents managed to get into prestige universities with winks, nods and wads of green.
These are terrible injustices considering who didn’t get admitted.
But let’s not belabor how Jared Kushner got into Harvard or how Donald Trump Jr. became Wharton-worthy. (Hint: not the SAT.)
When the subject is bribery and back-scratching, far more serious matters linger beyond the bounds of public indignation.
This is what happens when significant numbers of Americans cast their lots with a corrupt regime that not only sees bribery as how business is done but government as well.
Upon Paul Manafort’s sentencing, Republican Sen. John Kennedy referred to the twice-convicted former Trump campaign manager as a “grifter” and “sleazoid.”
Powerful denunciation, except that the Louisiana senator did not take the next logical step and assess compatriot Donald Trump for the company he keeps and the tactics he’s employed all his life.
Tucker Carlson uses his feathery Fox News perch to call Michael Avenatti a “creepy porn lawyer” for representing a porn star. What type of creep does it take to bed a porn star while his wife is still on the mend from childbirth, then bribe said star into silence? Carlson has no term for that.
Piles of green. That’s just the way things work in Trump World. These are ways that are in complete alignment, sadly, with today’s Republicans’ idea of how Washington works.
Cash (or credit) should always prevail.
Democrats in Congress have advanced an ambitious anti-corruption agenda. You’d think this is what most Americans want.
House Dems made this their first legislative act: House Resolution 1.
HR 1 would lift the curtain that has hidden the sources of dark money. No, it wouldn’t end super PACs. It would just let us know whose lucre is behind them.
It would hold presidents to the same conflicts-of-interest laws that pertain to Congress.
It would require presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their tax returns.
It would put further limits on lobbyists and forbid members of Congress from serving on corporate boards.
Naturally, this was “dead on arrival” in Mitch McConnell’s Senate. McConnell apparently is most offended by the parts of the bill that would increase voter turnout, such as making Election Day a national holiday. He calls such matters a “power grab” by the Democrats.
So, the Republican idea of a power grab: enabling more voters to have a say in their government.
Otherwise, the Republican Party is wholly dedicated to protecting the power of special interests to buy their way into the halls of power. It is completely unmoved by any suggestion to further open those hallways to the people themselves.
The coal industry bought its way into government by way of $11 million in campaign donations, mostly to Republicans.
A tacit result of this pay-off to Team Trump is that one of the top lobbyists for coal, Bill Wehrum, was appointed chief regulator of greenhouse gases in the Environmental Protection Agency.
This is a big step down, salary-wise, for one whose lobbying firm ran on $8.5 million from the coal industry. Who wants to be a bureaucrat? He does, if it means he can reward his masters by neutering whatever it is that previous administrators have done to keep the clamps on polluters.
Yes, I know we all care about TV celebrities who use deceitful methods to get their kids where they wanted to be.
But if you want to talk about how money corrupts in a world governed by Republican principles of legal bribery, acknowledge that we have fixated on pollywogs in a tank of alligators.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.