Tuesday, January 03, 2006

License to Steal

The following is from a reader of Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo. I want to make sure you understand - This is NOT Josh Marshall here. TPM reader LH compares Abramoffukah to ABSCAM and says:

If you recall "Abscam" was a DOJ sting operation that offered bribes to congressmen. It turned out that it was a very successful sting and several members of Congress were prosecuted. But then the operation was terminated although if anything was learned it was that there were more opportunities for success. It was terminated precisely because of its success. The DOJ determined that they might be able to unseat as much as a third of the sitting Congress if they continued. DOJ determined that if they did continue then what began as a law enforcement project could alter the political balance within the Legislative branch. The DOJ decided, rightly I believe, that it was not their place to fundamentally alter that political balance.

And so it will be with TAM (the Abramoff Matter; I prefer Abramoffukkah myself - ED). At some point TAM will become a potent enough matter to be profoundly political in nature and those involved in the legal system will have to withdraw. To do otherwise would be to improperly engage the legal system in a political contest and undermine the foundational premise of an independent judiciary.

So the point that LH seems to be making here is that it's okay to steal, as long as you can insure that a sufficient number of your colleagues are stealing as well. Which, coincidentally, seems to be the exact situation we're in now.

DUH. They already think elective office is a license to steal. Do we really need to do anything to encourage this?

The entire impeachment process is the legislature attempting to alter the political balance through the exercise of the law. If you do a little reducio ad absurdum on LH's argument, once elected to office, anyone becomes above the law, because they have be appointed by the political process and the judiciary must keep out of politics. Give me a tiny little fucking break.

Um. I don't buy LH's argument, in case you missed my point.


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