I'm sure you've all seen the movie Goodfellas. (And if you haven't, welcome to America!) Well, ladies and gentleman, I give you Henry Hill, the goverment version: Mr. Jack "The Rat" Abramoff.
Hey, Tommy, howya doin?
Washington is abuzz. Can you feel it in the air? The smirking and eye-rolling and cynicism games are in full swing. For yesterday, mercenary conservative lobbyist Abramoff pleaded guilty to various charges of corruption. He'll get a lighter punishment for testifying against all the Congressman he bribed with trips, campaign money, and other perks in exchange for their support on the issues Abramoff lobbied for, which was a wide variety of things. He also paid certain newspaper columnists to espouse specific opinions on certain subjects that he favored.
While Republican Bob Ney is the only Congressman named so far as having taken bribes from Abramoff, you can be sure there's more to come, including Democrat Harry Reid and that bastion of freedom and democracy, Tom DeLay. Surprised? Boy, that Tom DeLay sure does things the right way, doesn't he? The man who has been arrested - not accused, not investigated, but arrested, by the police - for money laundering. I say, a plague on all their houses. All this corruption has to stop.
Hey, Tommy, howya doin?
But all that said, Abramoff might be the shadiest of them all. Not only did he do all this corrupt stuff, but now he's ratting out his friends to save his own miserable sorry hide. Just like that pathetic rat Henry Hill in Goodfellas (who is a real guy, as you know).
Like they say in Goodfellas, "people call them rats because they'll do anything to survive." Abramoff knows what "rat" means. He actually quoted The Godfather in business meetings and had underworld ties! Is this guy nuts or what? It's cool when this stuff is on a TV show, but not when these people are making selfish decisions that affect the lives of every man, woman, and child in the country.
Get him out of here. Him and all his other friends. They're just like the mob, only worse, because they can mess with 300 million people, instead of just 3,000 or whatever. This is a huge scandal, and maybe Abramoff's finking will help bring all this dirty laundry out. But still, he's a dirty, self-interested rat. Is anyone a straight shooter in Washington anymore?
Cue smirks and eye rolls.