Monday, April 20, 2009


The thing about politics is that it is, in part, about cutting deals to try to achieve certain ends. We all basically agree that cutting deals for personal enrichment is wrong. Cutting explicit deals for campaign contributions is also wrong, but making friendly noises to various interests in the hopes of getting those donations is seedy but standard. And you can go on down the line and come up with various examples of "dealmaking" which would probably seem pretty sordid, but which aren't illegal and might not really be corruption even if there's something a bit smelly about the whole process.

So, yes, I imagine if, say, the executive branch decided to put wiretaps on members of Congress they would, at the very least, obtain stuff which which sounded corrupt even if it was part of the normal sausagemaking process. The point is most of them could be shamed out of office even if they were playing by the understood rules of the day.

This is part of the reason why liberal hysterics like me think expansion of the surveillance state and the tolerance of clearly illegal surveillance might be a bad thing. But, we're a bunch of terrorist loving nutters. The good news is that it's Obama's surveillance state now! Suck on that, Republicans!