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Is It Fair To Call Mike Enzi's Lobbyist-Filled Caribbean Vacation Corrupt?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines corruption as: 1) impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle, 2) inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means (as bribery), 3) decay or decomposition, or 4) a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct. As Merriam-Webster’s coverage of this word shows, there are a number of subtle layers to our understanding of what makes somebody, or some thing, corrupt.

wyoming republicanHow, then, should we interpret Senator Mike Enzi’s activities this week? During a time when Senator Enzi is supposed to be communicating with voters back in Wyoming, the state that he represents, he is instead attending a four-day meeting with lobbyists at a luxury resort in Key West, Florida, where he will accept money on behalf of his avowedly pro-corporate political action committee, and in exchange provide the lobbyists who pay with special access to him.

On the one hand, we can see that Senator Enzi has established a network of corporate agents who are willing to provide him with money in exchange for the opportunity to influence Enzi’s legislative work as a federal government official.

On the other hand, we can see that what Senator Enzi is doing appears not to violate any laws.

What’s a fair way, then, to describe Senator Mike Enzi and his Caribbean vacation? Should we refer to them as an example of political corruption, or is that too strong? Should we just call the money-for-influence exchange “ethically questionable”? Should we merely note the facts and not offer any judgment? Should we ignore the whole thing as just one example of business-as-usual?

2 comments to Is It Fair To Call Mike Enzi's Lobbyist-Filled Caribbean Vacation Corrupt?

  • Dave

    Ignore it, Rowan. Elizabeth Warren took campaign $ from lobbyists for GE, the big friend of Obama that pays no taxes, while campaigning against this very sort of thing. A little baksheesh for Warren, a fishing trip for Enzi. It has always been thus. Ethics in our representatives would require ethics in the populace, which went down the tubes long ago, as cultural Marxism blighted the institutions that grassroots integrity had maintained for a long time, frustrating America’s true believers and creating a nation of blinkers and shruggers.
    Ever notice, Rowan, that politicians across the political spectrum just don’t seem to be very bright? Look at the USVP. He is no bullet, but he is in high office. Just hung around long enough to become useful, as this goofball had the ability to make the Prez look positively genius.

    Speaking of which, have you noticed that the whole shrugging country is being run like Chicago?

    Cry “corruption” and shout that it’s time for Americans to stand up to these politicians who abuse their offices. Let’s all meet on the steps of the Capitol and let ‘em know we mean business. Let all good citizens who really care about corruption in politics go to Washington. I’ll be around in a stretch van to pick them all up. Or would a Corolla do?

    The only corruption in politics that anyone cares about these days is corruption in the ranks of their political opponents, while corruption in their own ranks gets a pass. One might have found a hundred examples of shenanigans in Congress to use as the premise for your questions regarding what our level of concern should be, and it could have been on either side of the aisle. But alas, one didn’t. Those Republicans, stinkin’ it up. Good thing this kind of thing doesn’t happen with Democrats.

    Don’t let either one of them own you, Rowan. Better times await better people.

  • Tom

    Good points Dave. For those reasons and more government will do nothing substantial to help the populace during this economic, ecological and resource collapse we’ve entered.

    Between their money-printing to bail out the TBTF banks continually, their ignoring of climate change and with Homeland Security creating their own crises, we get a clear picture of their intent.

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