I mean, you want to defend just yourself, that’s one thing. But to claim that there’s virtually no corruption in politics? To say that what your party is doing is completely fair and above-board?
In an interview on Meet the Press, that’s pretty much what Boehner said.
Americans might see their political system as rigged against them and in favor of big-money donors, special interests and incumbent members of Congress.
But House Speaker John Boehner says he’s not buying any of it.
The Ohio Republican dismissed each of those concerns Sunday in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Money in politics? “We spend more money on antacids than we do on politics,” Boehner said.
Aside from being false (about twice as much was spent on the 2014 elections than on antacids), it’s also completely irrelevant. We’re talking about bribery; amounts don’t matter, the results do. If a politician takes a bribe for $10,000, it doesn’t matter how much we spend on peanut butter or safety pins relative to that. What matters is that a politician was bought and the people were betrayed.
And it is not just clear, but startlingly clear that money sways politics. In both parties, naturally, but it’s the Republicans who are trying a hundred times as hard to please the monied interests. And Boehner is their leader in these endeavors.
Overly influential special interests? “Everybody’s a special interest. When I get home, everybody I talk to has their own interest,” he said.
Yes, they are. But guess what: the only special interest you are supposed to be swayed by are the people. And they generally get to be last in line, and more often than not are duped by the first interests that Boehner serves due to massive corruption in both the media and in political spending.
Politicians rationalize their focus on monied special interests by speciously claiming that the people’s interests are best served when the businesses that employ them and supposedly power the economy are served first, second, and last.
Gerrymandered districts that predetermine elections’ outcomes? “You can call it gerrymandering, but in Ohio, the Democrats had the pencil in their hand for 50 years. Now the Republicans have had it for the last 20 years. Our turn to draw the lines.”
If all Republicans were doing was gerrymandering where they happened to win enough elections to do so, that would not be especially remarkable. But that’s far from all they have been doing.
First of all, Republicans made a concerted effort in the aughts that exceeded any previous ones, in which they specifically targeted local and state elections for the purpose of taking over as much local territory as possible in time for the 2010 decennial census—and then proceeded to carve out “the most egregious gerrymandering in American history.” Most of it accomplished due to massive spending by billionaires who now profit obscenely from it.
Not to mention specific cases where liberals have been far more even-handed than conservatives; in blue California, a liberal electorate voted for non-partisan districting, while in red Texas, conservatives decided that they could gerrymander any time they damn well pleased, not just after the decennial census.
Add to that incessant ploys by conservatives to pass laws targeted to disenfranchise liberal voters, cage liberal voters, rig felon’s lists to include non-criminal liberal voters, and a bevy of other Jim-Crow style laws, to claim equivalency in gerrymandering is not just disingenuous, it’s dishonest as all hell.