Conservative Corruption

by on December 17, 2005 · 4 comments

Franklin Foer’s article on Abramoff’s corruption of right-wing intellectuals is must-read background on the Bandow scandal. I think it really highlights the fact that conservatives and libertarians need to do a better job of self-policing. We have a natural tendency not to look too closely at our erstwhile ideological allies. I think a thorough housekeeping is in order: we need to not simply ignore “think tanks” and “journalists” that are little more than shills for special interests, but we need to actively dissociate ourselves from them and make sure we’re not tainted by their ethically dubious behavior.

Foer points out that all roads lead to Grover Norquist. As my personal contribution to the housekeeping, allow me to point out one of the most transparent front groups around, Grover’s Property Rights Alliance. As I hint at here and discuss here, this “think tank” is, in fact, no more than an excuse for the music, movie, and pharmaceutical industries to associate their pet issues with the public backlash against the Kelo decision. Reputable think tanks should stay as far away from them as possible.

  • http://www.WeMatter.com Mike Liveright

    Corruption supports Norquist’s goals

    I put it to you that Grover Norquist’s main objective is to reduce taxes/government, so if the government is seen as corrupt, that supports his argument that the government should be reduced in size. Thus it would be supportive of his objectives to act in a way that causes people to doubt the effectiveness of common agencies.

    The same discussion has been made about the ineffectiveness of our government, as run under George Bush, for dealing with Iraq, Katrina, etc. If the government is shown as corupt, incompentent, wasteful, etc, then it will be easy to argue that it should be reduced. Conversly, if the government is effective, then it is harder to convince people that it should be marginalized. Thus it is to the benefit of the people who want government to be reduced to run it as badly as possible!

  • http://www.WeMatter.com Mike Liveright

    Corruption supports Norquist’s goals

    I put it to you that Grover Norquist’s main objective is to reduce taxes/government, so if the government is seen as corrupt, that supports his argument that the government should be reduced in size. Thus it would be supportive of his objectives to act in a way that causes people to doubt the effectiveness of common agencies.

    The same discussion has been made about the ineffectiveness of our government, as run under George Bush, for dealing with Iraq, Katrina, etc. If the government is shown as corupt, incompentent, wasteful, etc, then it will be easy to argue that it should be reduced. Conversly, if the government is effective, then it is harder to convince people that it should be marginalized. Thus it is to the benefit of the people who want government to be reduced to run it as badly as possible!

  • http://www.binarybits.org/ Tim

    I think it’s much more likely that Bush and Norquist really are corrupt or incompetent.

  • http://www.binarybits.org/ Tim

    I think it’s much more likely that Bush and Norquist really are corrupt or incompetent.

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