Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is Corruption an Issue?

Should it be?

Hugh Hewitt, in observing Obama's over-reaction to everyone else's reaction to his "pig with lipstick" remarks, makes this statement:
But mostly it [Obama's seeming reversal of fortune] isn't about Obama losing support, but about McCain-Palin gaining support as millions of Americans sense a genuine commitment on the part of the GOP ticket to reversing Washington's culture of corruption --both Congress's corruption and MSM's.
Now, on its face this appears to be just more Republican hyperbole, especially coming from one of the primary voices of today's conservative movement. In other words, just what you'd expect from someone like Hugh.

However, my own observations actually match up pretty well with Hugh in this case. (Yes, it happens that, on occasion, I disagree with Hugh. For months he tried to sell McCain solely on the basis of his stance on Iraq and the war on terror. I wasn't buying it.) When Palin was first announced for the VP slot on the ticket, one of the first stories that floated to the surface was her reputation for going after corruption, even in her own party. Assuming most or all of those stories to be factual, this would indeed be worrisome to many elected public servants, Democrat and Republican alike.

Even if we were willing to set aside Obama's relationship with radicals like Ayers (which we're not, by the way), his very identification with the notorious Chicago Democratic Machine makes Obama damaged goods. A community organizer with nearly no resources that hails from Podunk, Iowa would hold more implied honor than any number of organizers with deep-pocketed influence peddlers that hail from Chicago today.

You can call it a perception problem if you like, but it's a potentially flammable one. Particularly if Palin continues to impress voters the way she has since her announcement. For Democrats in this election the stain of the Daley "boss" days of the 60's and 70's has not been completely obliterated, but has instead done a mafia-like makeover in order to appear more respectable to the modern eye.

Democrats may have bought into the "reform," but Republicans aren't convinced.

Thus the idea of having an anti-corruptocrat in the Executive branch is cause for true hope and, yes, hope for change. It is not, as the Democrats insist, a continuation of Bush policies. Bush never went after the Washington machine like we all hoped he would. He was only ever successful in bucking Congressional direction when our national security was on the line. In the meantime, the size of government actually has grown under Bush, and no attempt has ever been made to weed out the incompetence that affects pretty much every department in his cabinet.

If McCain has his A game on when he enters the White House, the first thing he'll do is task Sarah Palin with doing exactly what Bush failed to do; go after the stupidity inherent in a huge federal bureaucracy. I don't see Obama doing anything of the sort: McCain prosecutes the interests of national security at home and abroad, and Palin goes after the corruptocrats in government.

That, my friends, is something this conservative hopes for.

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