Note: For anyone who is interested, I’ll be conducting a blogging workshop next Thursday at the Indiana Writers’ Center. Here’s the information.
I’m hesitant to attribute it to candor–it’s more likely a belief that they are untouchable–but members of the Trump Administration have evidently given up trying to hide their unethical behaviors. A recent example: Mick Mulvaney, the current director of OMB (whose second job is overseeing/dismantling Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) publicly admitted that the only people he willingly met with as a member of Congress were constituents and donors.
“We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress,” Mulvaney said, according to a New York Times report this week. At the top of the hierarchy were his constituents, he explained, adding, “If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.
According to the Daily Beast, Mulvaney no longer has constituents, so now he’s just taking meetings with lobbyists and companies who financed his past political campaigns.
Pay-for-play Mulvaney is right at home in today’s shameless GOP.
Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson is a millionaire. He recently told a group of high school students that healthcare and food are a privilege, not a right according to MSNBC, and quoted Rand Paul to the effect that if health care were a right, then doctors and other health providers would be “forced” to provide people with that right. (Sort of like slavery…)
And if you’ve wondered why so many Congressional Republicans have been downplaying Russia’s obvious influence on Trump, there’s this:
A close look at public campaign finance reports reveals a network of Russian oligarchs increasingly contributing to top Republican leadership in recent years, according to the Dallas News. And thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United in 2010, the donations are perfectly legal.
I’m sure you’ll be shocked to know that McConnell is identified as one of those benefitting from Russian largesse.
Needless to say, these paragons of public service don’t take kindly to admonitions about their obligations to the “least of us.” Despite their near-constant insistence that they are pious Christians, and despite their efforts to impose their particular brand of Christianity on the rest of us, they sure get prickly when a genuine Christian engages in even the mildest biblical truth-telling.
Case in point: Ostentatiously Catholic Paul Ryan abruptly dismissed the Catholic House Chaplain–a job that James Madison didn’t think should exist–after the chaplain offered a prayer that offended Ryan during the tax “reform” debate.
The sudden resignation of the chaplain, the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, shocked members of both parties. He had served in the role since he was nominated in 2011 by Speaker John A. Boehner, a fellow Catholic. In an interview, Father Conroy was categorical: His departure was not voluntary.
“I was asked to resign, that is clear,” Father Conroy said. As for why, he added, “that is unclear.”…Father Conroy said he received the news from Mr. Ryan’s chief of staff. “The speaker would like your resignation,” Father Conroy recalled being told. He complied.
Father Conroy’s prayer had included a line asking that legislators be mindful of the ways their actions might affect the poor–a despicable display of compassion that evidently incurred the wrath of Ayn Rand’s most devoted disciple.
Commenters to this blog frequently remind others to “follow the money.” It’s good advice when the question at hand requires determining why such-and-such happened, or why so-and-so is taking a particular position.
Today’s GOP makes it unnecessary to follow the money. It isn’t just Trump. These plutocrats and would-be plutocrats are utterly transparent about the role money plays in their deliberations, their policies and their behaviors.
It’s what they really worship.