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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Abramoff: The Ultimate Partisan

A couple of weeks ago, I did a post predicting that the GOP’s “damage control” strategy on the Abramoff scandal and related Republican abuses of power would include an effort to basically say: “Everybody does it.”But I didn’t think they’d have the chutzpah to claim that the Abramoff scandal itself was bipartisan.I mean, here’s a guy who has been at the absolute epicenter of Republican and conservative-movement politics since the 1980s. His College Republican deputies, Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed, who have risen to incredible power in the GOP machine, were the chosen bag-man in all his shakedown schemes. The lies he told his client-victims were exclusively about his inordinate power in the GOP’s New Ruling Class in Washington, nicely underlined by his appointment by the incoming Bush administration in 2001 to the transition team for the Interior Department, his big moneymaking target. And there’s not a shred of evidence that anybody sent sacks of cash to Democrats on his say-so.Jack Abramoff was so complete and absolute a career-long partisan that he stayed partisan whether he was acting within or in violation of the law. Indeed, that may be the only straight thing about this crooked man. Josh Marshall hit the nail on the head: “tying” Jack Abramoff to Republicans is like tying James Carville to Democrats. Every moment of Casino Jack’s career, there’s been a big elephant in the living room, every time he looked in the mirror.

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