Sunday, March 05, 2006

Cunningham - American Tragedy

Why did Randy "Duke" Cunningham steal millions from the American people? There are lots of theories, psychological assessments, etc. But, in the end, you have to conclude that Cunningham took the money because he could. Was he a victim? Hardly. He helped drive a criminal enterprise designed to defraud the government of as much money as he and his co-conspirators could grab with both hands.

Is he the apex of Republican corruption? No. He is the most visible face, because his greed was so obvious. He and his co-conspirators broke the first law of robbery - don't show off the swag.

Cunningham's crime wave began in 2000, the same year that George Bush stole the presidency. Is that a coincidence? It was just a few years after Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff began their crime spree. It was the same year that the Halliburton Corporation gained direct access to the West Wing of the White House. It was the same year that Enron drove up its profits by artificially creating electrical power shortages in California and other western states.

Cunningham was just a greedy little fish who wanted to swim with the sharks. Will he be the only one to resign in tears or be lead off to jail? Only time will tell.

The San Diego Union Tribune has a chronology of Cunningham's life up until federal officers lead him off to jail.

The weak are lead by the strong. Those who would be corrupted in Republican Washington can always look up to someone in power who is more corrupt. It goes all the way to the top.