I'm not sure what the editors at the Oregonian's editorial board were smoking when they came up with this lousy editorial about the massive corruption scandal surrounding uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. They have the audacity to suggest that Abramoff pushed his weight around within the Republican party simply because that was where the opportunities existed:
There's no question that Abramoff wormed his way deeply into the Republican power structure, whether because he was loyal to it or whether it was simply where the opportunity for influence was.
This ridiculous statement implies that Abramoff's influence wasn't about the current Republican power structure, but instead about his own desire for power. Abramoff didn't "worm his way" into the GOP power structure, he helped create the current Republican power structure.
Perhaps the O's editors are in denial, but Abramoff has been hard at work creating the Republican culture of corruption since he was in college. He was elected chairman of the College Republican National Committee through a campaign managed by Grover Norquist (starve the beast - see Katrina aftermath) and Ralph Reed, Jr., former head of the Christian Coalition. A law firm Abramoff once worked for described him as:
...directly involved in the Republican party and conservative movement leadership structures and is one of the leading fund raisers for the party and its congressional candidates.
How much more Republican can one get: Grover Norquist? Ralph Reed? Chairman of the CRNC? One of the leading fund raisers for the party? And it's no surprise that both Norquist and Reed are part of the Abramoff investigation.
Then the O goes even further by suggesting this scandal is not a Republican one, but one that ensnares both parties:
...Abramoff contributed to candidates of both parties, proving again that greed doesn't vote a straight party ticket.
Ah, yes, there will be a few Dems caught up in Abramoff's stink, and the O's editors along with the rest of the MSM will surely put extra focus on those few in order to lull people away from the Republican culture of corruption meme that's beginning to take root in the American psyche. But make no mistake about it, this is through and through a scandal brought to you by the Republican party and its operatives.
As Bloomberg News notes, all of Abramoff's own donations went to Republicans only:
Between 2001 and 2004, Abramoff gave more than $127,000 to Republican candidates and committees and nothing to Democrats, federal records show.
He directed his Indian tribal clients to give some money to Dems, but most of it went to Republicans:
At least 171 lawmakers got $1.4 million in campaign donations from the group [tribal clients.] Republicans took in most of the money, with 110 lawmakers getting $942,275, or 66 percent of the total.
The O's editorial board have turned themselves into Republican apologists by trying to muddy the waters on this. Who are they trying to protect? Certainly not the readers. Maybe they have word that their darling Gordon Smith might be one of the 60 lawmakers Abramoff is fingering. After all, it wouldn't be the first time Smith got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
Update: Speaking of Gordon Smith, Jack Abramoff and cookie jars, Willamette Week has the scoop (link via Blue Oregon)