What most Republican politicians have in common is a sense of entitlement mixed with a sense of righteousness that is overlain with an ideology that extols unlimited, unregulated greed and selfishness. For Republicans it was a moment on the road to Damascus when Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas' Oscar winning character in the 1987 movie Wall Street) intoned his famous lines: "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms, greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind."
Tomorrow's Washington Post reports on the ongoing investigation into massive fraud inside the Republican Party. Earlier today I read about how Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who John McBush plans to make Secretary of Defense, was systematically robbed by one of his assistants over a 5-year period. She got away with over $200,000 from Graham, who made national headlines when he boasted about finding $5 bargains while shopping for carpets in war-torn Baghdad.
But that's small potatoes compared to what Christopher J. Ward, the "gold standard" among GOP accountants has been up to in the same time period. He was the treasurer for 83 Republican fundraising committees over the last 8 years. "In the past five years alone, he oversaw the accounting for committees that raised more than $400 million, $368 million of it at the National Republican Congressional Committee." About a month ago he was fired and the NRCC called in the FBI who say it appears that "a significant amount of money" is missing. Money also appears to be missing from the accounts of dozens of GOP lawmakers. You wonder why these clowns have "lost" untold billions to greedy Republican contractors in Iraq?
In an election year that holds dismal prospects for congressional Republicans, possible financial problems at the cash-strapped NRCC are the last thing the GOP needs.
"The House Republican brand is so bad right now that if it were a dog food, they'd take it off the shelf," said retiring Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (Va.), who chaired the NRCC for four years earlier this decade.
The recently indicted Rep. Rick Renzi (Ariz.) and now imprisoned former congressman Robert W. Ney (Ohio), as well as less controversial lawmakers with minor accounting problems, are among the many members of the GOP delegation who turned to Ward to keep them out of trouble with FEC regulators.
Yeah, greed is good... real good.
(Cross-posted from DownWithTyranny)