Battlepanda: Well-crafted Rhetoric


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Well-crafted Rhetoric

Neil the Ethical Werewolf (who is just posting all over the place nowdays) wrote a great little post on Randy "Duke" Cunningham's shameless bribetaking over at the One America Committee:
If you've ever wondered how much you'd have to bribe a Republican to get $20 million in government contracts, that information is now available. Rep. Duke Cunningham, who was recently forced to resign due to massive corruption, actually wrote out a "bribe menu" so that a crooked defense contractor would know how much to pay him off.

Cunningham's bribe menu is copied here, in the sentencing guidelines of the prosecutors who convicted him. In order to get $16 million in government contracts, the defense contractor would have to buy him a $140,000 boat. For each extra million dollars in contracts, a $50,000 bribe was required. But once you got above $20 million in contracts, rates dropped, and you only needed to pay $25,000 for each extra million.
I just love that first sentence. It accomplishes two things that are essential if the Democrats are to properly hammer the Republican over this corruption scandal. First, he identifies the culprit foremost as a Republican before he even identifies Cunningham by name. Secondly, he presents a very specific example of malfeasance. People have gotten numb to the fact that there is corruption in Washington. We need to go into detail, let them know that this goes way beyond business-as-usual. We know that those are the two right things to do because every time a Republican opens his mouth on this issue they're trying to accomplish the opposite, chiefly by insisting that this is somehow a bipartisan scandal.