As much as I dislike Barack Obama and consider him a phony corporate tool, I’m still not totally convinced that he qualifies as “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times,” as Darrell Issa once said and then tried to unsay. Not with Bush/Cheney so fresh in my mind, anyway. But when Issa says that we currently have “the most corrupt government in history,” he’s actually not that far off.
Of course, being a self-serving Republican shill, Issa was presumably referring only to the Obama administration, but our government has three branches, and right now as a whole they are, if not as corrupt as they’ve ever been, at least as corrupt as they’ve been in the last 80 or 90 years.
We have a secretive executive branch that brokers sweetheart deals to protect predatory health care and mortgage industries, a legislative branch whose members are mostly wholly-owned subsidiaries of various corporate and wealthy benefactors, and a judicial branch that has been aggressively packed with right-wing, pro-business judges for 20 out of the last 32 years.
The gap between the consideration given to private interests vs. the public interest is the widest it’s been since the days of Warren Harding and the robber barons. The biggest difference between the parties is that Democrats occasionally try to find, shall we say, “campaign-donation-neutral” ways to do good, while Republicans reflexively oppose anything that isn’t guns, tax cuts, deregulation, war, or “family values.”
But as depressing as it is to think about the rotten shell our government has become, it’s positively cheery compared to the realization that until America gets serious about campaign finance reform, every government from here on out will be the most corrupt government in history. If Barack Obama really is the most corrupt president in modern times, it’s only because he’s the most recent.