EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.
President Trump is likely to be remembered as running the most corrupt administration in history. But Washington corruption didn’t begin two years ago. Pervasive, bipartisan, and blatant, corruption is business as usual, exemplified by the hours legislators spend each day dialing well-off donors for dollars, by the evening soirees where lobbyists befriend legislators, and by the proliferation of high-priced “expense-account restaurants” and million-dollar condominiums in the nation’s capital. Americans know the rules are rigged for the rich and the powerful. Trump campaigned on the pretense that his money made him independent, but that was just another lie.
Now Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has released a reform bill that, if passed, is bold enough to begin cleaning up the Beltway cesspool’s stench. She hasn’t offered transparent half-measures—such as President Bill Clinton’s gesture toward “reinventing government”—or perverse evasions such as Newt Gingrich’s term limits. Warren doesn’t pretend that Trump was the sole problem. Her Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act—like Medicare for All, tuition-free college, and the emerging-jobs guarantee—defines a central plank in the sweeping reform agenda that insurgent progressives are pushing into the political debate. Taking on corruption is a cause that will be a centerpiece of the next presidential political campaign.
Introducing the bill, Warren summarized reality, “Our government systematically favors the rich over the poor, the donor class over the working class, the well-connected over the disconnected. This is deliberate, and we need to call it for what it is—corruption, plain and simple.”
Read the full text of Katrina’s column here/a>.