Call it Tonto’s revenge: The outrageous rip-off of Native American tribes by a top Republican lobbyist is leading inexorably to a reckoning for the allegedly morally superior religious and political right.
“I don’t think we have had something of this scope, arrogance and sheer venality in our lifetimes,” Norman J. Ornstein, of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, wrote in Roll Call. “It is building to an explosion, one that could create immense collateral damage within Congress and in coming elections.”
Selling firewater to the natives—or in this case charging them $82 million for government breaks on slot machine and other gaming licenses - is not exactly what the high-minded prophets of the Republican revolution promised. And to see behind the scenes as Christian right superstar Ralph Reed, bought off by top Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, dupes his grassroots “pro-family” followers into unwittingly supporting casino-rich Indian tribes under the guise of anti-gambling initiatives, is to glimpse moral corruption of biblical proportion.
The web magazine Truthdig is working on connecting the dots on Abramoff’s web of corruption. The list of charges and accusations is lengthy, but of course so is the depth of the GOP corruption.
Abramoff has been a good friend to the GOP. But as the list of bad deeds and dirty connections grows by the day, watchers are worrying that this friendship is incompatible with a healthy democracy.
Incompatible? That's an understatement.