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The disgrace of Randy Cunningham

The New York Times story by John Broder on Congressman Randy Cunningham’s plea to some old-fashioned, major league graft is “Lawmaker quits after he pleads guilty to bribes.” The magnitude of Cunningham’s bribe-taking is mind-boggling. Like the legendary Chicago alderman who when he died left behind wads of cash secreted away in the closet, Cunningham leaves some big shoeboxes to fill. What can he possibly have been thinking?

Broder of course manages to work in all the other ethical clouds hanging over prominent Republicans. The one such cloud that genuinely appears suggestive of a pattern is the one involving lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Andrew Ferguson flagged the Abramoff scandal in an important December 2004 Weekly Standard cover story: “A lobbyist’s progress.” In their columns today John Podhoretz and Bruce Barlett pick up the thread of the Abramoff story. (Courtesy of RealClearPolitics.)

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