By Rick Saunders
Earlier today here at America’s Right, Robert Wallace provided us with an excellent glimpse of how rotten the U.S. Senate has actually become. But wait! As they say on TV, there’s more!
Even now, they are calling it the “New Louisiana Purchase.” In 1803, the United States purchased from France the Louisiana Territory, a huge chunk of what is now the United States, for 15 million vintage 1803 dollars. In today’s dollars that translates to approximately $294 million, as measured by the consumer price index. Last night, in exchange for $300 million, one Mary Landrieu–laughingly but sadly purporting to uphold her oath of office as a senator from Louisiana–sold her vote to Harry Reid in support of the “health care reform” Frankenstein monster.
Reid and Landrieu give spectacular new meaning to the term “Saturday Night Massacre,” because after last night democracy, as heretofore known in this nation, is now truly on life support. And the only question becomes: will the health reform death panels pull the plug?
Once upon a time in the history of this nation, there was a crime known as “bribery.” There was also a federal offense covering instances where one bribed a public official. Ironically, the United States Congress even enacted a statute formalizing its approbation of the concept, placing it on the books as 18 U.S.C. § 201 and entitling it “Bribery of Public Officials and Witnesses.”
The law specifically applied to members of Congress if they were the person to be bribed. Moreover, the person offering the bribe could be punished, upon conviction, by (a) imposition of a fine of up to three times the monetary value of the bribe; (b) imprisonment for up to 15 years; (c) both such fine and imprisonment; and (d) disqualification from holding any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States. Examine the statute yourself and then ask: should Harry Reid be concerned?
Fools! That was a trick question. Reid would never face a $900 million fine, nor would be face 15 years in prison, nor both. Of course not. He, like his boss, is above the law. Did you not get The Memo? And besides, the person who would otherwise be responsible for prosecuting him–Attorney General Eric Holder–will be too busy with another case in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. More on that from me in a day or so.
Once upon a time as well, in the swiftly dimming honorable past of this nation, there was crime called “extortion.” Oddly enough, Congress also enacted a law purporting to dissuade public officers from trying to extort money or things of value under color of or by reason of their official position. They placed this novel concept on the books as 18 U.S.C. § 872, entitling it “Extortion by officers or employees of the United States.” Upon conviction, such a public officer can be fined and/or imprisoned for up to three years, provided, of course, that if the extortion demand does not exceed $1,000, then the punishment shall be a fine and/or imprisonment for not more than one year.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, in the lead-up to the Saturday night vote on the Frankenstein creature, made it clear to Harry Reid that in exchange for her vote he would need to cough up the dough. He did. So, as with the statute on bribery, read this and then ask: should Mary Landrieu be worried?
Ah, I see you’ve learned from your prior mistake as to Harry Reid. Same answer: of course not, and for the same reasons. These people claim to be above the law. And with no one to call them on it, who is to say they are wrong? They are liberal Democrats. They are the apparatchiks of the regime in power. Oh, and as we have been admonished by Barack Obama and his Chief of Staff: remember — they won, the American people lost, get over it.
Everything–and I mean everything–that is corrupt, deceitful and treacherous about the way the United States Senate now operates under its current dictator, Harry Reid–enabled by specimens like Landrieu and emboldened through the aid and comfort of the regime and president now occupying the White House–is distilled in the events here described. To call the actions shameful and disgraceful is to denigrate and trivialize those adjectives.
The perpetrators are worse than common gang-banger thugs down in the ‘hood and constitute a virulent, new species of vermin now infesting the halls of what once was an honorable institution. But that was then, and now is now. And just wait until they get around to pension and retirement plan “reform” in order to pay for all of this lunacy when the world runs out of patience and tells them: we want REAL dollars.
So, on this day after the vote, go find a few Democrats and ask them: “Still happy with that ‘hope’ and ‘change’ thing?” Perhaps, in 2010 and 2012, the new slogan for the Democrats and Barack Obama could be, instead, “bribery” and “extortion.”
Rick Saunders is a freelance writer who splits his time between endeavors in southern California and the American southwest. He began writing for America’s Right in December 2008.