“Profiles in Corruption”
"Profiles in Corruption", Book Reviews, Political Corruption, Roger Kimball
Roger Kimball reviews Peter Schweizer’s timely new book, Profiles in Corruption.
[Schweizer’s] real subject, however, is not this unsavory lot of so-called â€œprogressiveâ€ politicians. Rather it is a truth of human psychology summed up in Milton Friedmanâ€™s observation that â€œConcentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.â€
All the figures that Schweizer discusses are known as â€œprogressivesâ€ of one stripe or another, from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren at the heavy-handed redistributionist, socialist end, to Joe Biden in the gabbling senile establishment middle. They all talk about helping the little guy. They are filled to the brim with â€œgood intentions.â€ But the scare quotes are intended. What they are really all about is increasing the power of government, and hence their own power and perquisites, under cover of noble-sounding progressive nostrums.
This brings us to the core of Schweizerâ€™s important book. â€œWhat makes so many people angry at Washington,â€ he notes, â€œis the fact that those with political power get to operate by a different set of rules than the rest of us.â€ Thatâ€™s it in a nutshell.
As one compares the treatment accorded to Hillary Clinton, say, or Biden and his sons and brothers with the treatment accorded to General Mike Flynn or a host of other people outside the charmed circle of progressive piety, one is tempted to suggest a change to the inscription on the U.S. Supreme Court.â€œEqual Justice Under Lawâ€ is so out of date; â€œUnequal Justice Under Lawâ€ would be a more accurate slogan, one that accorded better with actual practice if not rhetoric.
Schweizer is right. Such people â€œuse their own levers of power to protect their family and friends from the scales of justice; bail out their failing businesses; steer taxpayer money to them. When they misstep, they are excused or it is covered up. While those with little or no power have to pay for the consequences of their actions, the political class often does not. The power eliteâ€”the people who grease the wheels for themselvesâ€”are the most disconcerting and dangerous ones.â€
Despite the conspiracy of silence imposed by a compliant media on these facts, the truth is leaking out bit by Biden bit. It is one reason that we now have President Donald Trump, not President Hillary Clinton. It is a reason, too, that, come January 2021, President Trump will embark on his second term. We all owe Peter Schweizer an enormous debt of gratitude for his enormous and effective labors in bringing sunlight to these tenebrous and mephitic climes.