Even after writing Hostile Takeover, it still amazes me when corrupt politicians look the public right in the eye with a smile, and tell us we simply do not understand the black-and-white facts right before us. Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine (R) provides us a good example in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer of what I am talking about. In a story about how DeWine has sold off his Senate votes to the highest bidders, DeWine says the public is insane for wondering whether the hundreds of thousands of dollars he's received from corporate interests with business before the government. "We receive thousands and thousands of contribution," DeWine brags. "And to think that those contributions influence how I vote is just absurd. It's just crazy."
DeWine's statement shows just how stupid he thinks voters are. He wants us to believe WE'RE crazy for thinking that when, say, DeWine pockets more than $300,000 from the oil/gas industry, that might have a little something to do with his vote for the 2005 energy bill that gave away tens of billions of dollars in new tax breaks to the oil/gas industry. I guess we're also crazy for wondering whether when DeWine took another $300,000 from the drug industry, that had anything to do with him voting for the drug-industry-written Medicare bill that gives away tens of billions of dollars to - guess who? - the drug industry. We must also be crazy for wondering whether that drug industry cash had anything to do with his vote this week to prohibit Americans from purchasing lower-priced, FDA-approved medicines from Canada. Oh and that $1 million that DeWine got from major corporate outsourcers? Yes, according to Mikey, we're crazy for wondering whether that cash has anything to do with him "support[ing] every Bush administration trade agreement" despite the fact that Ohio's job base has been decimated by these corporate-written trade pacts.
In short, DeWine actually expects voters to believe that these industries are showering him in cash because they are just nice and that their generosity to Mikey is just motivated by the goodness in their heart. I mean, is this guy for real? Does he really think we're that stupid? Does he really think we don't know that Big Money interests give to politicians with the specific hope that those contributions will be returned in the form of legislative favors? Ohio, after all, was the place where the Toldeo Blade published its major expose detailing how such massive campaign contributions are nothing more than an investment strategy. Does DeWine really think he can lie like this and get away with it?
Clearly, the person who is "just absurd" and "just crazy" is Mike DeWine for thinking that he can insult the public's intelligence like this and expect us to swallow his steaming piles of B.S. DeWine is either an idiot, or so totally consumed by the Beltway's pay-to-pay culture that he can't even see that the "For Sale" sign that hangs on his back nauseates voters. The more he makes these kinds of offensive statements, the more he reinforces the image of himself as someone who voters need to retire.