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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Alaska. Louisiana Of The North

One party rule leads to corruption. Democratic, Republican, Fascist or Communist. Like the threads of blue mold in the white sheep's milk curd of a fine Roquefort corruption comes to define the whole. Corruption flavors the society and overcomes the vector on  which it lives. Most Southern states are thoroughly corrupt, but Louisiana is head and shoulders above the rest. Since Reconstruction Louisiana has been a colorful cesspool of racial identity political rot that both repels and fascinates. From Huey Long to the sweeping decay of today politics, specifically State politics, has turned government into a giant con game that promises fruit and delivers the pits. LA has turned Republican with a vengeance, and that brought a brief bit of a breeze, but the old ways are returning just with new bosses. The only things Louisiana had going for it was oil and the Port of New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina both those assets were crippled and haven't recovered. Looting the aid pipeline has overtaken sugar cane in economic importance to the state.

Since statehood Alaska has always prided itself as a land of incorruptible rugged individualists carving a living out of the wilderness. With the coming of environmental legislation and ensuing limitations on the free exploitation of public resources for private profit a reaction set in. Republicans, of a libertarian streak, swept up the state government and all federal positions. The Republicans have had a death grip on Alaskan politics since oil flowed in the pipeline. The corruption that is epidemic in Alaska is now in the paper almost every day. Both Senators and their only Congressman are either indicted or under investigation and now the stench of abuse is filtering out of the Governor's Mansion. Without checks the politicos, even good ones are tempted to use their office and influence for their private gain. It seems to be a law of nature.

This is where radical progressives can prove their value. In the coming Democratic Party crushing majority in both houses and the run of the executive branch, idealists are the check on corruption. Pain in the ass purists will hold the feet of the party elders to the fire. Move On and the Kosaks will not be hushed. Conservatives have their libertarian wing, but they were trumped by the religious right and business interests. The Democrats have the short sighted unions and some parochial old time politicos to deal with, but these don't have the power to overcome the starry eyed true believers that the class of '09 will bring to DC. After eight years of stupid, smart will be refreshing for a change.

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