The posts below (“My work here is done” and “Technology as our best friend and deadly enemy“) highlighted to me the utter and complete bankruptcy of our political system. If we hired the greatest criminal minds of all time and asked them to design a more corrupt system, they could not do better than this.
Take an ordinary man with no scruples, like Max Baucus, and put him in a position of power. Give him access to women and money, power and prestige, and give him enough attention to satisfy his narcissistic needs. Make sure that it is all legal, so that he does not end up in prison, where his type belongs, or on a used car lot.
Seed him now and then with a little money, and he is your bitch, a male concubine. The pittance, the small amount of money it takes to keep a man like him in power is dwarfed by the massive rewards for the health insurance and pharmaceutical companies who sponsor him. He is an investment that yields returns in a percentage range too high for the human mind to embrace. ACA alone yields billions of dollars in new revenue for a paltry few million it takes to keep this man in office.
I find Baucus to be particularly distasteful, and have similar feelings about Jon Tester and Michael Bennet, since I am a former resident of Montana and currently of of Colorado. These are the worst of the worst, and they rise to power not due to intelligence or integrity, but rather because of a low price tag.
We cannot fix this system, as the corruption is so deep now that it cannot be removed without killing the patient. Every office holder is bribed in some fashion, and has some skeletons that keep him/her in line. They are beyond the reach of the voter, and if replaced, by definition it is another of their ilk to occupy that slot.
We’re bankrupt now.