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Let's face it, Republicans are corrupt - thoroughly, completely, and without shame.  They don't take the positions they do because they actually believe that taxing the rich at rates less than half of those under Dwight Eisenhower would be "bad for the economy" - they're just being paid by the rich to take that position, and they would take any other if they were paid more.  But since bribery is illegal, immoral, and unethical, we can't exactly just make counter-offers for their allegiance in office.  But here's the thing - it's not bribery if what you're paying them to do is to leave office rather than use it to advance your agenda.  It would be no different from leaving politics because of a really juicy job offer.  So here's the idea: Offer standing rewards for any Republican Congressman or Senator from a state with a Democratic Governor to resign.  

Provided the reward amounts are compelling relative to what they could expect to make through the remainder of their political career and afterward through corruption, this strategy has several advantages:

1.  Given the pervasiveness, if not all-encompassing definitiveness of corruption in the GOP, such a move stabs right at the heart of what's wrong with them and why they've harmed this country so deeply.  It would turn their chief logistical strength - money - into an overwhelming source of insecurity in their ranks, and every single Republican who accepted the reward would further emphasize the corruption and degenerate selfishness at the heart of the Republican Party while simultaneously empowering Democrats by surrendering their seat to a Democrat or moderate Republican.

2.  Once a Republican had accepted a reward and resigned for pay, they would never be able to run again both due to public perception and resentment within the GOP.

3.  The GOP would be tarnished by the defection, and its candidate in the eventual special election would be damaged.  The electorate that had voted in favor of the Sellout would feel foolish, and be inclined to vote Democratic next time if they are a liberal or moderate electorate, or else just stay home next time if they are conservative.

4.  Even if a given Republican had no intention of leaving, the perception that they might would give them leverage to extract more money out of GOP contributors, making their loyalty much costlier to buy and harder to keep, forcing donors to somewhat narrow the scope of which offices and specific legislation they target.

5.  To minimize the number of seats subject to the rewards, they would have to pour a lot more money into maintaining control of key Governorships, which would leave less money for the federal government, fewer Republicans in office overall, and fewer Republicans they could afford to own.

6.  Republicans could turn around and try the same thing on Democrats, but let's face it - as bad a problem as financial influence is in our party, it's not even in the same cosmos as in the GOP.  At worst they would be buying the resignations of Blue Dogs who wouldn't vote with their own Party anyway.  Liberals are not incorruptible, but our price is a LOT higher than they could afford without liquidating Wall Street to pay for it - and all that would happen is we would use the money to defeat them, while the corrupt GOP scumbags we pay to resign would just use the money to buy themselves a platinum-covered car elevator.

7.  Those Republicans who remain in office despite having every financial incentive to leave would be those who actually believe in what they're doing, who care what people think about them, and who are more human than their Party.  This means they would be (a) a lot less politically competent than the bidnissmen who resign, (b) probably bellicose, foaming-at-the-mouth right-wing nutjobs who would become mascots for their Party and drive one more nail into its coffin, and (c) maybe a few actual, honest, and honorable statesmen who could finally get some breathing room away from the Sauron's Eye control of their corporate masters.  This could, in a best-case scenario, fracture the Republican Party and cause it to fission.  

8.  With Democrats enjoying such advantages and Republican financial strength turned against itself, many Republicans who are in it completely for the money would switch parties and vote our way on everything that they don't care about - which adds up to quite a lot of things.

9.  Even if the GOP were able to offer a lot more to stay than they would get for resigning, a lot of these people are just plain lazy and stupid - so imagine their having a choice between getting an instant payday for just signing a letter of resignation and spending the rest of their lives being among the elite they had previously served, or else having to spend the next 5, 10, 20 years campaigning and fundraising just to be someone else's bitch for a somewhat larger paycheck.

10.  The newly Democratized Congress could tax the shit out of the rewards.

In fact, I think there is a great deal of promise in the overall concept that has never really been explored before: Bribing troublesome public officials to resign.  It's not illegal - they can resign for any damn reason they please, and it's very unlikely they could win election again after accepting such a deal, so it gets them out of government and keeps them out while rightly penalizing the party that encourages such people to run for office.

Now, there is a legitimate moral objection about reversing the will of the voters, but once again it should be noted that officials can resign any damn time they please, for any reason they please, and it would just as well reverse the will of the voters if they left to pursue a career in some other field as it would to just cash a bribe.  And frankly, if the voters elect someone who would betray them for such a payday, they need to know that as early as possible in the official's term so the damage the corruption causes is limited.  Think of it as "Corruption Control."

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

    by Troubadour on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 12:35:56 AM PST

  •  I'll recommend...and donate (4+ / 0-)

    if our first test case is Bachmann.  

    Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

    by Mark Mywurtz on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 03:17:40 AM PST

  •  Bet alot of them are already on the take. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, Mannie, wilderness voice

    It'd be hard to compete with SuperPAC money.

    Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

    by Bush Bites on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 04:19:55 AM PST

  •  Not workable. (0+ / 0-)

    First of all, public officials are already getting paid to perform public service and neglecting their duties. They don't care about the money. DEPRIVING other people has turned out to be a useful tool, along with oppressive legislation, to make life miserable for most of the people that hired them.
    Why would they do that; take pay for no work? Some, one suspects are just incompetent; others are plainly malevolent. What better place for the lawless to hide but in the legislative chambers? Scofflaws hiring themselves out to scoff. That's what we have in the halls of Congress and the legislative bodies of the several states.
    When the law rules, then the law has to be suborned by the crooks.
    We have been too trusting. That's all.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 04:35:43 AM PST

    •  I don't see how it's not workable. (0+ / 0-)

      They still have to campaign, and campaigning sucks.  If they could get a huge lump sum payment just to put their signature on a resignation and then do nothing forever, that would be tremendously attractive to such people.

      In Roviet Union, money spends YOU!

      by Troubadour on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 05:09:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As Hannah suggests, many of them are not (0+ / 0-)

        taking these offices for the money. They are taking them to exert influence on public policy. They are taking them for the public attention. They are taking them for the opportunities to network with the uber-rich. They are taking them for another long and lucrative career as lobbyists and/or with government contractors after they leave office.

        Which is not to say your idea is completely unworkable, however. It just means that there needs to be a screening process, there may be far fewer opportunities than you think, and the cost may be much higher than you think.

        What payoff amount range were you thinking?

        The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries.

        by Words In Action on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 06:52:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The only reason many of these people (0+ / 0-)

          are interested in influencing public policy or schmoozing with the uber-wealthy is to join them.  These people are not some misguided versions of Mr. Smith - they're scumbags, and if you give them a quicker, easier route to riches than being parasites on the public, some of them will take it and even those who don't will (as noted) intimate they might in order to squeeze more money out of the donor base, making it that much harder to buy elections.

          In Roviet Union, money spends YOU!

          by Troubadour on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:33:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The same concept could be used to buy-off (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour

    candidates AFTER they have won primaries, especially in races in which the runner's ups are much less viable.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries.

    by Words In Action on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 06:55:19 AM PST

  •  This could be much more effective at the state (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour

    (and county) level. Even more so if done with strong GOP candidates who have already won the primary in an otherwise weak field. The fundraising could be done in non-election years so that it would not draw from campaign funding. And the buy-out fees would be much smaller than those for federal candidates/incumbents. Last, our problems at the local level are in many cases worse than the federal, because being run roughshod over in gerrymandered states is even worse than the gridlock we face in D.C.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries.

    by Words In Action on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 06:59:26 AM PST

  •  Am I mistaken or (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour

    has the world tried this by providing comfortable asylum to certain dictators in order to promote common welfare?

    In those cases, however, the temperature under the feet of the "beneficiaries" had to be raised first.  It seems that the honest, enforceable threat must always come first.

  •  Why would they agree? They can stay around for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour

    a few years, retire, become lobbyists and make all this money.

    •  Because that's work. (0+ / 0-)

      As opposed to just signing their name to a resignation and cashing a check.  These people are degenerate derelicts.  

      In Roviet Union, money spends YOU!

      by Troubadour on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:00:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not all of them. Not even most of them. (0+ / 0-)

        You will need tons of money for it. Won't it make more sense to put it into some superPAC?

        •  Not that much money. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FG

          As you say, most wouldn't - only a few.  But few enough.  And the GOP would have to scrape together a lot more to keep the remainder in line.  

          In Roviet Union, money spends YOU!

          by Troubadour on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:41:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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