By Dick Morris on December 2, 2011

Capitol Punishment by Jack Abramoff Reviewed by Dick Morris

If you want to know how Washington works, read Jack Abramoff’s book, Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America’s Most Notorious Lobbyist.

As I sat down to read it, I expected to find lurid tales of payoffs, bribes, shakedowns, extortion, and corruption. Instead, I read a fascinating account of how normal politics in Washington works. And that’s the problem: In Washington, the normal is corrupt and often criminal.

Click Here to purchase Capitol Punishment by Jack Abramoff.

His accounts of envelopes of checks passed to Senators at lunch, commitments to put military bases in a Congressman’s district in return for his vote, and of trips to golf in Scotland to assure Congressional support sounded about normal. How business is done in Washington. Nothing out of the ordinary. But thoroughly dishonest, corrupt, and self-interested nonetheless.

Abramoff’s book shows how fundamental the corruption is. If it were an account of extraordinary sleaze or unusual depravity, it would make the case for aggressive prosecution and investigation of Washington practices. But the fact that it is really just an account of what happens every day in our nation’s capital underscores the case for systemic reform.

Many of those whose daily actions were so appalling are gone from Congress, but it would take a foolish, self-deluding optimist to say that there place has not been taken by equally self-serving, ethically tin eared members.

Abramoff’s book is really a civics lesson for adults. A counterpoint to the comforting myths of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. It tells how the town really works and what really goes on. That’s why it is a must read.

Click Here to purchase Capitol Punishment by Jack Abramoff.

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