And the most powerful faceoff of all may be “reform” vs. “corruption.”
.. New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait was one of the first journalists to suggest how important corruption could be during this year’s campaign. Writing in April, Chait argued that it “should take very little work” for Democratic candidates “to stitch all the administration’s misdeeds together into a tale of unchecked greed.”
.. The advantages of the corruption issue are
(1) “corrupt” really is the right word to describe the Trump administration;
(2) a concern over corruption transcends philosophical dispositions; and
(3) the failure to “drain the swamp” is one of President Trump’s most obvious broken promises. Instead, Trump has turned the swamp into an immense toxic-waste dump.
.. Alas, we now know that basic expectations — from the release of tax returns by presidential candidates, to the avoidance of blatant conflicts of interest — must be codified. Scandals are like that: They teach us where existing laws fall short.
.. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) introduced a resolution outlining a broad agenda that has been co-sponsored by 163 House Democrats.
.. They would start by restoring the effectiveness of the Voting Rights Act, gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013; providing for nationwide automatic voter registration; ending purges that illegitimately disenfranchise many citizens; and outlawing gerrymandering by requiring states to establish cross-party commissions to draw district lines.
.. the package would codify ethics expectations of public officials — including presidents. To fight foreign meddling, it calls for “real-time transparency of political advertisements on all advertising platforms,” an ideachampioned by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).