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“The treason of the Senate! Treason is a strong word, but not too strong, rather too weak to characterize the situation in which the Senate is the eager, resourceful, indefatigable agent of interests as hostile to the American people as any invading army could be, and vastly more dangerous; interests that manipulate the prosperity produced by all, so that it heaps up riches for the few.”
No, that’s not an outraged recent editorial about the failure of health care reform and the general state of the senate under Harry Reid. It’s from a 1906 piece by David Graham Phillips in Cosmopolitan. (This was back in the day when Cosmo had fewer articles on dieting and dating, and when regular contributors included George Bernard Shaw, Upton Sinclair and Ida Tarbell.)
Here’s more from Phillips:
The greatest single hold of “the interests” is the fact that they are the “campaign contributors”—the men who supply the money for “keeping the party together,” and for “getting out the vote.” [...] Who pays the big election expenses of your congressman, of the men you send to the legislature to elect senators? Do you imagine those who foot those huge bills are fools? Don’t you know that they make sure of getting their money back, with interest, compound upon compound?
It’s like he had a crystal ball.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Estimated percentage of U.S. gasoline consumption that occurs during traffic jams:
In India, 1.8 million female children were estimated to have died between 1985 and 2005 as an indirect result of domestic violence against their mothers; the boys of abused mothers were not at increased risk of death.
Vanilla latte and lemon pound cake continued to be the best-selling items at the Starbucks at CIA headquarters, where baristas do not write customers’ names on their cups.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”