Lord above. The Blago, in all his glory. Nice comparison to Nixon. He's right, actually.
Here's my question: why would ANYONE think is unusual? This is not a pathology of government action. Blago is the ESSENCE of government action. This is how government "works." Corruption, payoffs, thuggery. As Edmund Burke put it:
"In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"
And, as I put it:
Instead of teaching our children to be moral, and to care about social opprobrium, parents and schools abdicate their roles as shapers of minds and rely on the state to punish misbehavior after the fact. Children naturally conclude that if there is no punishment from the state, there must have been no misbehavior. But the state cannot fulfill this function, for reasons of simple competence and resource constraint. And the state would fail to carry out the function correctly, even if it were competent, because power corrupts and breeds malevolence. The abuse and the thing are the same. The conviction that we can harness Leviathan is the most dangerous conceit of our age.
I really think Blago sincerely believes he has done nothing wrong, except get caught. Voters don't care how bad politicians are. All voters care about is how much politicians promise. We get the government we deserve. (Except for Angus and me; we deserve much better government, because WE are the Cognescenti)
(Nod to EL)