osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Abramoff Sentenced.

Well, suitable for Ellul z'man, Jack Abramoff was sentenced for his federal corruption crimes. Repentance must include working to repair the damage done and accepting punishment for one's actions.

For those who think he got off too lightly, I will quote a line from Mytelini's Reprieve (for those familiar with the song). "No foe will dare surrender if he has no hope of mercy." Abramoff copped a plea and cooperated fully with authorities, yielding up several bigger fish. Whether one believes in genuine repentance in such cases or not, Abramoff's sentencing is appropriate on the purely practical level that we want to create incentives for folks to rush to do deals rather than hang tough and hold out.

I also doubt he will be on Bush's last minute pardon list. He got hung out to dry, and the Rs will forever see him as primary cause of their losses in '06 (rather than blaming, say their actual corruption).

But as I have said before, I am hardly neutral in the matter. In a very real way I am Jack Abramoff. For me, his story is not one of hypocrisy and corruption and just deserts. It is the story of how any of us -- even someone known to me and sharing a similar background and ideals -- can become corrupted by power and money and fall from grace. It could happen to me as easily as it happened to him -- unless I take that lesson to heart. For if we believe that corruption is innate in others and absent in ourselves, we sow the seeds of our own downfall.

That too, makes a good lesson for Ellul z'man.

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