The insidiousness of corruption is that it is not easily identified by the average person. It works on us incrementally, taking little bites of our Soul at a time. Our religious institutions are no help to us because they portray evil with a capital "E". They make it out to be something grand and apocalyptical when, in fact, it isn't. Evil has a little "e". It is practiced by ordinary people. A fudge on the taxes here; a refusal to "get involved" in a neighbors crisis there.
If this is all true of ordinary people living out their ordinary lives, what about ordinary people who are granted exceptional lives? . With the power granted by temporal political office, ordinary men and women are brought into contact with the "power elite". We are all subject to the subtle seductions of flattery and attention. Becoming full of oneself when the flattery is earned through effort in one thing, but flattery is much more sulfurous when one is the recipient because of the office that he or she holds.
The Alaskan political scandals constitute Exhibit A in the ordinariness, banality and, one might even say, dreariness that evil can employ in its practice of destroying the angels of our higher nature.
Vic Kohring and all the rest--including Ted Stevens--were ushered into office in part because of their ability to resonate as ordinary, hard-working, good people.
Long before the FBI obviated a corrupt political system, we continued to elect these people to office. Even after Berkowitz took to the House floor and decried the scandalous behavior of Bill Allen and the asses that he owned, we were willing to re-elect these people, the ordinary men and women. When we re-elect someone because they "bring home the bacon" to our district, or flatter our prejudices or champion our causes despite their well-documented bad behavior we do so because we are either: ignorant or we are ourselves corrupt.
In either case old Thomas Jefferson, if he were alive today, would be looking for an exorcist to stop the the spinning head obscenities and vomiting of his precious democracy in Alaska today.