By Joe Conason
Now that such whited sepulchers as Newt Gingrich have denounced the betrayal of the Republican revolution and the evils of congressional corruption, what more can be said about Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, Tom DeLay and all the other politicians, operatives and bagmen implicated in their schemes? Perhaps it is worth expressing a small hope that the good religious people of this country will rise up in outrage against the abuse of their faith by all these pious hypocrites.
Rarely has the contrast between the rhetoric of the religious right and the behavior of its leaders been so starkly exposed as in the Abramoff scandal. The most obvious example was the manipulation of Christian activists in Louisiana and Texas by Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition, who said he was helping them fight gambling when he was actually using them to promote Indian casinos (and to make a few million bucks for himself).
That episode alone should have alerted honest Christians to the moral rot within the Republican leadership that professed to represent their interests. But there is of course much more evidence of the religious cynicism of Abramoff and his cronies....