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Abramoff, the man and the mentality

Jack Abramoff has become a household name over the past year.   All one needs to do is mention him in order to bring attention to the scandalous ethics abuses which have involved bribes, lies, Indian casinos, lavish trips to golf courses in Europe, and secretly funneling illegal contributions through charities.

While most of the media has focused on these stories, not much attention has been given to looking into the personality and character of the man who created a massive web of corruption throughout Washington D.C. and the rest of the country.  Who is Jack Abramoff?  What type of person is able to justify these actions to himself?  How does his mind work?

We get a glimpse inside that mind in the recently released 357-page report of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, which details Abramoff’s personal email conversations with his colleagues.  The Hill writes about two in particular, which show an astounding level of disrespect and even contempt for his clients – clients he was busy ripping off at the time.

In one email, Abramoff told a friend he was unable to go to lunch because he had a lunch with “the Gabon guys,” referring to representatives from the small, West African country.  When asked, “What is Gabon,” Abramoff offered a racial slur.

In another email, Abramoff labeled an Indian tribe he was working with as “troglodytes,” who were a “lower form of existence.”

Such deplorable bigotry and racism against anyone is disgusting, but in these cases Abramoff was actually speaking about his own clients. Should it surprise us that this same person was only too willing to subvert our democracy?

-Daniel Werner