the american democratic party has a long history of corruption + bribery. i don't think that this spin on history (usually brandished by conservative republicans) is necessarily untrue.
however, democratic corruption, though ethically suspect, does lean towards a certain generosity of spirit, money offerings to local neighborhoods, labor representatives, + minority leaders, etc., to "grease the wheels" of justice, civil rights, + progress.
one finds such generosity lacking in the no-less-corrupt republican party--where cabals + closed meetings (even closed campaigns + "missing" voting booths) are the norm.
all i mean to suggest is that republican pay-offs are no more virtuous than democratic giveaways.
republican officials repay their constituency with billion-dollar military contracts + corporate rescues.
republicans offer charity to the rich--the saudis, halliburton, shahs, royals, oil magnates, + general motors.
democratic officials repay their constituency with handouts to the poor, though undoubtedly a great amount often gets siphoned off by go-betweens + welfare programs are vulnerable to a certain amount of fraud.
on occasion, the money goes to foreign nations in a bid to prevent or just delay war.
on the other hand, republican money goes to contractors to profit from war, so that, for example, $9 billion can just "disappear" in iraq back in 2004 ... as hard to pinpoint + retrieve as bin laden's dialysis machine.
democrats at least have the decency to spred their bribe money around to the poor + genuinely needy, from time to time.
i often hear conservatives complain about how poor people abuse the system, but they seldom acknowledge the greater greed of the rich. the rich hold the pursestrings to the system, so their pilfering can, to a certain extent, be legislatively "laundered."
the rich get no-bid contracts. the poor have to rely on guile alone.
the stickiest fingers are the ones with the most stuff stuck onto them.
it's not that i think ends necessarily justify the means. but on the whole republican ends tend to be just as venal (or loony) as the means used to achieve them.