Years ago a radio guy - may've been fire-breather Jay Severin - clarified for me that in media, the commercials are the real programming. The sponsors, who put up the money that makes the station run, like to put their program, the commercials, in a spot that will attract an audience. Thus what we call the show, what we think of as the whole point of the station, is, when one looks at it, actually the advertisement. The show is what brings customers out from the street and into the shop. Got that? If it's a new perspective for you, ponder that a bit before reading on. The commercials are the program. The shows are the advertisements.
In an era of media change and new business models, this is still true, though it now goes through more levels and is somewhat disguised.
In politics, and if you follow the whole news, especially among the Democrats, there is the prevailing opinion that the ideals - the ideas, programs, legislation - are the programming, while all the back-room deals, corruption, earmarks, and influence are merely regrettable necessities in getting the work done. No, it is the reverse. The corruption is the programming, the ideals are the advertisements politicians put out to get people to vote for them.
If you live in Massachusetts, this may be fairly easily grasped. Barney Frank, John Tierney, Sal DiMasi, years of Kennedys and Bulgers. In NH, it's less true, and you have to cast your eye over the entire republic to see Chicago, and California, and Philadelphia, and the long string of Democratic congressmen whose corruptions are coming to light. That the cancer is mainly Democratic may stem from its construction as a coalition of interest groups - though which is cart and which is horse, eh? I'd highlight the Republican offenders as well, but those make the national news pretty easily without any help from me. It's the Page 14 scandals that should be Page 1 that I worry about.
I know lots of nice, well-meaning liberals. As a group, they are less well-meaning than they suppose, but certainly there are plenty of individuals who are no worse than the average Joe in their motives, and often much better. Do not be deceived. The ideals, the concern for the downtrodden, the rooting for the underdog - these are the advertisements they put before you to get you into the store. The corruption is not an unfortunate necessity which they hope to reduce, but the actual product they are in business to make.
Yes, this is easily rejected as mere cynicism, as if what I am like is the point here. Focusing on me, or the parties you think I might support, is the easiest way to reject uncomfortable knowledge. And certainly, you can engage in the usual confirmation bias tactic of thinking of Democrats this doesn't seem to apply to, contrasted with your memory of Republicans you think it does. I'm stressing the word memory here. You might find that your proof examples go back a ways, while the evidence cutting against you is fairly fresh.