A very acute commment on corruption from Marianne Gingrich
I'm reading this excellent and resonant (and of course also redolent) profile of Newt Gingrich from January, which includes a long interview with Marianne Gingrich:
"Newt always wanted to be somebody," she says. "That was his vulnerability, do you understand? Being treated important. Which means he was gonna associate with people who would stroke him, and were important themselves. And in that vulnerability, once you go down that path and it goes unchecked, you add to it. Like, 'Oh, I'm drinking, who cares?' Then you start being a little whore, 'cause that comes with drinking. That's what corruption is — when you're too exhausted, you're gonna go with your weakness. So when we see corruption, we shouldn't say, 'They're all corrupt.' Rather, we should say, 'At what point did you decide that? And why? Why were you vulnerable?' "
So far as I can tell, they are all corrupt.
But I think her focus on tipping points of human frailty is excellent, analytically, as a narrative trope, and also strategically (since the non-violence idea of peeling off individuals requires understanding this or that individual).