Some people think that we should never trust any politician. For the overwhelming majority of our elected horse thieves, that's probably a safe generalization. However, every rule has its exceptions. Except for the rule about every rule having exceptions to which there are no exceptions which necessarily proves the rule. I think.
Besides, if I were to never trust any politician, I wouldn't be able to trust my own mother; although, in her defense, she was less a politician and more the hapless victim of living next door to a senile city secretary with a sense of humor. If you think Washington is crazy, try observing small town politics sometime. It's a hoot and a half. But, I digress.
Instead, I would offer up the following rule as a substitute as I think it does a better job of limiting the exceptions:
"Never trust a man who actively seeks political office"
I am fairly sure that it was Stephen King who wrote that little throw away line for one of the secondary characters in The Stand. I don't have a copy of the book at the moment. So, I can't fact check myself, but I'm 95% certain that it's in the first quarter of that 1000+ page monster in an exchange between main character/hero Stuart Redman and sociology professor turned sacrificial lamb Glen Bateman (thanks Wikipedia).
So, why never trust those who actively seek political office? One word: money. Aside from Senator Larry Craig's bathroom incident, name one scandal involving an elected official that didn't involve money. Just recently, there was William Jefferson's cold hard cash scandal, Randy "Duke" Cunningham's contracts for bribes scandal, Eliot Spitzer's tax money for hookers scandal, John Edwards' campaign cash to his baby's mama scandal, and the list goes on.
But what about the growth of the government, the erosion of the Constitution, the "nanny society" we've created, etc.? It's still about money under the guise of power or fairness or the environment or whatever label they can think up. Take a close look at any program or bill or pork barrel spending earmark, and follow the money. Ask yourself who stands to gain the most from [fill in the blank here]. Cap & Trade? Do a little quick research and you'll find Al Gore's name along with Hank Paulson and a lot of other people connected with the current administration in position to get more filthy, stinking rich than they already are. Cash for Clunkers? The auto industry which is currently beholden to the unions and the government. Health care reform? I'm still working on that one, but my bet is that you will find the drug companies and several key members of Congress and the administration with their hands deep in their pockets on that one as well.
As the old journalist's mantra goes: Follow the money. It'll lead you all sorts of interesting places.