In Politics, the currency of the realm is Chits – and the player who has a bagful of them has what is known as Power.
Chits are not given. They are earned.
They are earned when players lend or withhold support, do favors or perform services – within the scope of the law and/or their employment. Typical examples include voting on a bill, endorsing a candidate, solving a problem for a constituent, and raising funds for a candidate or a political party.
(If a player acts outside of the scope of the law and/or his or her employment, the Chit is probably illegal, e.g. a bribe or payoff.)
The longer a person is involved in politics, whether in elective office or as an operative, the more Power he or she is likely to amass, because he or she can be expected to collect more Chits. This is because the more tenure a person has, the better positioned he or she is to provide support, do favors or perform services.
As cynical and transactional as this seems, there is an element in this process which is essential and intangible — but its lack precludes engagement. That element is Trust, and without it, the exchange of Chits cannot occur.
The point here is that success and tenure in politics belong to people who can be trusted.
There are five words routinely spoken of successful, tenured politicians which no one has ever said about T****. Those words are: “His word is his bond.”
When a person lies as often as T**** has, he cannot be trusted. When a person reverses or abandons his position on major issues as often as T**** has, he cannot be trusted. When a person offends, demeans, cheats, fleeces and sandbags as many people as T**** has, he cannot be trusted.
A person who cannot be trusted cannot collect Chits. He therefore does not have the currency needed to exchange for support, favors, or services.
Without Chits, bills do not get passed. Nominees do not get confirmed. Roads and buildings do not get named. In short, government does not function.
It’s too late for T**** to learn this lesson or compensate for his many, many transgressions. But there is still time for Republicans in Congress to salvage what remains of their dignity, save their party – and right the American ship of state.