Consider the title of this post. It describes what is going on in the current polarized stalemate between the Left and the Right. The Left wants to be able to continue Buying Votes, and the Right wants to stop that practice (at least untill they get into power, then it will resume, in a changed form). This stalemate is somewhat of a wonder to me, because despite having the Executive, the Judiciary and half the Legislative branches in their pocket, the Left can't break the stalemate.
Some History first:
When the Democrats first came into being as a political party, Andrew Jackson was their first hero, and, unarguably, the first President to run a corrupt Administration. Government favors were openly bought by anyone who could carry enough cash into the Official Residence. Those favors included military contracts, Federal jobs, Cabinet positions, pretty much the whole gamut. It was an open situation: anyone could buy favors from Andy Jackson's Administration. There was no attempt to hide it. It even got an historical name: the Spoils System. The only thing that has changed since is that whichever party is in power does it now, but in retrospect, the Democrats were there first, and have maintained the lead in creative ways to do corruption.
The current way to do the Spoils System is to fund "programs" with Federal cash. The creativity comes in when the "need" for a new program of Federal giveaway is proposed. Most of them are NOT needed, e.g.; there are other ways to help the unfortunate, compete for military contracts, etc, other than giving and receiving money, but, when you are as lazy as the politicians of both the Left and Right are today, you don't even bother to think up new ways - cash under the table always works. If you REALLY want to parse the definition of corruption, you divide it into naked corruption and dressed-up corruption.
For example, Naked corruption would be Clinton's giving away nights in the White House as an Official Guest to anyone who could come up with a half-million bucks for his campaign fund. Dressed-Up corruption would be "Immigration Reform", which proposes to make citizens of, and therefore eligible for Federal Welfare, some 12-17 million illegal aliens now hiding in this Nation. Of course, those illegal aliens are already being brainwashed to be "good" voters and vote Democratic, and if they ARE brought in with voting rights, we will have the same situation as from where they came from, a permanent, one-party Government for multiple generations. Think of the PRI in Mexico, another supposedly-democratic Republic.
Yes, it's all about Buying Votes. If you are a "competent-corrupt" leader, you accumulate cash like Clinton did, AND you twist Congress' arm into setting up programs to buy votes with Federal cash. An "incompetent-corrupt" leader like Nixon was or Obama is, will not be able to handle the mechanics of both naked corruption AND Dressed-up corruption.
We were smart enough to toss Nixon. Will we now be smart enough to toss Obama?