So, the Abramoff business is not so clearly one sided as claimed. The problems for the Democrats are the public's perceptions that all politicians regardless of party are crooked, and the amusing habit the Democrats have of being contradicted on point blank issues.
First, Howard Dean and Harry Reid were screaming that this is a Republican issue, that no Democrats had taken any money form Abramof. Then it was amended to no Democrats had taken money personally from Abramof, just his lobbying firm. Then it was that no Democrats ever took money from Abramof's clients at his directions. Click on the title to see that Reid took $68,000 from Abramof's clients. So, we have a difference without distiction.
So, I went back to the link that showed where the Abramof money went to. Just looking at individual giving by Abramof, $9000 went to Rep. Barney Frank, and $5000 went to Debby Stabenow. So, it seems as if the public perception is correct. They are all bums.
What is needed though is not cutting out free lunches or trips. What we need are ethical people who would be able to accept campaign contributions, but still vote in favor of their constituents. As the old saying goes, "Hell if you can't drink their whiskey, sleep with their women and take their money and still vote against them, you are not much of a politician."