You can't ban corruption. Stop trying.

As the Clinton cash saga reveals, the out-of-office money game is the real devil’s playground. Instead of just one reason to rake in the green, there’s a theoretically unending supply. Here a speech, there an appearance, there an exercise of “influence” or a connection between “friends.” Do it right, and you can actually spend years arbitraging your own return to political power.

It’s enough to make everyday Americans cry out for some kind of policy reform. Surely there’s some way to turn the formidable power of the federal government against sleazy and wanton deeds?

Not really, unfortunately. Although laws against flagrant abuse have a clear point, the problem with corruption is that it can’t be banned in a free society. It’s even harder to crack down on corruption than it is to outlaw alcohol or pornography. Elites hang out with each other. That’s what they do. It’s what makes them elite.

As much as it galls the rest of us, there’s only one surefire way to prevent them from sinking into decadent, dangerous venality. Vote in the incorruptible. And vote out the scoundrels. No matter how good they are at politics. No matter whose team they’re on.