1. I just want to make sure, most/all of you believe that Democrats and Republicans are fundamentally the same right?
We appear to have a substantial choice in the kind of rhetoric we want to hear, but minimal choice in most policies, and zero choice in many. All politicians are the same in their capacity to be prone to continually refining the system to get themselves perpetually reelected.
2. If yes, then is the reason you think that mainly because of corruption, stuff like lobbyist money, outright bribes, pandering to voters and avoiding the real issues?
Much of it comes down to what gets you elected. Specific policies maintain the flow of campaign funds (see lists of largest campaign contributors). Most of them come down to maintaining the flow of federal funds itself, which is why neither party actually ever reigns in spending (see inability to fix social security). Some of them come down to preventing competition for the same dollars (see blackballing of third parties). Each of the parties can be seen as somewhat of an umbrella of special interest groups fighting over federal dollars with campaign contributions. The D's tend to get more money from union workers, the R's tend to get more money from corporate executives; but as long as they off the same vote on foreign policy and the federal reserve, they both get money from defense contractors and banks.
3. Would it be fair to say that both parties are the same in terms of the big picture (corruption) but are different on numerous issues, say The Dream Act (giving citizenship to illegal immigrants who were brought to America as kids if the follow certain conditions) but that in your opinion those issues are insignificant compared to the overwhelming big problem of corruption in America?
I think both parties have little disagreement over the questions of if they need more power, more of your money, and less competition for your vote. Everything else stems from there. IMO they force feed irrelvant emotional distraction issues like gay marriage, prayer in schools, and abortion into the debates to give voters a sense of polarization and choice.