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Throwing the Candidate Out With the Bath Water

June 29th, 2008 | by Omnipotent Poobah |

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Kinda Change with ObamaBarack Obama’s recent decisions to chuck public campaign financing and support the FISA capitulation bill angered many, including me. And, his explanations for both were weak and far short of his promise to change government.

I wasn’t tremendously offended by his decision on campaign financing. The decision wasn’t wrong in the technical sense. The system is broken and it does make more sense to raise funds himself - especially since he’s proved he can. But for many, the issue wasn’t the funding source so much as his breaking a “promise”. Not withstanding, his chief antagonist - Walnuts McCain - has backed away from a similar promise and is crowding the legal foul line as he also games the system. His disingenuous flap-jawing about Obama is encouraged by the reluctance of many to point out his little flaw.

Joining the Pusillanimous Democrats
The Obaminator’sTM support of the new FISA bill is more troubling. By joining the pusillanimous democrats, he’s adding to the constitutional carnage The VetoerTM has already inflicted. Barak’s amends for such a poor decision doesn’t hold much water either. Yes, immunity for the telecoms is galling and encourages them to cooperate with extra-legal government requests, but it pales in comparison to the constitutional dangers the evolving FISA bill pays forward. It’s nice that he plans to work for the removal of the immunity provision, but that’s pissing into the strong wind of constitutional outrage. The time to oppose immunity was before the bill passed on. Given his and his colleagues’ fraidy cat natures, I doubt much will change in the current version before it escapes to George’s crayons for signature. It seems there’s no surfeit of political courage these days and Barack jumped on the crapulent bandwagon with these decisions.

However, Obie’s missteps highlight one of the core problems of why our government works - or more correctly - doesn’t work.

Change is a vexing thing for any organization, especially one as big and complex as government. Not only is it near-impossible to whip the dinosaur’s ass into action, leaders have to constantly fight for possession of the stick. If there was such a thing as a truly off-the-record conversation our would-be president might admit that FISA is a pox on our nation’s house. He’d admit that he had to hold his nose to vote for the abomination. He might even admit that he’d like to roll the bill into a paper-cutting ball and shove it where the Texan’s sun don’t shine. I’m sure he’d tell you letting telecoms off the hook is a travesty he’d just as soon not abet. But off-the-record is a place politicians can’t go without mortally wounding themselves - and by extension - the country.

The embarrassing truth is that no candidate from any party can win by single constituencies alone. They need to placate a whole galaxy of voters who are zealous to a fault. This is partially why the republicans are in such a pickle today. By allowing ditsy constituencies like Dobson and the rest of his odious ilk to take the reins of power, they lost the trust of the majority who are nothing like him. By allowing corporations to buy legislation, they’ve lost every shred of trust - and dignity - they ever had. It’s hard out there for a vote pimp so I don’t expect anyone will cure Congress of its many ills because we ensure failure. Each voter has their own crusades - those positions they refuse to compromise in the slightest. One could argue that principles are paramount and only truth holds sway. But compromise has to carry the day and compromise is a one-size-fits-all condition that fits everyone after a fashion, but no one well. There is no way for any politician to vote as you want all the time.

The Crapinator’s Ironic Twist
In a sadly ironic twist, the Crapinator-in-Chief wasn’t far off the mark with his joke about dictatorships being easier to govern as long as you’re the one running them. Any time you get people involved, everything goes to hell in a hand-basket…fast.

The trick is to balance what and how much you’re willing to compromise across many different issues and then pick the candidate who’ll best adhere to your choices. Choosing a candidate who happens to lose the primaries is something you must deal with logically and dispassionately. You can send a signal by voting elsewhere, but chances are that elsewhere may be even worse than the candidate you’re running from. You can choose a candidate based on a single issue, but a laser-like focus on it to the exclusion of all other issues will lead you to a decision that discounts the 90% agreement you have on your other issues.

Most people think politicians do a pitiable job at conforming to our nebulous will - usually because the public rarely ever knows what it wants. They’re right, after a fashion, but they’re making a demand that will never be satisfied. Is Obama the man? Maybe, maybe not. Is McCain the guy? In my opinion, no, but plenty of others think he is. People want a candidate that exactly matches the template for the fine, upstanding, wise, and courageous politician they envision. There’s only one problem with that wishful thinking…

It just ain’t gonna happen.
Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

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  1. 5 Responses to “Throwing the Candidate Out With the Bath Water”

  2. By manapp99 on Jun 29, 2008 | Reply

    Perhaps Obama’s support of the FISA bill has something to do with the fact that the Communications/Electronics sector has given him $10,310,910 as opposed to the $2,373,218 given to McCain. As a matter of fact the overall donations to Dems for the 08 elections from this sector is 67% to Dems and 33% to the GOP. Wonder why?

    http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/sectors.php?sector=B

    Those looking for an agent of “change” in this election cycle are SOL as the same old politics as usual takes over. It is all about ambition and doing or saying anything to get power. Just like the 94 GOP revolution and the 2006 Dem takeover.

    Obama’s new campaign slogan should be:

    “Yes we should, but no we can’t”

  3. By manapp99 on Jun 29, 2008 | Reply

    I didn’t want to put two links in the same post so here is the link to the communications sector to Dems/GOP overall for each election cycle going back to 1990. It is interesting that only 1998 did they give more to the GOP and that was a 49/51 split.

    http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=B

  4. By manapp99 on Jun 29, 2008 | Reply

    “By allowing corporations to buy legislation, they’ve lost every shred of trust - and dignity - they ever had.”

    Turns out that open secrets is a very cool site. According to them it is the DEMS that are allowing corporations to buy legislation.

    Check this out, groups giving more to Dems.

    Defense corps gave more this year to Dems 52-48
    Health care 55-45
    Finance/Insurance/Real Estate 53-47
    Lawyers/Lobbyist a whopping 73-27

    When you go to the previous sector I cited, Communication/Electronics then go the sub sector, Telecom services and Equipment you find the total 63% to Dems and 37% to the GOP. No matter how you slice it the Dems are selling votes to the Telecoms all the while telling the netroots to “trust us”.

    http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=B09++&goButt2.x=9&goButt2.y=7

  5. By Mateo Giovanni on Jun 29, 2008 | Reply

    I applaud Obama for not taking public funds. That is Socialism; which would be fine, but McCain should recognize that as well. Aren’t we the shining example in the world of a Democratic Republic??? Ha!! LOL That is what a neocon would say. Our freedoms are being taken at an ever increasing rate.
    I don’t know if anyone reads my blog here, but I posted Putin’s very famous speech from February 10, 2007. In it among many revealing truths, Putin admits that not only Russia, but the USA sold all the Middle East, and other regions Nuclear ICBM’s from the 80’s through the 90’s. I would have to clearly consider the fact Putin said all the middle east has these already, so why would Iran want to create more that they don’t need????? Oh wait they got that ther’ black gold!!!
    It’s all a Power Broker joke, and game for power. They are enslaving We the once FREE people.

    Peace and Freedom

  6. By manapp99 on Jun 29, 2008 | Reply

    Mateo, do you applaud Obama for saying that he would take public funds then breaking his word? That is exactly what happened when he realized he was going to raise far more than the 85 million the public funding system allows. He broke his word for money. Something I am sure you would expect from the “power brokers” you frequently talk about. McCain, on the other hand, is taking public funds. This disparity in funding should insure Obama being able to purchase this election. The real question is who is purchasing Obama? Looks like the Telecoms will soon get what they paid for.

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