FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Progressive Bribery

by DOUG GIEBEL

A guest on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman urged that voters write to their representatives telling them to not accept contributions from tainted corporate donors.

On a recent Diane Rehm Show, Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd inelegantly dodged a question asking if he would support Elizabeth Warren to head the new consumer protection agency. Dodd opined there are many qualified people for the job.

Some believe the rumor that upon his retirement from the Senate, Christopher Dodd will take a position with Goldman Sachs and bring home sacks of cash for his willingness to cave in when Big Finance says “Cave,” for Senator Dodd has willingly helped water down legislation aimed at regulating industry. But, of course, Senator Dodd is not alone, and asking the current crop  in Congress to turn down big money handouts from powerful interests  would be like asking someone to avoid breathing for the next twenty minutes.

A “modest proposal” has no place in the political culture of hypocrisy, cynicism and greed where modesty and virtue are virtually unknown. How deep is the cynicism? Just listen to the standard response given by elected officials when asked if big campaign donations influence their votes. “Why, no. My vote is never influenced by those contributions,” they will reply with straight-faced sincerity worthy of any successful con man.

Some may ask, “How stupid do they think we are?” Well, my friends — and you are my friends — they think you’re really stupid, and you are. This goes for those Tea Party followers who believe that throwing the bums out of office will bring purity to the hallowed halls of Congress. They ignore the fact that a “system” has been developed by Big Money and Willing Legislators making it all but impossible for anyone to be elected to national office without plenty of cash or access  to cash through a willingness to play along with Big Money’s demands.

Earnest but naive progressives will fail to influence most in Congress with pleas to just say “No,” as they have mostly failed to get the  ear of President Obama once he swore the oath and entered the White House.  Money talks. Power talks. Money is power. Power is money.

This administration’s knee-jerk reaction to the Breitbart and Fox News hustle in the Shirley Sherrod debacle demonstrates how foolish today’s Democrats are when lies trump fairness, decency and common sense. Yes, President Obama and others offered up apologies to Ms. Sherrod because they had been caught with their proverbial trousers unzipped, but the climate of fear that has infected Democrats won’t go away. And Shirley Sherrod should have been invited for a face to face with our thin-skinned commander in chief. He chose the easy way out.

On the other hand, there will be no apologies from this administration after its eager face-to-face pow-wows with Big Money when writing legislation ranging from health care to financial regulation to climate change. No apologies, either, for the demeaning treatment of such honorable and creative  people as Van Jones and Dawn Johnsen.

Instead of begging for ethical respectability from politicians, progressives may have only one choice: If they can’t lick ’em, buy em.

The Obama campaign demonstrated that fired-up Little Guys (men and women who believed “change” was necessary and possible) would fork over plenty of loose change to help build a better nation. Many of those same Little Guys are disappointed because, as in a Frank Capra movie, their heroes turned out to be spineless slaves of the status quo.

Therefore the answer to reform in Washington may be to show them the money, pay to play, compete by shoving bundles of cash into campaign pockets and then demand responsibility, accountability, fairness, compassion and God-forbid  enlightened government in return.

As it is, so let it be.

DOUG GIEBEL welcomes comment: dougcatz@itstriangle.com

WORDS THAT STICK

?

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Obama Said Hillary will Continue His Legacy and Indeed She Will!
Jeffrey St. Clair
She Stoops to Conquer: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Rob Urie
Long Live the Queen of Chaos
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Evolution of Capitalism, Escalation of Imperialism
Margot Kidder
My Fellow Americans: We Are Fools
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Convention Con
Lewis Evans
Executing Children Won’t Save the Tiger or the Rhino
Vijay Prashad
The Iraq War: a Story of Deceit
Chris Odinet
It Wasn’t Just the Baton Rouge Police Who Killed Alton Sterling
Brian Cloughley
Could Trump be Good for Peace?
Patrick Timmons
Racism, Freedom of Expression and the Prohibition of Guns at Universities in Texas
Gary Leupp
The Coming Crisis in U.S.-Turkey Relations
Pepe Escobar
Is War Inevitable in the South China Sea?
Norman Pollack
Clinton Incorruptible: An Ideological Contrivance
Robert Fantina
The Time for Third Parties is Now!
Andre Vltchek
Like Trump, Hitler Also Liked His “Small People”
Serge Halimi
Provoking Russia
David Rovics
The Republicans and Democrats Have Now Switched Places
Andrew Stewart
Countering The Nader Baiter Mythology
Rev. William Alberts
“Law and Order:” Code words for White Lives Matter Most
Ron Jacobs
Something Besides Politics for Summer’s End
David Swanson
It’s Not the Economy, Stupid
Erwan Castel
A Faith that Lifts Barricades: The Ukraine Government Bows and the Ultra-Nationalists are Furious
Steve Horn
Did Industry Ties Lead Democratic Party Platform Committee to Nix Fracking Ban?
Robert Fisk
How to Understand the Beheading of a French Priest
Colin Todhunter
Sugar-Coated Lies: How The Food Lobby Destroys Health In The EU
Franklin Lamb
“Don’t Cry For Us Syria … The Truth is We Shall Never Leave You!”
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
The Artistic Representation of War and Peace, Politics and the Global Crisis
Frederick B. Hudson
Well Fed, Bill?
Harvey Wasserman
NY Times Pushes Nukes While Claiming Renewables Fail to Fight Climate Change
Elliot Sperber
Pseudo-Democracy, Reparations, and Actual Democracy
Uri Avnery
The Orange Man: Trump and the Middle East
Marjorie Cohn
The Content of Trump’s Character
Missy Comley Beattie
Pick Your Poison
Kathleen Wallace
Feel the About Turn
Joseph Grosso
Serving The Grid: Urban Planning in New York
John Repp
Real Cooperation with Nations Is the Best Survival Tactic
Binoy Kampmark
The Scourge of Youth Detention: The Northern Territory, Torture, and Australia’s Detention Disease
Kim Nicolini
Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It
Cesar Chelala
Gang Violence Rages Across Central America
Phillip Kim et al.
Open Letter to Bernie Sanders from Former Campaign Staffers
Tom H. Hastings
Africa/America
Robert Koehler
Slavery, War and Presidential Politics
Charles R. Larson
Review: B. George’s “The Death of Rex Ndongo”
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail