The pissing contest in Monday night’s Democratic Debate had the talking heads frothing like Homer Simpson and Barney Gumble watching two strippers in a bar fight. Needless to say, the critical issue of the night—the corrupted nature of our political system—was overlooked. Late in the debate, John Edwards made a point about how money dominates the agenda in Washington and Hillary Clinton’s politics, in particular.
EDWARDS: And I have a question — I have a question that I’m interested in hearing you respond to. You’ve talked a lot about day one. I’ve committed — I don’t know what Barack has said about this — but I’ve committed not to have any corporate lobbyists working in my White House on the first day that I’m president.Will you make the same commitment?
CLINTON: Well, you know, John, I will make the commitment to have people in the White House who are honest and trustworthy and put the interests of the United States first. But I think…(Never mind that these are people who have been working for various industries to promote legislation that favors said industries. They’ll forget all that once they assume the mantle of leadership. Rumsfeld and Cheney did, didn’t they? TH)
EDWARDS: Is that a no?
CLINTON: You know what? I don’t know.(Of course, she doesn’t know. Lobbyists have so far contributed over $567, 000 to her campaign. Would shutting them out of the White House be any way to thank them? TH)
(LAUGHTER) (The Hangover laughed, too. Given a yes or no question, the woman who wants to lead the real world can’t come up with an answer.)
I don’t know, because I’m not in favor of corporate lobbyists (But she’ll take their money. TH), but you keep drawing these artificial distinctions. You take money from people who employ lobbyists, who are married to lobbyists, who are the children of lobbyists. (I’m married to a caterer. Maybe that means Hillary will let The Hangover cater her victory party.)
And, you know, at some point this gets really hard to take, because if you are someone like I am, who has withstood the full force of corporate lobbyists, starting with the health insurance companies, and the drug companies, (That must be why when her husband put her in charge of restructuring health care in the US after the 1992 election, she was able to provide us with the totally revamped, universal-coverage system we now enjoy. Oh, that’s right. My mistake.) and the oil companies (If not for Hillary, we’d be paying $10.00 a gallon?), and everybody that I’ve taken on for all of these years, you know, I think I’m independent and tough enough to be able to deal with anybody (She’s on target here: She’s been married to Bill quite a while. I’m surprised Barack didn’t make that point for her). And that’s what I intend to do.
(By the way: Ms. Clinton has taken over 2 million dollars for her campaign from Health Professionals and the Pharmaceutical Industries.)
The media doesn’t need to point out that the estimated 419 million dollars contributed to Presidential campaigns so far in this election cycle just might just have an impact on post-election politics. Regular folks don’t need to be bothered with that technical political science stuff. That’s what those lobbyists are for, anyway. It’s only right they be rewarded for elevating us to the pinnacle where the US resides today—right at the edge of the cliff.