Pundits Miss the Point

22 Jan

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.

Here’s the transcript of the critical exchange:

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.

(APPLAUSE)

(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. 

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4 Responses to “Pundits Miss the Point”

  1. john jones January 23, 2008 at 5:21 am #

    “not for Hillary”

    A Blog dedicated to likely voters that want the Democratic Party to know that we will NOT vote for Senator Hillary Clinton in a 2008 general election.

    http://notforhillary.blogspot.com/

  2. Aaron, of course January 23, 2008 at 10:15 pm #

    I’m intrigued by the concept that ‘corporate lobbyists’ are bad, and ‘Big Business’, with the help of ‘Big Government’, conspires to defraud the consumer. Here’s a list of the boogeymen I hear when I watch the communist..er..democrat debates (in no particular order.)
    1) the Healthcare Companies. Just typing the words sends a shiver down my spine! These evil profiteers administer the system which matches patients with doctors in order to save lives, alleviete sickness, mend broken bodies and spirits, deliver babies, heal grandparents and various and sundry other things humans generally view as positive. They build hospitals, stock them with life saving machines and tools, staff them with skilled professionals who are knowledgable in the ways of healing etc. We have the best healthcare system in the history of the world. People come here from around the world to be cured. And the healthcare companies make a profit. But people still die, people still suffer, people still get sick. This makes some people angry, and they want to blame someone. Some of these people get lawyers. and sue. for a lot of money. crazy money. sometimes they win. but the lawyers always get paid.

    2) Drug companies. Hold Me! Anyone alive in this country has benefitted from the years of tireless and costly research performed by companies who employ doctors, scientists, chemists etc. who have labored to create pills, liquids, powders, sprays, ointments etc. that will cure disease, dull pain, speed recovery, prevent swelling, make headaches disappear, cure infection, and eradicate polio, among a whole host of other things I wager we generally support. These things are expensive. People don’t realize HOW expensive. The pills we take in some cases cost pennies to make. But the 1st one could have cost hndreds of millions. The drug companies make a profit. But people still die, people still suffer, people still get sick. This makes some people angry, and they want to blame someone. Some of these people get lawyers. and sue. for a lot of money. crazy money. sometimes they win. but the lawyers always get paid.

    3) Oil Companies aka Big Oil- If you’re having a tough time during a comm…er…democrat debate, just yell ‘Big Oil!’ and watch your poll numbers rise! These companies provide the energy source that makes life as we know it possible. Everything we own and use is made possible by the supply of this product, oil. Let’s examine one of the many uses of oil, the gasoline we use to power combustion engines like those found in cars, trucks, airplanes, motorcycles, lawnmowers etc. First, the oil companies surmise (at great cost) where supplies might possibly be located. Then (at great cost)they try to find it (but not always. Oftentimes the time and money they’ve invested doesn’t yield useable results.) Sometimes the supply is located at the bottom of an ocean, or in a freezing cold climate where machine and man break. In other words, sometimes, unlike on the Beverly Hillbillies, it’s difficult to get at. Once they’ve found it, they (at great cost) pump it. They then (at great cost) ship it to refineries to be converted (at great cost) into useable fuel. They then (at great cost) ship it to filling stations where we buy it (at modest cost, even when you include all local, state and federal TAXES). Right now my gas costs $2.99 per gallon. At the White Hen Pantry right next to the station I frequent most, a gallon of Poland Spring water costs $1.49 per gallon. This stuff falls out of the sky…FOR FREE! A gallon of whole milk costs $4.49 per gallon. I’ve seen the cows…they’re low maintenance! The oil companies make a profit. No real connection here with lawyers except to say that all the big oil companies have lawyers. Lots and lots of lawyers. And these lawyers make lots and lots of money.

    In all 3 examples the costs of lawyers and their lawsuits are passed on to the consumers in the form of higher prices. One could call it the ‘Lawyer Tax.’ In many businesses the costs of lawyers and lawsuits is figured into the business model, and prices are set accordingly. Remember the lady who ordered a hot coffee at a drive through McDonald’s, placed the cup between her thighs to drive, spilled it on her legs, and then sued and won like $2 million? She won her $2m, her attorney pocketed $660,000, and we payed in the form of higher prices. But it wasn’t McD’s fault. Nor was it your or my fault. It was HER OWN fault, but no matter. She got ‘lawyered up’ and she got paid.

    Which brings me to my point. THE LAWYERS. Barack is one (though of no distinction). So’s Hillary (she was not disbarred, but the other Clinton was), and Edwards, too. In fact, Edwards made his fortune suing doctors, many of whom, based on current scientific knowledge, were faultless. These 3 are living, breathing lobbyists for the trial lawyers association!

    So the next time you hear a phony, snake oil salesman re-packaged as a politician railing against ‘special interests’, the next time you hear a person wanting your vote, but refusing to respect the national anthem of the country he hopes to govern, railing against ‘special interest’, and the next time you hear a woman who would rather have shut down the greatest and most benevolent government in the history of the world than admit she had been defeated, rail against ‘special interests’, be sure to grab your wallet.

    The lawyers are coming!

  3. alguschip January 24, 2008 at 12:50 pm #

    Aaron, of course you realize you’re in need of an intervention. If only I lived close enough to pull it off.

  4. Aaron, of course January 24, 2008 at 9:32 pm #

    I’m writing this from my padded cell. I didn’t mean to spill my wine all over your nice new blog. I really do love what you’ve done with the place. Sorry if I got a li’l out of hand (removing lampshade from head), but I’ve never been in a jacuzzi before. In the immortal words of Forrest Gump ‘I’m sorry if I ruined your Black Panther Party’.

    Blog On!

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