Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Tale Of Two Governors

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way . . ." (From A Tale Of Two Cities, Dickens).

Is it just me? Or are the contradictions beginning to overwhelm our corrupt political system. Didn't I just see the entire political upper class condemning the Illinois Governor because he told his aides, in personal conversations that for all we know were illegally taped by Bush's illegal wiretaps, that he wanted to get money or otherwise get benefits from his ability to select the senator to take Obama's Illinois Senate seat?

Didn't we have the boyscout prosecutor on the Chicago townhall steps, uniform and boy scout salute, flag behind him, fireworks at the ready, announcing to the world that the Illinois Governor must be taken down. What a travesty, what a terrible person, that he would try to obtain money or political advantage because he was legally entitled to choose who would take Obama's seat. Isn't that what we've been hearing? [Silly me, I thought all politicians used their office and power to get support, money, and advantage].

So now go east, young man. New York. Caroline Kennedy, heiress to a great Democratic family tradition of commitment to the poor, to minorities, to working people, steps up and says yes, she would like to be considered for the seat being vacated by Hillary Clinton. (Who we should note had zero experience before carpetbagging her way into Bloomingdales for a tea party to share with a few million-dollar girlfriends how hurt she was when Bill betrayed her -- which was the primary basis for her campaign, given that she wasn't from New York, didn't live there, and had never held elected office in her life).

But now Hillary, bored after a few short years as a Senator, perhaps exhausted from all her work in getting a law passed to punish anyone who burns a flag, perhaps bored with all the wars she supported, had been moved on up to a new position of Secretary of State for reasons never explained. Is Hillary Clinton the best qualified? Or was she chosen because of political advantages to the president? Come on.

And what happens next? Well we all know the Clintons were angry with the Kennedys (Ted and Caroline) for supporting Obama. Right on cue, those same cultists who have slavishly been sucking at Hillary's toes for years suddenly came out full force against Caroline Kennedy. And the next thing we know, the staff of the governor of New York begin launching personal attacks against Caroline, trashing her, trying to humiliate her into withdrawing. Did they have a special phone installed in the governor's office -- a hotline to Page 6?

Caroline Kennedy had a tax problem? I believe the new Secretary of the Department of Goldman Sachs (formerly the Treasury Department) has what appears to be either tax fraud or such incredibly stupid filings that in either event he should not be in government, but the Democrats just loved him into office.

Then the New York Governor, almost out of nowhere, after his staff has humiliated Caroline Kennedy, passes over other qualified and well-known candidates to instead pick a Clinton insider for the Senate seat, some woman who worked for Bill Clinton's administration, worked on Hillary's senate campaign, a Clinton loyalist who nobody ever heard of. She got the seat. A gun-lover from upstate? That's the best he could do?

So here's the question: what did the New York Governor get, if anything? How about a promise of Clinton fundraising assistance when the governor's seat is up for election? How about the magic of both Clintons escorting the current governor from one upper east side room full of Clinton cultist multi-millionaires to the next? How about some of Chuck Schumer's bff ties to Wall Street as a little something extra? Why did Paterson pick a Clintonista? And when can we expect the boy scout prosecutor to be holding a press conference about this choice? Didn't Bush have wiretaps on this guy?

I am not suggesting the New York Governor did anything corrupt or illegal, as an aside. That's because there is nothing illegal about using power to advance one's own political ambitions. Most of our national politicians solicit bribes and sell their votes every single day. (They call it fundraising, but same difference). That's corruption. If the boy scout prosecutor really wants corruption, he should go to Congress. But a state-level politician negotiating a benefit for himself in exchange for someone being considered (or excluded) for an appointment is just politics as usual. And that's why the whole public hysteria about the Illinois Governor is so absurd. Maybe he is a crook. But using the power of appointment for his benefit doesn't rise to the level that's been suggested.

I'm sorry. If people want to pretend these two things aren't exactly the same, go ahead. But when it comes to corrupting the Democratic party, the governor of Illinois is a small-town nobody, while the Clintons are the Leaders of the Pack. Bill Clinton pushed to deregulate (get rid of laws that govern) the financial cartels and let them loose to loot the entire country. He also pushed through corporate trade agreements which encouraged businesses to send U.S. jobs to third world countries and throw Americans out of work. Look at the result. Our country is in crisis, our people have lost everything: jobs, homes, pensions, savings accounts, healthcare. Since leaving office Bill Clinton has done nothing more than collect hundreds of millions of dollars from rich people who want to buy access and influence. His wife supports the corporate trade and wall street looting, and neither of them have ever done a thing to help American working people.

Unlike, for example, the Kennedys, who understood that being a Democrat means being a representative of the working people, not an agent for Wall Street.

So maybe the real reason they went after Caroline is because the Clintons demand that the Democratic Party continue to be the Party of Business, the biggest recipient of bribes from Wall Street, drug companies, the healthcare CEOs, and everyone else who is destroying this country. The influence of the Kennedys in their commitment to helping the working people of the U.S. might just be too threatening to the Clintonistas and all their multi-billion dollar empires. For the working people, again, we lose. Thanks a lot Governor.

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