Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Right Thing

The tough part about taking the higher road is that you really need to be following you gut and not just trying to get elected. We've all been there; political co-workers, unethical requests, or attraction to a friend's date are all slippery slopes. Choices made in these situations are pretty personal and frequently never go public. You know though, and if you're sleeping soundly, things are probably being managed well in your little section of the universe.

The implications of bearing a public moral mandate, as we've been told ad nauseam by the Republicans that they now wield, might weigh heavy in decision making. Ya think? Let's ask a Bush man, shall we?

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach weighed in on the subject of the excessive inaugural fete. To wit:

In general, there is a terrible disconnect between the 275 million American who go about their daily lives focused mostly on themselves, and the approximately 2 million Americans who are entrusted to guarantee our freedom and sacrifice their lives, if need be, to safeguard their freedoms. There is a desperate need in America to close that gap, both so that our soldiers never feel unappreciated and so that the American people never take the military's sacrifice for granted. President Bush can begin that process by making a courageous statement that now is not the time for large parties celebrating political triumphs, but rather
a time to focus on the plight of our troops and ensure their victory in Iraq.

Rabbi Boteach is a staunch Bush supporter, but there is a serious pile of complaint sandwiched into his article. Again with the good Rabbi:

... there should be humility in victory. President Bush's victory was won with morality-based voters who supported him because they trust his values. There is, therefore, a need to show that he does not gloat and embraces his victory with humility. Canceling the big inaugural celebrations sends the right messages to the American people that President Bush did not seek to whip the
Democrats or raise himself in victory, but rather to simply continue the course of spreading democracy and destroying tyranny around the globe.

I sincerely wish that that were true. Unfortunately, my middle name is Skeptic. Let's listen in a bit more:

And what about all the wealthy supporters who need to be rewarded for their support of the president with invitations to a big inaugural ball? First of all, they can all be invited to the inaugural itself, which should be a sufficient honor. But more importantly, political contributors must learn the lesson of supporting a candidate they believe in, even if it means receiving nothing in return.

Oh my, now THAT presents a bit of a snag. You see, all those horrible misleading political ads we suffered through were paid for by somebody. This swanky party is also being paid for by somebody (except for the part that they plan to stick it to the city of Washington D.C. with, but more on that later).

Let's leave Rabbi Boteach (see on the sidebar for his writings) and go visit a true non-partisan wonderland, the Center for Responsive Politics, to find the answer to the question we are all asking, "Who’s picking up the tab for the Bush bash?"

"There are a wide variety of companies that are giving; some people were former supporters,” said Larry Noble, executive director at the Center for Responsive Politics. “We’re seeing some Pioneers and Rangers -- the big fundraisers for Bush. Among the companies we are seeing are Texas companies and energy companies."

Direct corporate contributions to political campaigns are barred by law. Inaugural committee contributions, however, are one way companies can legally spend big bucks in order to make friends in high places happy.

How happy will W have to make the
oil folks in return? Based on the amount their contributions have ratcheted up in the last 10 years, I suspect hookers will need to be bought. Ones with preferential government contracts in their G-strings, probably.

How happy will W have to make the financial folks in return? Their contributions have gone from being distributed equally to both parties to a 50% increase to the Republicans in the last 10 years. I suspect nothing less than the handing over of the privitazation of social security will suffice.

How happy will W have to make the Ameriquest folks? These heavy hitters provide sub-prime mortgages in minority neighborhoods. What do they want? Just federal standards that would supersede tougher laws in several states. Man, what smells?

Here's a partial Naughty Company list for those interested:
Chevron Texaco
Exxon Mobil
Occidental Petroleum
Southern Company
Goldman Sachs
Bank of America
Ameriquest Capital

I promised, so here's the new word on the D.C. shaft over free security. According to Jim Rice, the FBI supervisory agent for Thursday’s inauguration,

“This is probably the heaviest security we have ever had in D.C. The president is going to get out and walk down the middle of the street, and we’re at war. Security is going to be airtight.”

Hey, if you're not paying for it, why not go whole hog?

Where is the commitment to the self-monikered moral mandate?

The higher road has potholes, apparently.


At January 19, 2005 9:27 PM, Blogger R said...

God..I love you. I'd have your baby if you had the right body parts. But since you don't I'll have to contend with reading your blog. Good enough! Your right (re:comment on my blog) all baby boomers aren't greedy. Just like all gen x'ers aren't passive agressive and are grandparents weren't necessarily the greatest of the greatest generation. But the current elected representives sure do smell like the duck I'm calling them. And quack like them. And walk like them. Quack. > I have no idea what I'm saying now, so I'll just stop.

At January 20, 2005 5:33 AM, Blogger JD said...

"Hey, if you're not paying for it, why not go whole hog?"

Can't wait to see what new programs the Republicans and Democrats can come up with this term!

Rumor has it that Mr. Bush is planning a raid on Alaska, lots of oil and no defensive army.


Post a Comment

<< Home