Is this the best we can do?

This seems to be the season for stupid people. So many members of Congress have now been caught flagrante delicto that one wonders if it isn’t a secret club initiation. What is it with these men? Not only cannot keep it in their pants, they are just plain stupid thinking they will keep their behavior secret.

Frankly I am unconcerned about their sexual behavior, whether it be bathroom sex, hookers or casual sex while married. Back in the “good old days” the press correctly thought it was none of the public’s business. I say good days because when this behavior was ignored by the press the politician in question didn’t have to lie to anyone but their spouse or playmate.

Of course when the stupidity is compounded by illegality, the press rightfully reports rather than ignores. So it is tough to imagine how Senator Craig or Governor Elliot could proceed as though they were immune to the laws we mortals are expected to conform our behavior to. There is a rich body of psycho-journalism on the topic, so I won’t bother to further clutter the field with my own theories.

John Edwards very possibly not only could have been the Democratic nominee only to be outed during the final campaign but also may have altered the race between Obama and Clinton. To behave that selfishly is unconscionable on a public level and calls into question not merely his ethical sieve but that of the entire election process.

Many of us complain about the way candidates are selected but we are always assured that at least the process vets each person to immunize against a “September surprise.” So was Edwards ignored because he was unelectable to begin with, a sort of sop to a certain sliver of the electorate? Does the party ever check its own candidates or is left to the press – in this case the National Enquirer which appears to have done a better job of it than anyone else?

If we are going to get ‘safe” candidates rather than “unelectables” like Kucinich, then at least do the job right. This process is so completely broken that we just have to come up with a better method. In part this is a reflection of the focus on “character” rather than issues, ironically. With so much emphasis on “who would you want to have a beer with” rather than which candidate will disavow the imperial presidency, which will bring our troops home now, which can bring our budget back into the black, and which can repair our woefully broken infrastructure, we will keep getting mediocre candidates and remain our downward spiral.

If it takes a Constitutional amendment we need to radically disengage politics from money—public financing, public airwaves opened to all candidates, no 527’s or other deep pocket financing, all are needed to right this ship of state. Congress will never make the needed reforms so we need to turn to states such as California to get the Constitutional ball rolling.

A lot more men and women with less than stellar pasts would be much better than the current crop of lying thieves.


  1. pollchecker

    Phil — when television got into the election process as it did in 1960, the game changed. No longer was it about issues but it became about looks, propaganda and money. If we took televison advertising out of the equation, the amount of money needed to run a campaign would drop significantly. As it is, only people with a lot of money to pay for this S**T are eligible to run for Government positions. No money, no winning.

    Let’s look at the Olympics. It seems every commercial break has a commercial from Obama or McSame. People forget that the owners of these companies are some of the richest people in America….maybe the world. These people are the ones that are reaping the benefits of the Bush tax cuts and all the other Bush policies. Hell, these are the people who will benefit MOST if McSame gets elected and makes these tax cuts for the top richest percent of our population permanent and cuts the corporate tax rates. The media cannot move their headquarters outside the country to escape taxes. Is it a wonder that their actions say “McSame, McSAme, McSame?”

    Let’s look at the war in Iraq. The MSM was just as guilty, maybe more, of pushing the false intel fed to them by the neo-cons as truth. And they made a lot of money off the advertising paid for them to talk about it over and over again. The people might want it to end, but it’s too good for the ratings for it to end. (Ask Fox News {wink}).

    And how about the change in the FCC rules and the changes in the laws regarding ownership of newspapers, magazines, radio, television. The same people are the only ones besides the politician’s pocketbooks that benefit from these changes. I could go on and on.

    Today, with the internet, paid political advertising on televison just isn’t necessary. I’m not saying that the candidates can not appear on TV. I’m saying that if you want to change the election process so that it’s not about money, then you HAVE to take televised paid political assasinations out of the picture. You cannot make the changes that people seem to want without doing that first.

    They did it with smoking and hard alcohol advertising. They can do it with this as well. This is the first step but not the only one needed.

  2. pollchecker

    Sherry — I admit that the changes that need to be made in order to take back our country will be hard to make because the current system won’t like it. That is another reason why I am supporting Obama. I know you are supporting McCain, I am not trying to change that. But people are afraid to step forward under this administration. They are afraid of disappearing and being labeled a terrorist. Did you see this story?

    Fliers without ID placed on TSA list

    I think the consequences of working against McCain would be just as bad. I don’t think people will be as AFRAID to do this under Obama. That is why I believe with the right leaders (citizens, not politicians)we can make the changes.

    It has happened before. But it took people who were more afraid of dying than going to jail. There are not very many people like that anymore. I just don’t want to disappear which if I laid the truth on the table, I believe that could happen.

    So while you may vote for McCain out of fear of what Obama will do, I will vote for Obama out of fear of what McCain will do.

    But one thing is for certain. People are getting tired of this garbage. Changes will happen after this election, one way or the other. It just will be a lot harder (and perhaps a lot bloodier) in my opinion with McCain.

  3. Timr

    I agree with DD. Represenative democracy might have been a good thing back in the day. Today, the most advanced countries have a direct democracy system that allows one to kick the bastards out when they screw up. I like it a lot. The PM question, the vote that could change the govt at any time. The very short election cycle. Just think, if our govt was like that of say England, then Liberman would have already lost his seat, and bush as PM would have gone down to defeat long ago. Face it. Direct democracy puts a big check on the stupidity of the executive. Not only that, but having a shadow govt also makes a new govt ready to step right in. and just as a BTW, didn’t we set up both Iraq and A’stan as more like a parliamentary system than a copy of our republic form of govt?