Years ago, when I was in a quandary about the direction of my career, I got some sound advice: Never fall in love with a corporation, because it’s constitutionally unable to reciprocate.
This week, the Supreme Court created a limited redress to that issue in Citizens United v the Federal Elections Commission, giving corporations unfettered permission to spend their general funds on the campaigns of politicians they favor, and turning them into “a real live boy” as Slate put it. Who says money can’t buy you love? If the Rehnquist court handed Republicans the presidency in 2000, it’s hard to believe the Roberts court hasn’t handed them the Congress in 2010.
It’s not the New Deal. Or the New Frontier. Or the Great Society. Or, heaven help us, the Reagan Revolution. But I’m hoping after last night’s news conference, the passage of a stimulus package in the Senate and today’s rollout of a new TARP bailout that this is the Real Deal—a viable plan to restore some rationality to our economic life together as a nation.
Perhaps after the debacle of the last presidency it’s too easy to give President Obama high marks for engaging in a fruitful discussion of economics, foreign policy and, yes, even A-Rod’s steroid use. (He’s concerned about the message it sends to children.) For showing his understanding of the dynamics of Congressional politics, for using one of his vice president’s gaffes to make a point that no program’s perfect. This give and take went on for a full hour before he thanked the media and a heavy foot could be heard coming down from the podium as he strode off.
Tuesday’s election still fills me with awe, and not just for Barack Obama. The American electorate is wiser than I dared hope. Even John McCain, who ran a shoddy campaign, delivered a concession speech that was generous and inspiring. Sarah Palin has flown back to Alaska with new respect, I would hope, for the power of community organizing.
I spent the week prior to the election in a place I’d never known existed—Northeast Philadelphia—with a marvelous group of people, most of whom were volunteers.
This time tomorrow we’ll know how Sarah Palin and Joe Biden fared under the debate lite rules the parties agreed to for tonight’s engagement. (You might check out what Slate says at http://www.slate.com/id/2201334/pagenum/all/)
Can Palin hide her woefully inadequate knowledge of Civics 101 in 90 second answers? Is even 90 seconds too long to keep Biden from falling off the message wagon? We’ll see.
Especially since John McCain picked Palin (after being denied his first pick Joe Lieberman and refusing the Republican party’s choice of Mitt Romney) I’ve been thinking there must be a better way to select the second person on any presidential ticket.
It’s time for Barack Obama to get angry. Not as a black man, but as an American. Because too much is at stake if he doesn’t. The Bush Administration, with Dick Cheney in the role of the Wizard of Oz, has taken us down a path that menaces not just our own people but the entire world, and they are not turning back. Righteous anger is the correct response, and the only one that can save us.
Random reflections on politics, the media, political activism, women's lives and spirituality, often inspired by travel, cultural events or what I read.
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