Monday, October 20, 2008

In the Reign of Louis Seize: A Political Rant, and Not the One You Think It's Gonna Be!

This morning's NYTIMES has a most disturbing right-column headline, one which troubles me greatly. Check the link. And the fascinating analysis. Let me just sum things up in case no one wants to bother with links to wordy Times articles.

The upshot is that not only do I NOT think it's exciting that Obama raised a record 150 million in campaign funds this weekend, but I think it's disgusting and disgraceful. Of course he's not the only guilty party; this is the way the system works now. But for shame! Am I the only one sickened by this gross excess? The world economy is crumbling, milk for my daughter is closing in on five dollars a gallon, regular people are having a damn hard time affording health insurance, and a reasonable roof over their heads, let alone luxuries, and politicians are boasting about the hundreds of millions of dollars they're raising for WHAT? Pellegrino and Viagra on the tour buses? McDonalds-style campaign ads and the clever self-congratulatory 22-year-olds who create them? Or is it going to solid gold diamond-encrusted campaign buttons programmed with a computer that holds conversation with you about the weather report for this week?!

The Republicans are a notorious bunch of fat cat big-business money launderers. God love 'em. But the Democrats are exactly the same just covertly. Well, 150 million--oh, whoops, 600 million--tells me it's no longer a covert op here. What can the defense possibly be? Trickle-down economics? Well, Democrats don't believe in the Trickle-Down theory.

When the next president, whoever he may be, takes office, I foresee a huge competition amongst contractors who specialize in mother-of-pearl toilets, raw silk wall-paper, solid platinum plumbing fixtures, and ruby-and-emerald-set kitchen tile. The new and improved Versailles--I mean, White House--will be the most lucrative contract ever. And don't forget, our tax dollars from our sweaty day jobs may well go to finance all 12,000 bottles of Clos du Mesnil vintage 1995 champagne, and a herd of wild boar to dig up truffles for Mr. President's dinner parties! I'm sickened, I tell you, sickened.

Bring on the candidate who runs a home-made 20,000 dollar campaign, and I'll vote for her. Of course, many won't. As one of my wisest gurus pointed out, much of the American public needs to be spoon-fed a gilded campaign, or they may not even notice there's an election going on.

I'm so furious that I can hardly choke down my frozen waffles over here in Brooklyn.


Leah said...


Leah said...

Just thought I'd start this off in case everyone's too scared to post a comment.

MJ said...

You TELL 'em!

*gets commenter ball rolling*


i just had this argument last night with my cheese... she is so enamored with obama, yet has no idea what his platform really is. or can tell me nothing about what he was doing five years ago, which state he works for, blah, blah, blah... i wished that politicians were not allowed to advertise on tv. like cigarette ads are no longer on t.v, i challenged cheese to tell me how more government makes a countrys economic status change for the better... she quoted history and the C.C.C.

that was a rant... the money not spent campaigning should go to the programs they candidates supposedly support when they are not elected!

Megan said...

It's an impossible situation, but the fact remains that you can't run for high office in this country without a big bankroll. I don't have any solutions for you, m'dear. Very nice rant, though! The truffle pigs idea is awesome!

kylie said...

it's a great point leah, and i love your imagery
have a good day

Suzanne said...

I agree with everyone. It's fucking frustrating. What do you do? No really? What? I don't know that answer. It's hard. It's just hard.

just bob said...

I wish it weren't this way, but that is what running for any significant political office has evolved into. Having said that, I'll take the contrary view to yours. People from across the country have tapped into the excitement and are getting involved in the campaign.

While many are trying to make ends meet, they feel it is important enough to scrape a few extra dollars together to donate to their chosen campaign. The average donation to the Obama campaign in September was $86. For every $2,300 max donor is a $10 donor who wants to be a part of the process. Those people understand the importance of this election and are making the small contributions they can to help him get elected.

Would the whole process be more transparent if this kind of fund raising wasn't necessary? Absolutely. Is that reality? Right now, no. I agree with your premise, but I am thrilled people in this country are finally engaged enough to put their money (and time and hopefully votes) behind their convictions and beliefs.

kylie said...

hey bob,
excellent point


Leah said...

Hi peeps--

MJ--thanks Mistress!

IV--I'm enamored with Obama too--I definitely would've dated him in college--a little afternoon delight after the poli sci lecture--but as president, I'm not as in love--Sarge and I agree mostly on politics, but occasionally one of us will swing wildly one way or another--it's all part of our open marriage!

Megan--I know, there's no other way in this country--that's the whole problem. And I am convinced there are white truffles to find in my nabe in Bklyn, and I'm going to get a truffle boar as a pet!!!!

Hi Kylie my dear, yes, those images come to mind again and again when I'm contemplating American society...

Hi Suzanne! What is to be done? What? Help!

Bob, my mother said just the same thing as you did when we were discussing this issue. She's one of the leftiest lefties I know and we frequently argue. Which makes our ongoing mother-daughter dialogue all the more rich, I must say! She pretends to be cynical sometimes when she's around me, but she's actually very excited about this election.

Anonymous said...


I thought I was the only American who felt BOTH McCain and Obama are money-grubbing politicians. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

And it really isn't their fault, like you said (or is it?) it is the SYSTEM. And all of us are just putting up with it because we're too stressed out trying to pay for $5.00 milk and gasoline so we can get to our crummy jobs to pay for the rising cost of living...yet our lifestyles are going down the toilet.

I wasn't really joking when I made a comment on Bob's blog about starting another party called Sick and Tired of Politics Party (STOPP). I've had it with this two-party system of bickering, greediness, bipartisan hypocracy, and infighting. Election years are beginning to be like April 15...dreaded but a necessary evil. And can we just talk about income tax!?! Maybe blood pressure just went up a hundred points.

Let's get a new party started that tells it like it is. That clears away all the fucking BS and says, "HELL NO, POLTICIANS HAVE GOTTA GO...and the FUCKING POLTICIAL MACHINE TOO!!!"

Let's STOPP it NOW!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

By the way...another reason I want to start the STOPP is because neither party represents me...and none of the other "adopted step children" parties do either. I'm a MODERATE!!! I am conservative when it comes to finances but a liberal when it comes to the environment...but on every other issues I'm middle of the road. Am I alone? Is anyone else out there thinking that it doesn't always have to be LEFT or RIGHT or PSYCHOTIC? Can't it be a hybrid or a grouping of solutions all rolled into one? Maybe I should start my own country...

Leah said...

OMG, RC!!!!!!!! WE ARE SO ON THE SAME PAGE!!!!!! I'M SCREAMING IN THE COMMENT BOX!!!!! Okay calm down Leah...yes, me too, I was just going to do a post on how there's no party for me, because I too am very very liberal on many issues and totally conservative on others (in my case I tend to be more conservative on foreign policy etc. and very liberal on women's issues and gay rights) but the point is that I feel like there's no place for me! I've become soooo alienated!

I'm joining STOPP. And I'm getting citizenship in your country too--at least dual citizenship.



pssst. you girls might check out bob barr...

Skeeter said...

I would vote for that candidate too. I would give naything to have a REAL choice that didn't involve class envy/warfare OR the "end of the free world" fundamentalism. I guess the good news is that this round of pain will be over just another couple of weeks.

Best wishes,


CSI Seattle said...

You make an interesting point. Now if the winner could "raise" instead of tax that same amount of money to help by books and supplies for schools that need it, or some other cause.

Well stated, good imagery, like a Thunderbird flavored burp.

Queen Goob said...

I. Love. You.

You have voiced what many of us complain to our pets about but don't want to discuss at work. my dog agrees, by the way

I'm not one to discuss politics - ever. Religion? Yeah, I'll debate until the cows come home but never politics.

Maybe we should make a list of what the money COULD have gone toward. Wouldn't that be enlightening?

Queen Goob said...

LEAH!!!!! Hurry! I dragged you to IV's contest kicking and screaming, I know and he's posted the pictures. The first one should be easy so ignore the box.