Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pierced by Undeniable Logic - The Billionaire's Lament

Charles Pierce in Esquire speaks for all intelligent observers. All .00001% of us.

As a trial, it has been a profound waste of time and money, the political equivalent of the federal government's endlessly comic pursuit of Roger Clemens.

Honestly, now, we are in the middle of a Wisconsin recall election in which the incumbent is perfectly prepared to spend $30 million. The upcoming presidential contest is going to go sailing toward a billion dollars without breaking a sweat. One casino mogul, Sheldon Adelson, is on record as saying he's willing to spend $100 million himself, just to defeat the president.

The Supreme Court of the United States, by majority vote, has demolished a century of campaign finance law, arcane provisions and all, and, in return, has given us a political system so awash in anonymous cash that it would have embarrassed the Borgias. And in that context, people are being asked to judge whether or not poor Bunny Mellon gave a million dollars to John Edwards for his campaign, or merely as a little help to keep his pregnant mistress stashed away? Am I the only person who finds this just a touch disproportionate? Were I on the jury, I'd vote to acquit and mail the slip of paper on which I'd written down my vote to John Roberts.

John Edwards already has been found guilty of the crimes of which he is most clearly guilty, and in the appropriate courts, too. He will go down in political history as a joke and a knave and a hypocrite, even by American political standards, which are formidable, indeed. The first 30 lines of his obituary are already written, and they're both pretty damned hilarious and pretty damned sad. What public purpose does it serve to put him in jail for violating campaign finance laws that the Supreme Court has determined to be destructive of the free-speech rights of Exxon-Mobil? His corruption is strictly his own. It is altogether private.

Public corruption has a new name. We call it elections.
Roy Skaggs III · Top Commenter · Louisville, Kentucky

He articulated positions that needed to be heard in both the 2004 and 2008 campaigns regarding the massive and massively damaging funneling of wealth from the bottom 99% to the upper1%. I respected him for that and nothing in his present situation leads me to believe he was insincere about his stand on that issue. But what about a country full of inevitably fallible human beings who are always expecting their leaders to be saints but choose sociopaths and snake-oil salesmen? 
We're the first to run for a rope and a tall tree when the latest idol proves to have feet of clay. Our response is adolescent in these situations and makes us look like the audience at the Jerry Springer show who exhibit their smug moral superiority by shouting at the freaks on stage. 
This is not the way to govern a superpower, or the meanest village in the poorest nation in the world. The election in November isn't the quadrennial political version of American Idol. And if you want to cast a ballot based on who you'd like to have a beer with or who you'd fantasize is closer to Jesus than the others, then do the rest of us a favor and stay home on election day. The future of what we are and everything we might become is on the line.
Priscilla Bode · Top Commenter · Fine furniture designer at Helena, Montana
The only people who care are those who don't want any public messaging about how many dreadfully poor people this exception nation tolerates and keeps down in the gutter. Gotta shut that dope up so people don't start realizing they are being screwed. Why aren't David Vitter and John Ensign in a courtroom?

It's Hard Out There For a Billionaire

Say It Isn't So.

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