Monday, June 11, 2012


Everything that is wrong with American politics can be summed up by this excerpt from Politico:

Kevin Costner is as loyal to his films as he is to some friends -- and disappointed when that isn't reciprocated. Often incorrectly identified as a Republican, he recalls being neglected by the man he helped run for president: "I voted for Obama and actually went off and stumped for him in Colorado. Then I never heard from him."

The sense of entitlement is stunning.  The expectation of quid pro quo is alarming.

Newsflash, Kevin.  Obama owes you nothing personally, and to expect something is unseemly.  I am actually glad that he has ignored you.  As more and more money pours into campaigns because campaigns need more and more money to compete, more contributors will look for recognition and exalted status.  I hope they get the cold shoulder.

The same goes for the Koch Brothers.  The same goes for Sheldon Adelson.  The same goes for George Clooney.  If your guy wins and you get invited over for a state dinner, congratulations.  Just don’t expect preferential treatment in terms of policy or valuable private time.

Obama might raise more money if he did kiss Costner’s ass.  He could use an extra $10,000 to fund a get-out-the-vote phone bank in Ohio.  So what if he takes his eye off the ball to play a little hoops with Costner or hang out at his movie set.  I don’t know, maybe Obama’s, and any other politicians’ time, could be better spent with experts in economics, or science, or international affairs.  Maybe that time would help his decision making when he is presented with new challenges that were not foreseen when he ran for office.

I am not talking about getting to know people on a personal level, trying to understand their problems, their issues.  That’s politics.  I am talking about only getting to know the problems and issues of those with the largest checkbooks at the exclusion of others. 
This is why private money needs to be removed from politics.  Kevin Costner, and Koch, and Adelson, and Clooney may feel entitled after they hand over their money.  Once they get that feeling, it will never go away and it will only grow more urgent. 

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