Arkansas GrannyArkansas Granny's Journal
I work with some really great guys, but they are very conservative and agree with much of what the Tea Party stands for. The discussion around the break table this morning included speculation about Romneys choice of running mate. Someone mentioned that Condi Rice had been considered, but she had turned it down. I pointed out that they were trying to get the black vote and the womens vote all at the same time just like last cycle when they tried to get the womens vote by running Sarah Palin for VP.
Thats when it got interesting. These guys are convinced that Sarah was chosen for her intellect and no other reason. I asked Have you ever really listened to her speak? She just connects a lot of words, but she never really says anything.
Why, of course, theyve listened to her. Apparently I havent or I would know how smart she is. They are really disappointed that I dont recognize just how smart she is. Shes a lot smarter than your President!
My reply: Lets see. It took Sarah 5 years to get a degree in sports journalism and my President was President of the Harvard Law Review.
So, are you going to get that four-wheeler you were looking at?
The question of disclosure looms large this election cycle. First, theres the appalling Citizens United decision, in which the Supreme Court opened the floodgates to anonymous corporate money. This is having a huge impact on this campaign season, as a tsunami of unregulated money from undisclosed sources threatens to drown the whole political landscape. Second, theres Mitt Romneys refusal so far to reveal the details of his prodigious wealth and his corresponding skill at tax avoidance.
In the interest of promoting an open democracy, at this time I voluntarily disclose that I contributed $50 last week to the Obama campaign. This was a big deal for me. Until the Rocky Mountain News folded, I was a newspaper journalist ethically forbidden from participating in campaigns, which included, as far as I was concerned, giving money to candidates. So, until a few days ago, I was a political donor virgin (full disclosure: except for a small donation last year to my good buddy, Colorado State Representative Max Tyler). I know that fifty bucks doesnt sound like much in comparison to the $5 million casino magnate Sheldon Adelson just gave the GOP, but its still plenty for an unemployed cartoon magnate like myself.
Now that Im a big-time campaign donor, having purchased access to the corridors of power (again in the interests of full disclosure), heres what I will whisper in the presidents ear when I get the one-on-one face time I just bought. Barack (I assume we big contributors get to be on a first-name basis with our contributees), stand up for the little guy. Stop trying to compromise with people who wont compromise with you. All youre doing is giving ground. Make the case for a progressive agenda that takes care of the poor, the displaced, the dispossessed, the powerless. Thats our primary job as members of a functioning democracy. Stand up for your health care reforms. Point out that the Republican governors who are refusing the Medicaid funds tend to preside over states with the worst health care records, and that refusing to extend coverage to their poorest citizens is not only stupid, its evil. Make the case, over and over again, that the Republican agenda of paying for tax cuts for the rich with benefit cuts for the poor impoverishes us all. Oh, and after the Barclays scandal, how can any candidate still say with a straight face that we need more deregulation of the financial sector? Remind the voters why were in this recession in the first place and make them understand that if we fall for the same old policies one more time, we may never recover.
I ask nothing for myself, except this one small thing: do you think you might consider finding some funds for a program to help editorial cartoonists displaced by the implosion of the newspaper industry? You should come to our next convention (in Washington this September, so it wont be hard to find us) You can recognize the ones whove recently been laid off. Theyre the poor souls who will be wandering around aimlessly, our eyes vacant and haunted and our little fingers twitching to draw cartoons nobody will ever see. It wouldnt cost a lot to help. There arent very many of us any more, but were suffering mightily. How about something like the old WPA during the New Deal. Maybe we could draw cartoons on the walls of post offices or something. Oh, right. Lots of post offices will probably be closing soon, too. Just our luck. Thanks anyway.
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