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Member since: Tue Mar 8, 2005, 07:39 PM
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Stephen Colbert and the "Politico-Industrial Complex"


Back in 2005, Stephen Colbert introduced a word that has become part of the reality-based community's lexicon: truthiness.

And now, he introduces another concept that should become the rallying cry of anyone who wants to return to free and fair elections in this country: "The Politico-Industrial Complex":

And what I found out was-- is that there’s an entire industry in politics but I didn’t know, I suspected. There’s an entire industry. There’s a politico industrial complex that is not only raising money but that is built around making money off of the fact that there is so much money in politics. And that there are almost no rules.

Of course, David Gregory, being the useless tool that he is, doesn't follow up on that notion. And that is the crux of the problem of our electoral process now, the one thing that could resolve so many other issues.

The presidential election has already taken in and spent over a BILLION dollars. And congressional races add another $4 billion. Think how much good that money could have done for people in this country. How many underwater mortgages could have been forgiven? How many economically disadvantaged youths could have gone to college? How many Medicaid patients could get services they need? How many job re-training programs could have helped add workers to the economy?

This is the framework for a failing democracy. And unfortunately, it is left to the satirists like Colbert to make the point our media won't.

If you have not seen this segment on Meet The Press, it is worth watching (the Steven Colbert interview is probably the ONLY thing worth watching on MTP, even if Gregory is totally clueless throughout it.

For those who want to see a good debate with a moderator doing its job and

asking questions that actually matter and candidates who try to answer properly, the MA Senate debate yesterday is the place to go. It is on CSPAN, and you can wonder how last Wednesday debate would have turned if Jim Madigan had moderated rather than Jim Lehrer.


Now, obviously Warren won the debate, and I agree with her mostly, but Brown did fairly well for what he had to sell, and continued to attack. Both candidates seemed to have a fairly clear idea of what Western Mass is like (which is not always the case). And, what is most important IMHO, the questions and the answers related to real issues to people, and both candidates showed some level of empathy. What was most irritating in the presidentatial debate was the lack of empathy on both sides, not surprisingly on Romney's sense, but also on Obama's sense.

As Charlie Pierce says

It would be wrong to read too much into Warren's strong showing. Brown did what he came to do, which is to promise not to raise any taxes anywhere on anyone, ever. This is, of course, insane public policy, and it makes him sound more like he's running for state senator again, but it sells very, very well, and if he can use it to deflect Warren's attempts to make national issues important to this race, it will have served its purpose. This will still be a two- or three-point race, either way. Recent polling has shown Warren's unfavorability rating inching northward — endless TV attack ads will do that — but it also has shown that people overwhelmingly blame Brown for the tone of the campaign so far, which undoubtedly had something to do with the fact that he declined to utilize his Injun-spottin' skills on Wednesday night. Maybe it takes a strong hand to turn a campaign back into something positive. Maybe, dammit, it takes a Jim Madigan.
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