Nauseation Part 3

By on July 18, 2012

This election keeps getting more and more nauseating. People raise this observation readily in casual conversation, no matter what their party affiliation.

Obama is still after Romney for Bain Capital and not releasing his taxes. Romney refuses to release more in spite of urging from his supporters. Clearly he has something to hide and the longer this goes on, the less likely he is to recover from this omission.

It appears we need background checks pre-primary for candidates  just like US businesses use for new hires. I remember the Tom Eagleton fiasco in 1972. McGovern never recovered.

A Romney state chairman John Sununu, former Governor of New Hampshire went after Obama for not being ‘an American.’ Turns out Sununu was born in Havana and is a naturalized citizen. Michelle Bachmann put in her two cents at the same time about muslims secretly taking over our government. I wonder sometimes what kind of people must live in her district? I imagine something like the villagers that used to feature carrying torches  in all the Boris Karloff-Frankenstein pictures.

Meanwhile Romney screams about Obama being anti-business because he is not a doormat for the Foster Frees’s, Sheldon Adelson’s and Donald Trump’s of the world. Thank goodness. The fact is that there is nothing sacred about business people anymore than anyone else. There are good ones, very good ones in fact like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, and bad ones.  Our big business problem in 2012 is ‘that’s where the money is,’ to use the Willie Sutton quote, and everyone is hoping to cash in.

Meanwhile SEIU wants to push through a raise in the minimum wage level. I am all for more money for deserving people, but we need more people working NOW not higher wages for those already with jobs. What are they thinking? If they want to be helpful, it would be staying on message to increase taxes on those pouring the tens of millions of dollars into shadowy political PACs and irritating media ads. This money could and should be better spent. Why give a tax break to further this kind of behavior? That’s just masochistic.

I used to wish for a frank discussion of important issues like healthcare. I’ve given up. As Mike Barnacle said this morning, we seem to be experiencing an election of tweets. Our national attention span is in milliseconds these days. Not much time to think things through.

Obama has disappointed as president, but at least he seems honest and hasn’t used the oval office as a way to pick up dates or make himself filthy rich. He seems intelligent. He seems sincerely to be doing his best. I never felt his predecessor had much intellectual curiosity which was needed in the oval office. Too much got by him. I wasn’t a great fan of Clinton’s either . He was great at beating the opposition at their own game, but he also seemed to regard elective office as a place to ‘pick up chicks.’ His second term was pretty much a lost opportunity.

OK, Obama has not restored the economy to its pre-2008 status.  Franklin Roosevelt took longer than one term to dig the country out of the Depression. And Roosevelt did not have to deal with Republicans like the current crop who act like they know the country made a mistake electing Obama in 2008 and have done us all a great service by thwarting him in Congress every chance they get. Roosevelt’s opponents Herbert Hoover, Arthur Vandenberg and Alf Landon came nowhere near the current crop in terms of nastiness and arrogance. There was a sense that a national crisis trumped partisan gridlock in those days. What happened?

OK, so what changes are needed now?

This November, no matter who wins the presidential election, I hope the other statewide winners understand that they are being sent to Washington to work together for the sake of the country and not to make a fortune for themselves serving some lobbying group. And not to paralyze government every time they don’t get their way.

We need a clean sweep of Congressional Leadership. The current crew is tired or worse. Boehner especially has acted like he was the majority leader of House Republicans, not speaker of the entire house. Did Pelosi do this as well? Doesn’t matter. We need a speaker again. When was the last great speaker? Rayburn? Henry Clay?

The fact is this election has become as revolting and unpalatable  as anything you could imagine. Nauseation is the watchword of the campaign. It has 111 more days to go. We have not even arrived at the conventions which should provide many more waves of nausea. You might want to keep a little white bag taped to your TV.

Meanwhile billions of dollars are being poured into this political process at a time when more deserving people could use that money elsewhere. This is not an exercise in free speech but an orgy of self-indulgence. Yesterday Republicans who are the largest find-raisers this time around (it was different in 2008) killed a bill that would let us know where these multimillions are coming from.

Greed, secrecy, self-serving behavior and who knows, maybe out-and-out criminal behavior seem to be the order of the day in this year’s election cycle. We sit here like lemmings waiting for the day we all go over the cliff and I don’t mean the National Debt.. It is doubly discouraging to learn via backroom whispers that most Republicans don’t actually like Romney, they just want to stop Obama, but there is nothing now their  leadership  can do to stop Mitt from becoming the formal nominee short of uncovering a felony conviction.

As said before in these pages, our modern presidential elections go on too long and the costs are way too high. We are now running candidates we don’t even like. Outside interests pollute the process, The only thing that can stem this now is the electorate starting to get active, emailing their representatives in both parties saying they have had enough and demanding electoral reform as well as jobs and the economy as a central issue in November.

We need shorter, more disciplined and less expensive elections. Six weeks of active campaigning is enough. A few debates. A few signs and posters. That’s it. And we need to establish rules so neither multi-billionaire moguls, foreign interests nor organized crime can buy election outcomes. (Oh yes they have.)

You may reasonably ask why a columnist and registered Independent dedicated to improving our health care system is so passionate about the upcoming election and over-all election reform? Easy. We will not see meaningful work on health care reform reform until something dramatic happens to change our current political system. That can only happen through real legislative reform efforts, demanded by voters.

One further item, we do not need a return to the days when the ‘wrong’ voters got intimidated at the polls.  Legitimate voters should not be blocked from casting ballots because they brought the wrong ID or don’t have a birth certificate. This is an especially cynical development in politics and smacks of  stealing elections you can’t win honestly.

The ‘white sheet’ element in American politics has been with us for a long time and always will, from the No-Nothings of the Nineteenth Century through the KKK of the last to dirty-tricksters of the Nixon years. They are like bacteria that keep developing resistance to antibiotics, in this case campaign reform efforts. We have to be ever vigilant against this element in organized politics or they can wipe us out.

What is your opinion????

Tom Godfrey


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