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Friday, February 08, 2008


Clinton's $5 million

My friend Gloria La Riva and I had identical reactions to Hillary Clinton's loaning her campaign $5 million the other day. Everyone else is using that event to talk about Clinton's campaign being in trouble, but this quote from Clinton is quite revealing about the real story:
"My opponent was able to raise more money, and we intended to be competitive, and we were, and I think the results last night proved the wisdom of my investment."
And doesn't that tell you an awful lot about capitalist "democracy" - you can only be "competitive" if you have money, and a lot of it.

No, money can't buy elections, as Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney demonstrated anew in this election. But the converse is true - without money, you can't even get a hearing (hello, Dennis Kucinich!), much less get elected. Kucinich, by the way, is quite an instructive case. A lot of liberal Democrats were far more in tune with his thinking (stop the war, single-payer health care) than with any other candidate. But they shied away from him because he wasn't "electable." And why? Because he was short, talked in a squeaky voice, not "Presidential." Really? Does the name Ross Perot ring a bell? Short, talked in a really funny voice, had big ears, and had ideas that were far more "out there" than Kucinich. But he got one hell of a lot further, thanks to spending $65 million of his own money on his campaign.

At least one billion dollars are going to be spent on this Presidential election, and probably more. This isn't just a perversion of any concept of "democracy," it's downright obscene. I'm sure I don't need to say this, but do you have any idea what could be accomplished with a billion dollars, in a country with hundreds of thousands of homeless people, millions of people without jobs or health care, and on and on? I'm sure you do.

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