UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 7, 2009

WHY AMERICAN POLITICS DOESN'T WORK

Counterpunch - Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman (R) has loaned herself $19 million for her 2010 [California] gubernatorial campaign. She raised an additional $6.8 million, bringing her to over $25 million for the 2Q-2009. Money isn't always a guarantee of success in a race like this: Northwest Airlines CEO Al Checchi (D) spent $40 million from his own pocket in his 1998 run for California Governor but captured just 12.5% in the crowded primary..

6 Comments:

Anonymous wellbasically said...

All the restrictions to campaign contributions have only made the problem worse. This is why we have a millionaire's club in the Senate, the only way to get the money you need to run is to loan it to yourself.

August 7, 2009 10:47 PM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

You should probably re-think your thesis.

August 8, 2009 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a dirty little secret that most adults know in their guts, but don't voice. Which is that in the US, most of the things of real value have been grabbed and nailed down. This is why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The dynamic that it takes money to make money insures this. Sam is reporting that the game in the halls of congress are rich men's games. It doesn't really matter if a particular individual wins or loses. The point is: you ain't playin', bro. The consequences? How can this be a representative democracy, if those doing the representing are so different?

August 8, 2009 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it have been better if somebody could just give $1 million to Barack Obama legally, rather than give him a sweetheart real estate deal which corrupts the very idea of housing for the poor, so he could become super wealthy.

August 8, 2009 6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be much better if we had publicly funded elections. Then taking more than a $5-$10 donation from any source would be considered bribery, and punishable by being disqualified for funds, and barred from the election.

August 9, 2009 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

How many people, reading at prorev, would be willing to do the grunt work of organising ballot-box support for a better world?

I occasionally ask this question of people who talk fiercely about how awful everthing is and how things should be changed. But when I ask whether they would be willing to put their very own lives on hold for the 6 or more years it would take to make it happen, there's only silence.

I've come to believe that most soi-disant leftists on the internet are just liberal poseurs, happy to talk big, but unwilling to sacrifice or even risk anything to actually accomplish what they say they want.

So, just out of curiosity, how many here who claim to want a more pro-social world would be willing to commit at least the same amount of effort it would take to get back-to-back BA and MA degrees from scratch in night school?

I.e., 6 or more years of working at your day job and then coming home and working at your real job as an organiser, every night, every weekend, every holiday. Reading, writing, talking with people, delivering literature, the whole nine yards of retail politics, probably spiced (since it would be in opposition to the psychopathic corporatocracy) with occasional illegal beatings and jailings and even a tiny but non-zero risk of being killed, as happened during the unionisation and civil rights struggles.

How many? If your answer is conditional, what conditions?

How many?

August 9, 2009 3:20 PM  

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