Yesterday afternoon – after reading a couple headlines – I had to go outside and make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I touched a couple trees, kicked a cat to see if the bite would hurt, and tried to smell the air that was blowing in from the cow slaughtering plant. I came back inside, sure that I was fully awake, and re-read that the House Democrats had refused to pass the Senate version of the Protect America Act. That heroic act, combined with George Bush’s refusal to extend the deadline, means that it has expired. If you want to read more about what all this means, and how much bullshit the president and his cronies are spewing this morning, read Glenn Greenwald; my point is something different. Something that I had been thinking about and had been made clearer to me when I got another update a few minutes later saying that House Democrats (with Republicans walking out, en masse) decided to hold Josh Bolton and Harriet Miers in contempt for refusing to respond to subpoenas issued a few months back. What I realize is that the more political experience a person has, the more corrupt they become. It is true that there are some corrupt city council people as well as some honest Senators, but for the most part that is not how it works, and it’s probably because of money. In order for one to run for city council, one needs upwards of a few thousand dollars, while – at the other end of the spectrum – Barack Obama spend over thirty million dollars in the past month to run for his parties nomination for president. In order to raise a couple thousand dollars, one can send out mailings, shake people’s hands, and even get volunteers to go door to door. However, if one needs thirty to forty million a month for over a year, $20 contributions from the old lady down the street just aren’t going to work. While our representatives in the house are not exactly corruption free, we have just seen proof that they are still more pure than their counterparts in the Senate.
As if to prove my point, Arthur Silber wrote a blog (or, rather, quoted from a few articles) about Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, contributions and superdelegates. It seems that in the past year or so, both of the major Democratic candidates for presidency have donated almost a million dollars to the superdelegates who will decide who gets the nomination. A lot of people came out and voted during this primary season, and one of the main reasons that I heard was because it made them feel like the actually are making a difference; in a presidential election it is hard to see one vote making a difference, but when it’s a couple hundred people in a high school gym, one is actually able to see what one’s vote does. The fact that the superdelegates votes have coincided with the amount of money they received from Obama and Clinton shows that A- in order to run for president every ounce of honesty has to be eliminated and B- our votes mean absolutely nothing.