Thursday, February 16, 2012

Super PAC Redemption


One of the worst elements in our Democracy, in my view, is the ability to buy an election. This is really nothing new. As the amount of money spent on campaigns escalates, so does my ire. It seems that funding is the single-most determining factor in picking our leaders. But wait…there could be some redeeming qualities about Super PACs.
On their face, I have not changed my opinion. But this year has been so outrageous, so over-the-top, so outlandish, that I can’t help but see not only a little humor in this situation, but a little poetic justice as well.
The humor is evident in any of the episodes of Comedy Central. Comedians, especially Stephen Colbert, John Stewart, have seen to it that the outlandishness that is the 2012 Presidential election is not lost on anyone. They have done a yeoman’s job of exposing the Super Pac for what it is, a blatant attempt for the richest among us to control elections so policy makers can remain in place to guarantee the richest among us stay that way.
Thank you U.S. Supreme Court for allowing and even encouraging this fiasco to take place with your Citizens United ruling that allowed unlimited campaign contributions by unnamed corporate donors.
President Barack Obama warned that the ruling could get out of hand. Hah, pretty smart guy. He makes Puxatawny Phil’s prognosticating look like child’s play.
Speaking of the President, humor and poetic justice….Isn’t it funny how Obama has been criticized for accepting Super PAC funds for his own campaign? He didn’t like the law—what normal, thinking person who cares about our Democracy, fairness, justice, leadership, or any of the other things most Americans believe in--would?
Too bad critics, but the law is just as legal for Barack Obama as it is for his opponents. I don’t blame him one bit for accepting all the help he can get to earn a second term in office. Personally, I shudder to think of any other alternative.
Eastern Will County Super PAC
Because all roads, the roads of my life anyway, seem to lead to the proposed Peotone Airport (South Suburban Airport) debate, at least one Super PAC has a role to play in eastern Will County, Illinois. Look for a little poetic justice here as well.
While it is too early to make any determination, I have to go with, “It isn’t whether you win or lose but how you play the game” scenario. The game in eastern Will County is becoming very interesting.
Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., a frequent mention in this blog, has denounced Super PACS. He is a bit miffed because his opponent Debbie Halvorson has one.
For the sake of full disclosure, I no longer live in what would now be Illinois’ second Congressional District, represented (and I use that term lightly) by Jesse Jackson, Jr. I used to live there, and have followed these career politicos long enough to note that I am not a fan of either of them.
I do find it entertaining however, that the ethically-challenged Jackson has a real fight on his hands, probably for the first time.
"They're not trying to help me,” Halvorson said. “They're trying to get rid of him," she told ABC News.
Jackson has been entrenched in the district, which is largely African-American. For years, his election has been a sure thing, for whatever reason. Some say it is absolutely because of color. Maybe. Except for his obsession with the Peotone Airport, he has taken many positions steeped in Democratic tradition that I can agree with.
I have to draw the line when it comes to Jackson’s obsessive desire to feather his own nest with a potentially huge economic project at the expense of all others as well as pure logic and common sense. He has used every trick in the book to try to weasel his way into Will County, to the site of the proposed airport. Through a Democratically-controlled redistricting process, he pulled it off.
It seems to me, at least in this instance, if Jackson loses this election, the Super PAC that opposes him, may be buying more than the election. In this case, it may be buying justice.