Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Not healthy for the nation

Today’s Boston Globe has a slew of columns about Larry Summers’ remarks over the weekend. Apparently it takes the folks on Morrissey Blvd a couple of days to get up a full head of steam. I did not find any of them particularly interesting. What was interesting was an editorial which criticized the Bush inauguration while trying to sound even handed. For example:
For instance, historians have noted that the ceremonies have frequently been muted in time of war, notably by Woodrow Wilson in 1917 and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945. Two Democratic congressmen have informed colleagues that Roosevelt gave a short speech in the White House and served guests "cold chicken salad and plain pound cake."
Of course the Globe doesn't mention that FDR was in poor health, so poor that he had less than 3 months to live. Nevertheless his very short speech, also given in wartime, is one that would choke any Democrat who tried to give it today, but rather has a sound like many of today’s Republicans. Take a look – it's only 1 page - right here.

Digging the hole deeper, the Globe oracles write:
But most troubling from the perspective of domestic policy is those who are funding the fun in Washington. The McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill, passed after enormous public pressure, limits political contributions to $2,000 and bans direct "soft money" gifts. But the big givers have found other routes, writing huge checks to "independent advocacy groups," the parties' national conventions, and now the inaugural events.

Apparently overcome by the need to keep up appearances, Bush has this year restricted inaugural contributions to no more than $250,000. This is a big step up from the $100,000 limit he imposed four years ago but still far less that the seven-figure checks some supporters wrote during the campaign.
Unsaid here is that the Kerry campaign and left-leaning 527s received many more seven-figure checks than Bush and conservatives. Finally, digging down to China (emphasis mine):
Interests, whether individuals or corporations, make such contributions for a reason, and it is a reason that is not healthy for the nation. In the future they should be limited to throwing their own parties, with an official inaugural ceremony and ball paid for with public money and modest public contributions. That would be a better start for any president.
Got that? “Not healthy for the nation”, regardless of the source or the level of public disclosure. Instead we should be spending the taxpayer’s money for a suitably Puritannic celebration.

On a lighter note, is this story of a morning breakfast club of liberal Kerry voters in nearby Lexington (was there once a battle fought there over something or other?), who are still in various stages of mourning over the November outcome. The article includes comments by some of the loons who were demonstrating outside of Kerry’s Beacon Hill home recently. That fellow says:
He does not trust the media to [expose the ‘fact’ of Bush’s election stealing] -- ''They make us look like idiots, conspiratorial" -- and he does not trust Congress to do it. So this week he launched a website,, that includes links to other websites launched by citizens' groups that contain information about voter fraud. ''It's really up to the everyday person to realize they're not finding the truth from the media and the entire system is corrupt," Lopisi said.
The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy has apparently expanded to include the mainstream media. Somebody better inform the folks over at CBS, and quickly!

Looking past the next 4 years of a Republican executive, one liberal breakfast clubber remarks (entirely innocent of the irony):
"Parties can self-destruct," Jim Fesler offers hopefully. "They're pushing a lot of stuff that could put them out to the fringe."
Do tell.

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