ENRON SCANDAL: WILL IT PUSH U.S. TO CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM? : As Enron Scandal Spreads, US Starts to Question Cash for Influence Culture is the headline at Common Dreams.
My answer is, I hope not. I am not sure why donating to every political campaign for the last 10 years and receiving no favors from the victors is going to spur a renewed interest in campaign finance reform, but watch as the NY Times and her ‘progressive’ (Why are progressives always pushing for the same old tired things- would we be more accurate calling them regressives- or are they called progressives because they naively believe any change is change for the better?) friends push for it. Even the thinking man, Brian Linse at AintNoBadDude, (someone I like a great deal and read daily) confuses me on this one….
“In fact, I’d argue that the previous cozy relations were a major reason that the Bush administration turned their backs on Lay & company. “
By that logic, the more you donate to a political campaign, the more likely you are to not have any help when you are in a jam because people might be embarassed by their connections to you? Or are we to assume that what this really means is that smaller contributors are the ones who get all the favors, because they have given enough money to get attention, but not too much so that they can still fly under the radar? Paging Mr. Machiavelli, paging Mr. Machiavelli.
Let me emphasize, however, that it is still too early (as many conservatives have noted) to call this one a political scandal. But shouldn’t that mean that it’s too early to assume it’s not a political scandal?
It seems to me most every political issue thrown at either party by the other is in a stage in which it is too early to call a scandal or too early to assume it is not a scandal (or it is just flat out a scandal). Remember, nothing is non-scandalous, because every decision is going to be drerided by the opposition. I can hear Henry Waxman now: “We have some serious questions about Bush’s proposal to give every todddler a teddy bear. Questions like, who funded this? Why did he not have a mix of animals.” etc. ad nauseum.
Let’s try this with my personal life. It is too early to say that I engaged in scandalous behavior after drinking 72 shots of Don Eduardo tequila last Friday night, but it is also too early to say I did not engage in scandalous behavior (given my track record with tequila, I would bet on the former). A responsible press would stop drooling and frothing at the mouth, and would ASK me (as I am the only one who knows)- or, get this- let the appropriate authorities question me if there is any EVIDENCE of wrongdoing. You don’t just dig into things for shits and giggles and partisan gain because some toad from California has serious questions (OK- we used to, but we no longer havea special prosecutor). At any rate, all this hyperventilating is getting annoying. Someone make a charge that Bush et al. did something wrong or please put the Bimbo Broadcaster back on (Ashleigh BAnfield). She doesn’t have much to say, but she is a helluva lot better looking than Jonathon Alter.
Perhaps there is a third way with Enron. It is NOT a political scandal, but rather a criminal and financial scandal committed by the CEO’s of Andersen and Enron. Regardless, a lot of good people got the shaft, and someone needs to pay for it. Just keep your eyes on the ball and don’t let the bickering and partisan manuevering in Washington distract you from the real issue, which is not political at this point- despite the best efforts of a select few, and not an argument for CFR, but corporate criminal behavior. FWIW- Enron would then NOT be a scandal, other than the amount of time devoted to it in the media lately, and would be more accurately called a CRIME. And we already have laws for that.
Either way, I still see no cogent or compelling argument for the Large Media Monopoly Enforcement Act (McCain-Feingold). What this really is is a delightful demonstration of the glaring anti-corporate anti-capitalist sentiment that runs through the veins of some in Washington. Like asking the largest energy provider for information when crafting an energy policy is a BAD idea. When my car breaks down, I do not drive to the local coffee shop to ask for advice because I am afraid that asking a mechanic might present a conflict of interest. This of course gets us back to the ‘there is an appearance of a conflict of interest because Enron gave campaign donations’ mantra- the solution to which, of course, is CFR and publicly funded campaigns.
Which is where I draw the line. I already am funding someone’s education, someone’s social security, and a variety of other things against my will. I am not funding Pat Buchanon’s 2004 election, too.
*Note* I should not be allowed to have red wine before I blog.