Posted by Bob Lord
I've tended to place campaign finance lower on the list of ills we need to address than others do. It's not that I disagree that the system is screwed up, but that I think campaign finance is only one of many corrupting factors in politics. Contributions from wealthy donors indeed are a form of bribery, but there is a more potent form of bribery: the pot of gold that awaits any Rep or Senator willing to carry water for an industry during his career in office.
After watching last night's Real Time, however, I've moved campaign finance up on my list. Maher had a very funny panel, with one exception, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. DWS was humorless and spoke only in centrist Democratic talking points, often not germane to the conversation. It was uncomfortable watching her.
But I digress. For those listening carefully, DWS gave us a glimpse of the rank cynicism of American politics. At one point Maher and the other panelists were ridiculing the Cuban embargo. DWS then gave an absolutely pathetic defense of the embargo, which Maher destroyed, at which point DWS pointed out that her feelings about the embargo had to be her true feelings, because she has very few Cuban constituents.
Okay, Debbie, you've acknowledged that the Cuban embargo is ineffective and that your defense of it is not motivated by loyalty to your constituents. That leaves only one conceivable explanation: Your lengthy list of Cuban campaign contributors.
The Cuban embargo obviously is not the most pressing issue of our day. But it would be hard to find a more blatant example of the raw power money has in our political system.