What have we learned since the last race to the White House? We’ve learned that a professor of constitutional law has no more regard for civil rights and liberties than a Texas oilman. We’ve learned that hope is fleeting.
And most importantly we’ve learned no matter how messianic the man, the Gomorrah that is Washington D.C. will drive him toward avarice – toward the over $1 billion in campaign donations President Barack Obama is expected to raise in the next election cycle.
“On Wednesday, President Obama zipped up to New York City to attend three different fundraising events,” reported the liberal magazine Mother Jones on Dec. 1, 2011. “Occupy Wall Street protesters greeted the president outside the Sheraton New York, the site of one of Obama’s fundraisers, though New York police officers kept the demonstrators penned in what NYPD called ‘frozen zones.’”
The article continued to report that by Dec. 1, 2011 President Obama already attended 69 fundraisers, comparable to his predecessors Former President Bill Clinton who attended 23 within the same period of time, and Former President George W. Bush who attended 41 in the year before his re-election campaign.
“The presidential candidates have raised more than $186 million for their campaigns to date, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission,” read a separate report from The New York Times. “Mitt Romney leads among Republicans, but Rick Perry had an aggressive entry. However, President Obama easily outpaced his rivals.”
So far, President Obama has raised an estimated $99,597,681, continued the report and has already spent an estimated $106,877,586.
Most of the donations to his re-election campaign have come from smaller donors with contributions under $200, 52 percent to be exact, 22 percent have come from those donating the maximum of $2,500 and the other 26 percent fall between the minimum and the maximum.
What’s unfortunate is the 22 percent of the individuals who have been donating the maximum amounts are mostly not individuals, not voters, but the biggest of businesses and the largest of industries across the country and they will always matter more than the 52 percent.
Money has always mattered in our politics, but never has it seemed so pervasive.
“In constant pursuit of money to finance campaigns, the political system is simply unable to function. Its deliberative powers are paralyzed,” said philosopher and political theorist John Rawls. And he couldn’t have been more correct.
Dec. 11, 2011 President Obama was interviewed by Steve Kroft of “60 minutes” and was asked why many of the robber-barons on Wall Street had not been prosecuted. The president replied, “I can tell you, from just 40,000 feet, that some of the most damaging behavior on Wall Street, in some cases the least ethical behavior on Wall Street, wasn’t illegal.”
That’s an absolute untruth. Admittedly, a lot of what the megabanks on Wall Street did wasn’t illegal (it should have been), but much, in fact, most of it was illegal.
Goldman Sachs for example, bundled toxic assets together into securities, which it then sold to its clients as marketable products (fully aware they were explosive) and then bet in the marketplace against those securities, against their own clients – that’s illegal and not a single executive from Goldman Sachs has been prosecuted by the Obama administration.
“As the market soured, Goldman created even more of these securities, enabling it to pocket huge profits,” read an article on the financial crisis by The New York Times.
“Goldman’s own clients who bought them, however, were less fortunate,” continued the article. “Pension funds and insurance companies lost billions of dollars on securities that they believed were solid investments…”
Goldman Sachs donated $1,013,091to then-Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), and was a top contributor in President Obama’s first run for the White House.
Why did the Treasury Department open its coffers to the megabanks on Wall Street, aside from the already costly bailout, TARP? Why hasn’t the Justice Department prosecuted any executives from the investment firms or megabanks that committed crimes and defrauded taxpayers?
Well, I think you already know the answer, and it’s disappointing.