One hand giveth, the other taketh away. That’s how I’m feeling after days of euphoria following the victory of Scott Brown over Martha Coakley in the Massachusetts special election. A stunning upset that finally tells the world, or more importantly, the Obama administration, that the Tea Party movement is not imaginary. It’s not a bunch of rednecks, it’s not a bunch of angry republicans…it’s working-class Americans saying “enough is enough”.
What could be more demonstrative of that fact than a republican winning Ted Kennedy’s seat? I know, I know, it’s the people’s seat, as Scott Brown reminded us during his debate with the diminutive Martha Coakley. Better yet, he went on to prove it with a solid win that came with margins that made stealing the election impossible for the corrupt political machine of that state. Senator Scott Brown, in my humble opinion, may be one of the best things to happen to this country in a long time. It was more than refreshing to hear him in Washington, speaking in decisive, clear tones and articulating the simple rules of the game that most of us would like to see implemented in our Federal Government. Fiscal responsibility being first and foremost.
Just as I was beginning to wonder if the euphoric feeling would ever subside, the Supreme Court stepped in and squashed it for me with their ruling last week regarding some of the basic tenets of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill. The legislation, originally intended to squeeze corruption from the political donation process, enraged most republicans and further distanced McCain from his party when he introduced it. We all say we want politicians who “get things done” and who “reach across the aisle” and who “compromise in an effort to produce actual legislation”, but be careful if you are a politician who actually does any of those things.
Remember when McCain called for the troop surge in Iraq? This was not a popular notion at the time and his fellow republicans ran in the other direction, but McCain was right. He put what was best for the country ahead of his own political ambitions, an act that is as rare in Washington, D.C. as are Polar Bear sightings in Hawaii.
McCain-Feingold was no exception. Republicans cried “foul” and felt that free speech was being squashed. I find that argument ridiculous and invite anybody to find me one person in this country who is not free to speak his or her mind, on any subject, in any media, with fear of repercussion. I mean, really…look at what transpires in this country. We have everything and anything available to us 24/7, every conceivable type of information or opinion. The argument that Free Speech as guaranteed to us in the Constitution, was somehow taken away or diminished by not allowing corporations, groups or lobbyists to offer huge donations to political campaigns, seems ludicrous to me.
I don’t necessarily want Boeing, AIG, or Wal-Mart to have a bigger voice than the rest of us. But it wasn’t about that, anyway, and we all know it. It was about big donations being rewarded with big federal contracts and politicians being paid off for the favor. We all know that. We all know what McCain-Feingold was meant to do. We all know why republicans hated it. It was killing the cash cow, the goose that laid the golden eggs, and again, when it comes down to cash or character, most politicians will take the cash and compromise their character.
I laugh at the people I hear celebrating this ruling as some kind of victory. It’s like the chickens celebrating a new dental plan for the fox. Watch now, as the river of corrupt money again floods the political process. The very last thing we need right now, and it is odd, also, that the Supreme Court seemed to have missed the “Scott heard ’round the world” from Massachusetts. Let’s see who, during the mid-terms and the campaign of 2012, takes the big money, and how they pay back that favor if and when elected. Then, put a little star next to their name…and make sure they get booted out next time around, as is about to happen to most of Congress this Fall.