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Case Study In Old Politics

By The Reverend Published: March 31, 2008

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Barack Obama has attempted in his campaign to change what he calls the old politics that America has become accustomed to over the last number of years. Obama's "new politics" tries to avoid the personal attacks, tries to make his campaign about issues that are meaningful to America, tries to be reasonable in his communications, and tries to speak honestly and openly about the problems facing America, as he did in his speech about race.

The following is a case study in the old politics....


(James) Carville, a Hillary Clinton supporter and former strategist for her husband's 1992 presidential campaign, compared (Governor Bill) Richardson to the Biblical figure Judas in an interview with the New York Times last week. When later asked whether his comment was accurate, Carville made no attempt to apologize, saying that it had "the desired effect."

"I haven't gotten into the gutter on this. And you know, I'm not going to stoop to Carville's level. I barely know the guy in the first place," Richardson told Bob Scheiffer on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Carville had argued that Richardson's endorsement of the Illinois senator was an act of betrayal since the governor has a long history of political ties with her husband. Richardson disagreed.

"I think loyalty to the nation, loyalty to the party is a lot more important than personal loyalty," he said. "I owe the Clintons a lot. I served in the president's cabinet. That loyalty is to President Clinton. That doesn't mean that I'm going to for the rest of my life be in lockstep with whatever they do." Link

The issue here, as Richardson correctly states, is loyalty.

James Carville is willing to go nationwide with his buffoonish, virtually incoherent, namecalling, all done in that grating drawl of his, and all for some sophomoric "show of force" in the name of loyalty. Loyalty, in this case, to the Clintons.

James Carville, a Democrat, demonstrates that he and his are indisguishable from George W. and his.

One of the problems with George the Younger has been this loyalty thing. Loyal to all those willing to be loyal to him. Not loyal to America and Americans. Not even loyal to his own Republican Party. Loyalty is reserved for only those who are loyal to him. The Scooter. The Heckuva Brownie. The George Tenet. The list is a mile long.

Old politics, the politics of Bush the Younger and Carville the Dumber, attaches it's loyalties not to the people of the country they allegedly serve, but to personalities, brands, cronies, individuals.

Scooter couldn't go to prison because.....he was and still is loyal to W. Bush has no loyalty to law, no loyalty to the people of America who must daily endure the outcome of a jury of their peers. George the Younger demonstrated where his loyalties lie when he commuted any jail time for his loyal friend.

Bush has no loyalty to Americans who think the NSA should not spy on them without warrants, but he does extend loyalty to those telcos who were loyal to him in violating the law with him, doing just that.

How many times have employees of this president been shuffled out the back door because of words said or papers written that could be interpreted as being disloyal to the Leader? Dozens?

The Decider hasn't been loyal to his own political party all these years either. Consider who the main recipients of all that deficit spending were under The Younger. Loyal pharmaceuticals, loyal Big Oil, loyal defense contractors. No loyalty to the so-called fiscally conservative party who is smeared by association by his reckless spending.

Old politics is all about the people doing the politics. James Carville's old politics is all about loyalty to the Clintons. It's not about loyalty to the Democratic Party or to the American people. Corporate Democrats like Carville, Begala, Lanny Davis, and many others (and here's where Nader is correct) are exactly the same as Karl Rove, George W. Bush and Bill Kristol. In both cases loyalties reside not in the will of the American people or even their political party....loyalty is reserved for only a select elite.

The concept of Obama's new politics is that politics should be about the people of America. The only loyalty, while campaigning or while governing, should be the American people.

Sure, it all sounds utopian. Only because we've grown accustomed to it and only because we have not demanded better before now.

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