Saturday, July 12, 2008

On the Matter of Political Dynasties

Of the rationales for supporting Obama (or Edwards, Richardson, Biden, etc) in the Democratic presidential primaries, one of the best, in my opinion, was the argument that the U. S. presidency should not be a revolving door for Clintons and Bushes.

But, come to think of it, do we not effectively have alternating dynasties in the form of our two party system? Each time a Party returns to the White House, it brings with it the usual suspects, the familiar elites, the people whose expertise has gotten us into the crisis situations we are in today in the first place. This two-party tango is essentially as tight a trap for this country as any system of alternating family dynasties would be.

I have been particularly critical of Republicans lately, but today's New York Times has me remembering just how presumptuous, infuriating, and corrupt the Democrats can be as well. It is not just our little brown mousy Congress allowing felonies to be committed by the White House. It is (today's example) Congressman Charles Rangel accepting a gift of four rent-controlled apartments in Harlem, using one of them possibly illegally as a campaign office, and expressing surprise that anyone would raise an eyebrow. Rangel denies knowing that he got a special deal not available to others in the city, including people who are being thrown onto the street so that landlords can raise the rent. But, in any case, he believes he deserves the apartments. Would he be so happy with them if he had to pay the same market value that almost everyone else has to pay to live in New York?

How do we get a new party started in this country? Seriously?

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