Monday, November 30, 2009

Here's Your Proof.

One of my pet contentions about those holding federally elected office is that they are only competent in the art of campaigning. Whether it is a cause or an effect-probably cause and effect runs both ways- too many politicians have little interest in or talent for governing. This has always been, to some degree, an endemic problem in our nominally representative form of government, but my view is that this omnipresent nagging problem has intensified to the point that we now have this:

It does not help that many West Wing aides seem to relish an image of themselves as shrewd, brass-knuckled political types. In a Washington Post story this month, White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina, referring to most of Obama’s team, said, “We are all campaign hacks.”

Indeed. The acquisition of massive amounts of funds is now de rigueur for anyone considering running for federal office as campaigns that once lasted some number of months now last for several years. In a sense, this condition constitutes the ultimate victory for the owners of government, namely, the corporations. The winning strategy, the master stroke, employed by the business oligopoly, whether done so deliberately or by accident, involves keeping the politicians tied up in what amounts to a constant state of war. Can it be an accident that both the military and political professions employ the term campaign to describe their key activities?

Truly, what better way to bend government to one's will then to keep politicians focused on holding office to the exclusion of doing the jobs they were elected to do. How marvelous it must be for the owners of government to stand in (in the shadows) for elected officialdom merely by employing hordes of lobbyists to help set the agenda and craft the legislation, because what self respecting politician has the time to sort it out for themselves.

On a somewhat different note, it strikes me as more than a little interesting, and perversely fitting, that our political class, like the nation as a whole, now finds itself in a perpetual state of "war."

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