By Jim Hightower
He did it. Unfortunately. Sadly. Disappointingly.
President Barack Obama, reversing his own honorable precedent for his first inaugural, has chosen this time to have corporations pay for his second round of big shindigs. This multimillion-dollar infusion of corporate cash is a crass intrusion by favor-seeking private interests into what ought to be a purely public occasion.
Why can’t we have even one corporate-free day in Washington every four years? Is that asking too much?
Obama essentially admitted that allowing corporations to purchase the inaugural is wrong when he tried to sugarcoat his decision by assuring us that every corporate donor will be vetted by White House lawyers to make sure they have no conflicts of interest. Does he think we’re all suckers? As the vigilant watchdog group, Public Citizen points out: “There’s no corporation which has no conflict of interest.”
Even as presidential staffers were publicly pledging there would be no favoritism for the corporate powers that write big checks, they were privately promising potential donors that the three days of inaugural festivities would include exclusive “benefactor brunches,” allowing the elite to hobnob with top administration officials. Getting your ticket punched for a presidential brunch, you see, buys you a rich serving of political access.
Incredibly, Obama is trying to gloss over this special-access ugliness by declaring that the day before his official swearing-in will be a “national day of service.” How noble! As a symbol of America’s commitment to the common good, he’s calling on all of us to spend time serving meals to the homeless or picking up litter — except for check-writing corporate chieftains, who’ll be busy munching on eggs Florentine, sipping from champagne flutes, and helping themselves to plates of power.
Jim Hightower, an OtherWords columnist, is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown. Distributed through Otherwords.org.
Jim Hightower, the last honest man in Texas. God bless him.
One can only hope all those liberal commies come down with the FLU and miss the pagan ritual.
See what happens when you elect a narcissist for president? He would rather beg from corporate sponsors than have his ego deflated by a less-than-half-full mall witnessing the tragedy of his second inauguration. What’s the matter, still hoping for that change?
Flagler Citizen says
Re-election accomplished, watch for the full extent of the Obama presidential approach to come into “full bloom” over the next 4 years. Side stepping Congress, when approval on key issues is not possible, and enacting laws via “executive orders” will be just one of the methods he uses to get his way and enact his quasi-socialistic method of goverment. A true telltale sign of his intended approach was during his first term when an open microphone heard him tell the Russian official, “Let’s just wait for my second term when I’ll have more FLEXIBILITY in handling issues. With the raise of the debt ceiling a foregone conclusion, we will be getting closer to being Greece every day. The approach of this President appears to be to try and spend our way out of this economic situation we are in. The real reason that Romney lost the election is that one of the first things he said he would do would be to put America back to work, and the “51%” said, “The hell with that.” I just got my first pay check of the year and with the payroll tax increase, my monthly pay will be done by about $150. What about those words, echoed throughout the campaign by Mr. Obama, “If you make less than $250,000 (it did become $450K for a family), your taxes will not go up. I do not make anything close to those numbers, and my taxes DID go up.Good luck America!…I’m going to learn Greek!
J MILLER says
why are they spending all that money again….for what?
think about what that money could do for people without jobs and food…
shame on all those libs that talk out of both sides of their mouth!