Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Was It Ethical?

From The Nation an article regarding the effort of former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe to buy off Ralph Nader. McAuliffe does not deny the charge, and because Nader was not an elected official it was not illegal. This revelation comes from Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two Party Tyranny.

Regardless of what you believe regarding our two party system, you must ask yourself if this is what you expect from your political leadership. At what point do their actions become unethical and thus unsupportable, regardless of their legality. Remember that slavery was legal once in this country AND considered ethical. No longer on both counts. But so long as people believed that the underlying tenets of slavery were valid its impact was felt long after Emancipation. Here in Illinois we have had a front row seat on the horse trading that occurred for Obama's Senate seat, which has led to allegations of illegal activities and the arrest of our former Governor. His defense amounts to "nothing illegal occurred." Senator Burris was one of the people discussing what financial help he might provide to the Governor (and ultimately didn't). Is that a discussion that should even occur, regardless of outcome?

Ask yourself these questions and remember the old adage, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

5 comments:

dbt said...

I have a hard time giving McAuliff crap (and I _hated_ his tenure at the DNC), because at the same time the RNC was bankrolling Nader's campaign nationwide. Terry was just giving him an option.

Kheris said...

Can you provide the citations behind the claim that the RNC was bankrolling Nader? Because I will be meeting Ms. Amato tomorrow at the book launch and I'll ask her specifically about that. Since she was Nader's campaign manager I am sure she'll have first hand knowledge about that.

Think about the statement: Terry was just giving him an option.

Is that how you want our political leadership to do business? By buying out inconvenient opponents? What's the message we send then? That as long as it isn't illegal to front a check to get what you want, go ahead and do it? I am not naive and I know people who do that privately and I would bet there is a fair amount of that going on in business. But politics is not a business and the boundaries of acceptable behavior should be drawn more tightly because we are talkng stewardship of the public trust.

Election said...

While you are interogating Ms. Amato; why don't you ask her the best way to go about changing the REAL PROBLEM with our 2-party system - how do we eliminate the archaic "Electoral College", so that "dually elected by popular choice" actually comes to pass in our lifetimes?

Kheris said...

Well if you bothered to do your homework you would know that this is a Constitutional question involving Article II. I don't need to ask Ms. Amato the solution to that, I believe it is already known - a Constitutional Amendment is probably called for. I haven't read her book yet so I don't know if she addresses that issue specifically.

dbt said...

nationalpopularvote.com has the answer to that question -- states can choose electors based on whatever criteria they want. Including national (not state) election results.

For a citation on the Nader stuff, try http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0720-15.htm. Google turned that up pretty quickly.

I was following it in real time, primarily on talkingpointsmemo.com.