I had a moment of clarity this morning while shaving. Everyone is playing all high and mighty about the scandal of Rod Blogojevich attempting to sell Obama's Senate seat, but the fact of the matter is that every single governor would do the same. Oh they might not sell the seat for money, but they're selling it. It's the political process. And it's happening here in New York too. It's an appointed position. That means it's up to the state executive--not the people.
It's one thing that has surprised me about the Obama's and the DLC's choices over the cabinet appointments. Either Obama is very smart and he's eliminating competition in the Senate in his own party, or he and the Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot. There will be an election in two years, and if the wind isn't whispering, Obama, Obama, we're going to have at least four Senate seats in contest to political newcomers. That's a dangerous gamble, and a surprising one. Sure, a little personal ambition is understandable. But denuding the Senate of all its ranking Democrats is a mistake. That's why Reps are around, that's why old Senate members who've lost their seats are around. Look at Tom Daschle, a party man through and through, except when he helped impeach his own President, and lost his seat for all his good service in 2004.
I digress. Here's the thing people. In the game of politics, it's all about doing your time, or being so wealthy that you don't have to do your time. You can be rags to political riches, but you have to do your time. And everysingle Obamite, Howardian, and Clintonian who did his time on three different campaigns, who went to GWU or Georgetown and worked for his Congressman (I confess, I did it too.) Every single one of them, if he works hard, and kisses enough tuchus, will get his Party reward. That's really all Blogojevich is doing here--he got greedy and stupid by offering a price tag for the seat. But really, it just officially commodifies what everyone ought to have suspected all along.
I don't have a problem with the system. If I'd been patient, and stuck with it, and had been willing to do the time--I'd be a part of it too. But I wasn't. But this is what makes democracy. As one of the characters in Candide said, (I paraphrase) "I hate the English for their party spirit." I didn't understand that phrase until I went to a couple of College Democrat meetings in college--a breeding ground for America's next political generation--partisan, cynical, and willing to scratch anyone's back*. You can't be an automechanic or a paralegal and expect to be part of the system unless you put yourself into the system. And that means behaving like you would in any club or social activity: Reciprocation.
*One other observation about the College Dems: It's the only organization I've seen where cynicism is codified as form of zeal. How can you be zealous about cynicism? Isn't that sort of a contradiction in terms? It's not that they don't have ideals--it's just that rather than the ideal being the motivator to achieve political power, political power is the motivator for having the ideal. I suppose that's naive of me, but I've never understood the desire for political power. The love of the masses I've known well--I was an actor. But if one hates being a follower, how can one have any respect for those for whom he is the leader?
It should surprise no one. It's not news, it's not even worth your attention. Not when there are asshats like Madoff and Drier to kick around.