Make No Mistake The Rules Still Do Not Apply

We heard campaign pledges of accountability and of changing the atmosphere in Washington. We heard about change and saw the word boldly written in light blue capitals below the striking redded, blued and beiged visage of now President-Elect Obama. We were offered visions of a Washington more like what we would like it to be. Thankyou Barack, and thankyou Shepard Fairey for providing us with those uplifting moments of hope whose memory still brings a cozy feeling of inner warmth. So this is a good time to remember that it has been reported, including being emphasized by someone who was unceremoniously kicked off of Obama’s campaign jet for his reporting, that Obama likes to operate in the world as it is not the world as we would like it to be.¬†With that in mind perhaps it should be no surprise that we still live in the world as it is and the rules still do not apply.


We would like an unrepentant convicted felon not to receive an extended standing ovation on the United States Senate floor. In some dream world we might even hope that a convicted felon would be denied a chance to return to the Senate floor. Once again remember we live in the world as it is. We would hope that a governor whose term has been tainted with scandal, corruption and an impeachment trial for trying to sell off an open Senate seat, and who was overcome with glee by the opportunity to hold obtuse press conferences designed to push an already upset public to the point of being irate, would not be allowed to select his state’s new Senator. It appears our hopes are being dashed. And dashed rather quickly.

It would be a great risk of political capital to stand up to Stevens or Blagojevich or Burris. Standing up against any of them would be a messy legal battle and a risk of failure which would result in being branded with a scarlet “F” for the remainder of a political career. The sensible and pragmatic thing for President-Elect Barack Obama and the rest of our nation’s leaders to do is to work with the cards they have been dealt rather than stubbornly pointing out the deck has been tampered with.

Yet notice that the post-Bush era is beginning with a lack of leaders willing to dig in their heels against brazenly illegal and immoral acts. Notice that the post-Bush era is beginning with leadership unwilling to take political risk to stand up for what appears right to all but a few of us. Is this not what we supposedly whisked away? I imagine few of us actually believed there was a seismic change in Washington brewing, but could anyone have imagined such an absurd gaggle of political imbroglios would make our lack of “new politics” so abundantly clear from day one? The only elected official with real hope of changing our political system is one whose cry upon being sworn in is: “It is your duty as a citizen to unseat me for the betterment of society, as I am susceptible to the temptations of doing what is politically advantageous.” The world as it is still is. Let us hope that the other promises we received, that our leaders will change our disappointing, pragmatic, Machiavellian world for the betterment of our pocketbooks and health care plans, prove to be less shallow.