Sunday, April 27, 2008

Woody Buys In

When I pointed out that Andre Carson's cash-on-hand was light, I received an anonymous post that Dr. Myers was trying to buy a congressional seat. The comment ends emphatically with "NO SALE!"

It bothers me that Congress is a haven for the wealthy. But it also bothers me that reality television is so popular. Let's face it, folks, there are some things that just are not going to change. So while "rich people only" is hardly the "Jeffersonian ideal" of the farmer who goes to Congress for a term before returning to the soil, perhaps it's time for me to kick aside my nostalgia for a time that never existed. (It makes me feel so Republican!)

Obama was pilloried by Hillary for being "elitist," but the word "elitism" means "the attitude that society should be governed by an elite group of individuals." "Elite" generally means "the best or most skilled members of a group" or "a group or class of persons or a member of such a group or class, enjoying superior intellectual, social, or economic status."

By this criteria, when HASN'T Congress been run by "elites?" John Stewart got it right on the Daily Show. Don't we WANT elites running our country, or "do we want somebody who is as stupid as we are?"

Think about this. If by "elitist," we mean someone who "is out of touch," Hillary Clinton has not had to buy her own groceries or drive her own car in a decade. I assure you, she doesn't balance her own checkbook. In the last seven years, the Clintons made over $110 million dollars. Is that you? Clinton (and most Senators) dine with more fame, money, and power in a single evening than most of us will brush with our elbow in an entire lifetime.

If we're honest with ourselves, we'll all agree that the mistake Obama made wasn't in being insufficiently "common." Nothing about Clinton is common. It was that Obama did such a crappy job ACTING like he is common. You see, his comment arguably acknowledged what we all know is true though we never say it: the leaders of this country ARE "above us."

This doesn't always mean smarter. One need only look at President Bush to know this is true. I would LOVE to see President Bush go on that game show where adults compete against grade school kids. I KNOW the President would get roasted, even on something he should know, like geography.

BUT our "elites" are definitely richer. Part of that is because you have to have sufficient income to put aside your "regular job" to run for Congress. But part of that is also because we look to "successful" people, and as Ted Turner said, "Life is like a game. Money is how you keep score."

Seriously, how many of us would vote for candidates with just GEDs unless they turned it into millions to show their "smarts." How many of us would vote for somebody who only makes $35,000-$40,000 per year as a Home Depot or Kinko's manager? (Or even something as "valuable" as being a teacher?) Where is THAT member of Congress? (S)he's not there because we don't even let him/her get out of the box as a candidate, let alone vote for him/her. We might say about them, "They haven't done enough." What we mean is, "If that's as far as they've gotten, there's NO WAY I'm voting for them."

So this gets me back to Woody Myers. He has money because he's been a successful physician. One might argue, I suppose, that he overcharged people. Don't we think that about ALL doctors since they'll charge you $90 for the two minutes it took for them to touch your throat, ask you to breath, and write out the illegible script? But to say that wouldn't you need to know how many people Dr. Myers (or the institutions with which he's worked) has provided free care as part of his own (or the institution's) charity effort? After all, isn't charging the wealthy $5 for an aspirin what allows us to provide care for the uninsured?

In other words, the fact Woody Myers HAS money does not make him presumptively evil, though some of my D brethren might like to think so. To my knowledge, he didn't put any children to work in Cambodian sweatshops making tennis shoes so he could improve profit margins, he didn't move a factory out-of-country so he could enjoy tax benefits while crushing the lives of workers who were a year short of having vested pensions, and he didn't sell military technology or weaponry to rogue states (like some former City-County Councilors on the Republican side).

Accordingly, as I said on this blog before, it MIGHT be preferrable to have a wealthy person with the right kind of heart over one who owes his existence to out-of-state special interests.
If Ross Perot had not morphed into a crackpot mid-campaign, he might have been president because he had so much money, he made it a slogan: "Not for sale at any price." Would anyone complain if Oprah or Bill Gates ran for President with their own money? No, because we have a pretty good idea where their hearts are from their charity work.

Using your own money, therefore, is only a perversion of the political process when it means that "the ruled" (i.e., "us") end up with a a candidate in office who won't represent our will. I don't know enough about Dr. Myers to know if he will sell us out or not, quite frankly. But respectfully, one might rightfully wonder what Representative Carson told all the out-of-state PACs who gave him money, even though they have NO members here. Is there a future quid-pro-quo?

One who yells about Dr. Myers using his own money might be yelling too loudly because, right now, I can't tell yet which one of the two frontrunners is more likely to hose us.

In addition, I hope whoever it was that criticized Dr. Myers' effort to "buy the seat" doesn't work for Congressman Carson. If so, you might here the following:

"At least Dr. Myer's is paying for it. Andre had it handed to him FOR FREE."



Concerned Taxpayer said...

In addition, Carson is prostituting himself to groups all over the US for money.

He will then be OWNED by them, to do whatever they want.

Anonymous said...

Your information is incorrect. Woody didn't make his money as a physician, but as an insurance executive whose company denied many valid claims.

artfuggins said...

Why dont you discuss the 18 count indictment coming down in California for Woody and his multimillionaire Wellpoint exec for rescinding policies and denying legitimate claims of over 6000 policy holders. That is all the 7th cd needs is a candidate under indictment. Currently the indictments are sealed. Let's hope they are revealed before the election.

Anonymous said...

Gettting involved in politics sometimes is like getting involved in cocaine because one tends to run into a lot of unsavory characters.
It appears that Mr. Carson has confirmed this.
Dr. Meyers, by virtue of his self funding has made a statement to the voters that his soul is not for sale to anyone at any price.
The same cannot be said of Mr. Carson.

legaldiva said...

Ummm...well, unless artfuggins works for the U.S. Attorney's office in Cali or is a member of the appropriate court staff, it's highly unlikely that he knows anything about a sealed indictment. Sealed means inaccessible to the general public. I'm all for scrutiny of candidates, but let's keep it legitimate.

Look, I have no problem with a person spending their own money on a campaign. It simply shows how much they want the seat...that's not a bad thing. Also, the mere fact that the insurance company he worked for denied claims means what exactly........?????? Anyone naive enough to believe he was the sole decision maker on the denials is too delusional to vote.

Wilson46201 said...

Woody Myers was one of the four managing directors of California BlueCross which was just sued by the LA DA for $1,000,000,000 for fraudulently throwing off 6000 claimants. Dr. Myers set the corporate policy for this insurance "thievery"...

This has been quite a hot political issue in California which is why Woody couldnt run for Congress from his real home in California.