Sunday, December 07, 2008

Look Who's Joining the Bailout Parade Now!

OK, so I’ve finally come to terms with the idea of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State in an Obama Administration. It took a while, but I got there. I’m willing to trust that Barack Obama wouldn’t put her there just for political reasons, and that he has a plan to use her talents and abilities to bring about the changes he promised for the country’s foreign policy.

At the same time, I watching the CEOs from the Big 3 shucking and jiving as they beg the Congress for $34 billion of taxpayers’ money to bail them out from a long series of misguided and arrogant business decisions.

Now, I get an e-mail from Joe Biden that says this:
Our campaign pledged to help Senator Hillary Clinton -- one of the vital members of our team and our future Secretary of State -- retire her campaign debt. That's the money her campaign owes to the vendors across the country that make our political process possible.

Barack and I had the deepest respect for Hillary as an opponent on the campaign trail. Her undeniable intellect, talent, and passion strengthened Barack as a candidate and tested our movement for change.

We welcome Hillary as a partner in our administration, and I hope you will show your support by helping Barack fulfill our campaign promise
And I can’t help but think that Hillary and Bill Clinton are millionaires, much like the CEOs from the Big 3. Yet here they are, refusing to pay off their “vendors” (cough, Mark Penn, cough!); when, if Biden’s characterization is correct, it sounds as if those vendors may be among the many Americans losing their homes or their businesses from the current economic collapse. All while Hillary Clinton is waiting for a bailout from the small-dollar donors on Obama’s e-mail list!

Sorry Joe, but I’m not buying it! I supported the Obama-Biden campaign with a number of small donations because I wanted the change you were promising. I wanted the chance to have a president who would restore accountability to government, end torture and extraordinary rendition in our names, and pursue an economic agenda that would shift the emphasis from the super wealthy (like the Clintons) to the middle class (like, well, most of the people on the Obama-Biden donor list!)

I supported the Obama-Biden campaign because I wanted the chance to have a president who would bring an end to the war in Iraq and bring our troops home - preferably all of them, although there are some signs, including Hillary Clinton’s appointment as Secretary of State, that this isn’t actually part of the change you’re planning to deliver. Increasingly, it's looking like the plan may be to simply shift them over to another endless war in Afghanistan.

Sorry, but just because I donated to the Obama-Biden campaign doesn’t make me an ATM machine for any promise you made during the campaign, particularly before I see a return on the promises that got me to donate in the first place. Besides, from what I could tell from the primaries, much like the bumbling CEOs from The Big 3, Hillary Clinton’s campaign debts were largely accrued while she was trying to sell Hummers and it was clear that the American people wanted to buy a hybrid!

But I’m willing to be reasonable. I’m not opposed to considering a workable compromise. How about this one:

Hillary and Bill can use their own millions to pay off the vendors now. I’ll donate into a fund that can sit drawing interest until the day the last troops return from Iraq or Afghanistan. On that day, if it comes, the funds can be released to Hillary Clinton as reimbursement for her campaign debts. Everybody wins, and we will have helped Barack fulfill multiple campaign promises at the same time!

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