I’ve admired the Clintons’ foundation for years for its fine work on AIDS and global poverty, and I’ve moderated many panels at the annual Clinton Global Initiative. Yet with each revelation of failed disclosures or the appearance of a conflict of interest from speaking fees of $500,000 for the former president, I have wondered: What were they thinking?
But the problem is not precisely the Clintons. It’s our entire disgraceful money-based political system.
Now watch this.
For those who do not have access to YouTube, this is of course Otter’s Speech from Animal House:
Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests – we did. But you can’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.
You know, I didn’t realize when I woke up this morning that’d I would be writing a piece that had to point out that Animal House is not a good rhetorical template for a New York Times author to use. Then again, I imagine that Nicholas Kristof didn’t wake up a few days ago expecting that he’d end up using said template, so I suppose that that’s a wash. Still… really? This is going to be what they’re going to go with? “The way that all that dirty money was prancing around and showing everybody its denominations, it was just asking to be grabbed?” I tremble for the Republic.
No, not because of corrupt politicians. We’ve had to deal with those, right from the start. But we’ve never had a more useless set of political pundits.
It was a lonely vigil, to be sure: but we had faith. Faith that somebody, somewhere, currently in power would slip up and allow us to at last spotlight what has been one of the classic theoretical oopsies in political punditry. We have long waited for a politician to be dumb enough to claim that the Nazis bombed Pearl Harbor, and finally – Finally! – Rep. Ellison comes through for us. I am almost proud of the man for his sacrifice.
OK, picking Animal House is a bit of a political in-joke: the “All Is Well!” clip is making the rounds, based on the week that our esteemed colleagues on the Other Side have been having. I’d be sympathetic, except that I’m not sure how I’d manage it in their case.
Now, if you could just look at this red light, Men in Black…
Often, I hear Republicans and conservatives say that we are “doomed.” This negative cognitive self-talk is pathetic. It is crippling. Don’t engage in it.
You are never doomed until you are dead. There is always something that can be done. The anger of the American public is only just beginning. It is an energy that will be needed in the coming days, weeks and months to protest, stand up, debate, argue and get in the face of every government official, public figure and others who support a bill that leads us down The Road to Serfdom.
(H/T: Instapundit) Not being an intellectual*, I’m going to put my response in somewhat more populist terms. I agree with Helen that anger is an energy. Nonetheless: