The Blagojevich-Obama Connection
To the delight of some, the Blagojevich scandal is already taking the smell off the rose of the incoming Obama administration.
It’s a near certainty that White House Chief of Staff-designee Rahm Emanuel was involved in discussions with Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who planned to sell the U.S. Senate seat that the President-elect recently vacated. The honeymoon is already ending for the candidate of hope and change, Barack Obama.
To others, these charges are nothing but scurrilous slander. It’s a given that representatives of the President-elect are going to talk to the governor responsible for appointing his successor in the Senate. Even if tapes reveal that Emanuel talked with Blagojevich in frank language about the Senate seat, they won’t show any wrongdoing or wrong intention.
If you hold either of these views, this post is for you, because there is an entirely different way to think about the latest political news/scandal.
L’affaire Blagojevich and any repercussions are just politics doing its work: distracting the public’s attention from what really matters – the nation’s policies.
Last week, the Congress debated a multi-billion dollar bailout for an industry in crisis. The cost of the proposal was about $50 per U.S. family. By early March, the Congress must decide how hundreds of billions of dollars will be spent ($thousands per family) as it completes the annual spending process that it kicked down the road back in September. More than $800 per family in spending on Hurricane Katrina relief is still being moved around.
But many Americans don’t even know that their money is being spent – never mind how much – because they focus only on politics. All they know are the scandals and personalities that occupy the front pages and the squwaking heads on cable.
If you hold strong opinions about the Blagojevich scandal and its effect on national politics, you just might be a victim of politics this way. While you watch the drama on the brightly lit stage, the federal government is fishing money out of your pocket and spending it on things you don’t even know about.
Now, it’s perfectly alright to attend to politics, but if you do, you probably buy the newspaper for the sports section. It’s about entertainment.
If you read the financial page or local news – if you want to know about things that affect your life and well-being – you’re the kind of person we work for at WashingtonWatch.com. You look past the scandal and want to know about the policies that are being created and implemented by the federal government. This is the place for you.
We don’t have everything you need to know yet, but we’re working on it. There will be a time when the majority of “political” news is not about politics at all, but about the policies, the ideas, and the spending to support them. This stuff is plenty entertaining – and important. The public can handle intelligent debate about issues.
So maybe you were drawn to reading this post by the idea of scandal in the new Obama Administration. If you were, consider this your invitation to focus on the real policies of the federal government. Turn away from the clash of partisan politics that shouts to steal your attention.
You can sign up here for the WashingtonWatch.com weekly newsletter and familiarize yourself with the policies debated in Congress each week. Or keep reading this blog to learn about many more dimensions of public policy-making. Lots of RSS feeds serve up many dimensions of the issues. You can comment on bills, ask questions of the community, and so on.
Or you can make fun of Rod Blagojevich’s hair!