Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Should politicans be responsible for their donors?

I am sure that I could get up here and spin the GOP donor who also funded terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan to be pretty anti-Republican, to argue things like Bin Laden supports Republicans and their agenda because it helps him, or Republicans are just so war like that they support both sides of the war just to prolong it, or a number of other possible liberal spins to the story.

As a result, conservatives would probably respond with talk of the story of Norman Hsu, convicted and given 24 years in jail for fraud while contributing to Democratic campaigns. Heck, I am pretty sure conservatives on blogs and forums have probably already tried to proclaim that Hsu shows Democrats are frauds, and liberals on the same blogs and forums have tried to proclaim conservatives as terrorist supporters.

It makes me wonder, have politics really become that bad? Are we really so stupid as to believe that a random donor reflects the beliefs of the whole party or people? It is one thing when donors give money for policy actions, something we seem to ignore that goes on all the time (we call them lobbyists); but should we really hold politicians and parties responsible for the history of every single donor?

This is not to say that if there were favors done for criminal donors for those funds that it shouldn't be looked at more carefully, but I highly doubt that those donations by the terrorism supporter actually reflected policy actions by Republicans to support terrorism. It may beg a deeper question of why he would support the Republican ideology AND terrorists fighting us, but to simply say that Republicans support terrorism probably jumps the shark.

Can't we get to a better, more intelligent political dialogue that might actually help improve America? Is this what the 24 hour news cycle and the constant need for something to say for bloggers and twitterers has come to? Shouldn't we at least try to do better than the birthers, and look for something true, something substantive, something that matters, and bring better policy solutions for everyone instead of the idiocy of arguing lies so far out that only the most isolated extremes could believe them?

Politicians should not be responsible for the criminal history of their donors, and the donation of their funds to charity may help a charity, but it is little more than a show tactic that doesn't address the problems with fundraising and influence tied to it. Are we really that gullible? It sure looks like we might be, sadly.

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