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Diane Dimond
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Liberating the White House from the Political Money Game


Let's face it. We have too many antiquated laws on the books. Our laws often fail to keep up with the times. I mean, do we really need a statute that prohibits rams from trespassing as they have in New Jersey? Or a law that makes it a crime to carry fruit in an illegally sized container as Minnesota recently struck down?

Nonetheless, I would like to propose a new law that would benefit every man, woman and child in the United States. It has to do with how the top leadership in this country operates.

Let's adopt a law that prohibits presidents from engaging in overt political fundraising.

Yes, I know an appearance by a president at a fundraising event insures a seven-figure take for these events. But, how about we leave the begging for political donations to the U.S. Senators and Congressmen who are already experts at it?

Let's free up our president to be ... well ... the leader of all American citizens, not just those who belong to the president's political party. Let's emancipate our commander in chief from the mundane election-year hawking for money designed solely to enrich one political party's coffers.

The end game for the ginned up money, of course, is to eviscerate the opposing party, which only goes to further divide us as a country. If you've ever wondered how we, as a nation, got so mired in the us-versus-them mentality we have today, look no further than the smarmy political strategists who spend their days concocting campaigns designed to slime candidates on the other side, everyone who doesn't think like they do.

As those strategists hope, we the electorate absorb their negative messages and carry them into our everyday relationships. How many times have you heard someone say something like, "I can't talk to Joe. He's such a Republican!" If you are one of the rare citizens who truly hasn't allowed the political spin to infiltrate your daily lives, I congratulate you.

So, let us do all presidents a favor and make it against the law for them to participate in the loathsome game of political fundraising. Let us help elevate presidents above the ugly fray. And while we're at it, lets extend the political huckstering ban to include their spouses and children, too.

The need for this new legislation came to me in a flash as I was reading about the recent air disaster that took 298 lives in Eastern Europe and the latest war (let's call it what it is) in the Middle East.

Buried within newspaper stories were sentences like this one in the New York Times: "As smoke billowed from the downed Malaysian jetliner in the fields of eastern Ukraine, President Obama pressed ahead with his schedule: A cheeseburger with fries at the Charcoal Pit in Delaware ...

and two splashy fundraisers in New York City."

At the very time initial dispatches reported there were 23 Americans aboard that downed Malaysian passenger jet (the number was later reduced to 1), the president was belly-up to the counter of that burger joint, which is framed by a cartoon figure on the wall eating a burger three times the size of its head.

The White House communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, was asked if there had been any thought given to cancelling the day's activities given the grim world events. Her bizarre answer as the president headed toward those two glitzy fundraisers in Manhattan?

"Abrupt changes to his schedule can have the unintended consequence of unduly alarming the American people or creating a false sense of crisis," Palmieri said in a prepared statement.

Now look, I don't begrudge any leader of the free world some down time or a yummy burger with fries. (Although, I do wonder what Mrs. Obama thinks about her husband's dietary choices.) But I take umbrage with a White House staffer thinking we are so mentally fragile as a people that we would be "unduly alarmed" at a president who returned to Washington to take care of business. Does she think the citizens of America are stupid?

Whether there is an international crisis or a humanitarian crisis on our own border to attend to, the president must set his own management style. I understand that. If he wants to handle pressing events while out in the field instead of in the oval office, that's his decision. What I find disgraceful is the offensive image of an American president gallivanting around the country on Air Force One with his expensive, taxpayer-funded entourage hawking for money for his own particular ideology. That's not leadership; that's pure unadulterated politics.

Even the White House communications director knows this, which is why cameras are rarely allowed in to film one of these presidential fundraising events.

This is not a partisan gripe. I didn't like it when Presidents Carter, Regan, Bush, Clinton or G.W. Bush hit the mega-money-making fundraising trail either. It diminishes the office of the president to place our top elected official — the leader of the free world — on the podium next to big-money wheelers and dealers. It embarrasses me. It should embarrass our presidents, too.

So, the question: Which political party has enough guts, enough pride in the office of the presidency, to take a bold move toward removing the leader of the free world from the unseemly position of being the big-ticket draw to milk the most lucrative cash cows?

I am an enthusiastic voter, and I would be attracted to the party that sponsors such a bill. I bet other voters might very well see the party that backs such legislation as truly focused on America's best interest instead of how much money they can raise to taint the opposition. That act has gotten mighty old. And it has resulted in nothing but stalemate in Washington.

To find out more about Diane Dimond, visit her website at To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



1 Comments | Post Comment
Ma'am;... If you say money is a problem with the presidency; who could disagree with you, and, it is a problem we can handle...If I tell you how extensive the problem is, you would soon realize it is bigger than we can handle, and is in fact, a means by which the American people are handled...It would be good if an American president could show up in town, shake some hands, take some pictures, present some awards, and be what presidents once were when it was really something if a president came to town...In spite of all the increases in the speed of transportation, because of a geometric rise in our population, the president is more inaccessable than ever...
Consider, for example, the first Warren Court... In that age when we had no major river in America bridged, and though we were only 13 states, these Justices of the Supreme Court not only met in a basement to settle national law, but each rode to a circuit in the federal juristiction... If law was slower it was more in touch with the needs and feelings of the people...Today the Supreme Court is distant and aloof, and it may still be made by presidents, but it has also shown the power to make and unmake presidents...The problem of our court is the same as the problem of the rest of the government... Out of touch with the people it has come to think of law as an abstraction when it is any thing but...
It is because of the Supreme Court that we cannot limit the influence of money on elections which is the same thing as influencing the course of legislation...This means plutocracy except in those rare instances of national outrage when mobs push the government along...Whether the people are outraged enough to sweep the whole government away, or must be, in order to see goverment perform as it should is not the issue... Nor is the abstract principal that property having the rights of a person should have the right to freely exercise consent in order to be governed- the issue... No one else not rich is asked to consent to their government, but abstractly, the Supreme Court does not feel it can deny rights clearly allowed for in the constitution; and this is contrary to the findings of our earliest Supreme Court, that the Constitution was a living document whose relevence could only be found in interpretation...
It is impossible to explain in the words and writing of the constitution why it has come to mean so many different things to so many except by way of interpretation... And we can see in our history where Justices read property rights into the constitution which contradicted the power of democracy, and could not be found by later generations of justices...Only consider what it means if the right only hates the Supreme Court more than the left... Consider what it means if whole classes reject the last two hundred years of Supreme Court findings, and only want their ancient constitution back...The Supreme Court was written into the constitution as it was, undemocratic, formal, and conservative of ancient principals while supportive of new principals- AS a support and defense of Property Rights... Much of the Government is the inertia of the wealthy resisting the energy of the ambitious, and the democratic will of the people...To the inertia of the government created is added the inertia of the churches, the press, and the parties... None of these groups is written into government power... None of these people have to stand for election; but they are the bulwark of government, and they add inertia to a government overloaded from birth with inertia...
What the parties have done for America is dwarfed by what they have done to America... The people got one third of their government, but unchecked it would have been enough to give them good and responsive government... When the parties- for their own wealth and privilage, for the power they wielded unelected, - limited the numbers of representatives in the house, they made government impossible to move unless they wanted it moved...
We cannot know our representatives... My district is drawn to deliver a certain party victory, but were it not, why should so many people in disagreement with their elected representative be denied their voice, their argument, their reason in the halls of government... These parties shut the mouths of half the people in America and shush the rest... It seems like we have government, and it does not work, and it must be some ones fault so perhaps it is my neighbors fault... They never consider how much deliberate sabotage of democracy was built into their government, and while people could see their way clear of it will not because no one is giving them a reason to...
Look to pre castro Cuba for an example... No one owned the government... Everyone had a piece of the government...Everyone from the Communist party, to the mob, the labor unions, and business had a peice of the government pie, but no one could get it to do their will; especially the people... The people were terrorized... Havanna was limited by facilities for torturing only a hundred people to death a day... Things were going well for the rich, for capitalism, for everyone with a piece of government; but the government was a rock, a vast impediment to progress that would not be moved; and this did not stop the forces from growing against it...
Aristotle said that government are created for good, my paraphrase... If no good is forthcoming from this government it must end, and no doubt, violence and civil war will follow its falling... It would be better to build a new form of government inside a warehouse of the old, and then shed the old government like a snake sheds its skin...The chances of this happening are slim to none, and still better than your idea of getting money out of presidential politics... Most of your argument is silly...A president can stay in touch better than ever... Do you think that is enough???... One person representing so many people is an invitation to tyranny more than democracy... We are divided... We are divided because there is not enough for everyone in our economic game...We are divided because that is the key to party victory... We are divided in order to be ruled, and that is why it is called majority rule, because so long as you have the majority you can do anything to the minority... The minority are without protection... Only the wealthy, the churches, and the press have protection...
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:56 AM
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