Saturday, June 28, 2008

Why Obama's Broken Promise On Public Financing Matters

Because he promised.

We expect the usual DemoRepubliCrats to break their promises. But Obama promised change and that implied that we could trust him.

His decision to opt out of public financing shows we cannot trust his word any better than any other politician.

It also makes one think he has doubts about winning in an equal fight. So, winning at all costs -- even if you have to buy it -- is better than keeping one's word.

Oh, and his reasons for heading for all the big, corrupting money holds no water at all. Perhaps the best exposition of this comes from The Economist, the center-to-left-leaning weekly magazine from the U.K. One can hardly accuse them of being biased against Obama or having some stake in the election.

From The Economist: The Audacity of Humbug

AS HEADLINES go, “Politician Breaks Promise” is hardly “Man Bites Dog”. But Barack Obama’s broken promise to accept public funds for his presidential campaign was nonetheless newsworthy.

Last year, when he was a plucky outsider running against the mighty Clinton machine, he vowed to break with the mucky money politics of the past by adhering to the strict spending limits that come with public subsidy.

On June 19th, having discovered that he is the best fund-raiser in American political history, he broke his word.

That was canny, but hardly virtuous.

So even some of his fans find it galling that he seeks to portray it as such.

“Even though we stood to receive more than $80m in taxpayer funding for our campaign, the system has been so gamed and exploited by our opponents that it is effectively broken,” proclaimed his website. Then, on a mock-up of an old parchment, it boasted that over 110,000 citizens “have declared their independence from a broken system by supporting the first presidential election truly funded by the people.”

This is the audacity of humbug.

Mr Obama has long maintained that taxpayer-funded campaigns save the candidate from becoming obligated to private donors. Now he suggests that relying on private donors shows moral courage akin to that displayed by those who signed the Declaration of Independence.

Read the rest of the Economist article

This should make every Obama supporter and every opponent fear what other promises he will break if elected.

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