I watched the events at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday with my eyes tearing up on multiple occasions. It was both emotional and incredible, to say the least. At the end, as the credits rolled, I realized that an acquaintance--someone in the music industry whom I respect immensely for his talent and genius--had actually been one of the senior folks involved in its production, and that was just icing on the cake.
Then I went online to get my daily dose of news, and as usual, I made my way over to one of my favorite haunts, The Automatic Earth, only to see Ilargi going a little over the top about the costs of the Inaugural production(s). However, the guy's argument did have some merit to it. $50 million is a lot of money for a Party, considering how tough times are right now. But, I thought to myself, "If this funding is coming from the private sector, then what the hell."
Then I made the big mistake of checking out just who, exactly, was underwriting this glorious event:
--It turns out that this Inauguration was brought to you by millions of dollars in contributions from: a slew of hardcore Democratic Party supporters, a lengthy list of Hollywood folks, Microsoft executives and other leading entities within the U.S. technology sector, as well as almost everyone who's anyone among Chicago's status quo.
No surprises there.
--But, I soon learned it was also brought to you by multiple, maximum ($50,000) donations, totalling millions of dollars, from Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign management team, scores of beneficiaries (and their respective law firms), directly and indirectly, of our federal government's bailout efforts (including leading executives from a lengthy list of hedge funds, as well as JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Bank of America and others), and at least one of Charles Abramoff's most damning "client relationships," the Cherokee Nation (checkout the very last entry on the donor list), itself, as well as numerous folks associated with it.
Shouldn't the folks running the Inauguration fundraising be doing a better job of watching the backs of the PEOTUS and VPEOTUS here? I mean, for what amounts to maybe 5% to 8% of the funds being raised for these events (veritable "petty cash" in terms of the ability of Barack Obama to raise political funds), it sure looks like they're simultaneously delivering up a pile of unnecessary cannon fodder for the other side, no?
I don't know about you, but this is kind of bumming me out. Or, am I just being my usual "wet blanket" self? What are your sentiments about this? Tell me why I shouldn't feel like I've just had some of the wind taken out my sails?