Skip to main content

Maybe he ate some sour stewed prunes, but George Will was off his game, again. His latest essay was meant to be the usual, over-the-top Obama-bashing exercise that swirved off course into making wonderful arguments why we should have publicly financed elections. George Will's argument for public campaign financing.

For example, Mr. Will tells us how inexpensive it would be to pay for such a national, public election program. To pay for a two-year cycle for all elections is about $4.2 billion, and he shows us how doable that is:

That is about what Americans spend in one year on yogurt but less than they spend on candy in two Halloween seasons.

George Will is exactly right: we can easily afford that!

And George Will doesn't stop there, but gives us another fine example:

Procter & Gamble spent $8.6 billion on advertising in its most recent fiscal year.

Heck, if a single company spends that much for its ads, then clearly it would be easy for the United States of America to set up a fair, open, publicly funded system that lets all candidates for office have their say, and at the same time keeps out the ugly, democracy-strangling, legalized bribery schemes that now dominate our politics.

George Will is an odd bird: an American Tory, who bills himself as a thinking man's conservative who, nonetheless, always, always, always supports the Republican candidate. His erudite musings mask the fact that his political life is indistinguishable from that of Karl Rove.

Back during the American Revolution, had he been around, George Will would have been one of those "loyal" subjects who left the unruly colonies to return to England. Sitting around in his country manor with a curly powdered wig on his head, sipping tea, and composing broadsides entitled: Why Thomas Jefferson and George Washington must be hanged! He never has gotten used to the idea that "the rabble" has a say regarding who should have power in government. The whole consent-of-the-governed notion is so ridiculous, so absurd to him that he has spent his whole career trying to get all the power back into the hands of the knowing few at the top, the people's betters, our permanent elite.

George Will is a mega-millionaire media celebrity. He has more media exposure, among the "news" shows, than anyone else these past 30 years, and has made a pile doing so. Why he opposes taxes for rich people has as much to due with his own hefty portfolio than anything else, probably. You know the type: his nose in the air, stick up his ass, snarl twisting his lip, an I-got-mine sneer to his discourse. He argues that anonymous campaign contributions given by global corporations is just fine, yet we, the people, don't want influence peddling activities wrecking our Republic. Oil oligarchs' money will guarantee that green energy never happens here. Totalitarian money from Asia will make sure that our economy will keep bleeding jobs and our gigantic trade deficits won't be reduced.

The deal is, we want our government to "represent" us. And George Will tells us that we can easily make that happen, that Americans spend on our political advocacy:

Much less than they spend on potato chips ($7.1 billion a year).

Originally posted to Otherday on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 03:19 PM PDT.

Poll

George F. Will is right:

56%34 votes
5%3 votes
5%3 votes
1%1 votes
6%4 votes
15%9 votes
10%6 votes

| 60 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

    by Otherday on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 03:19:47 PM PDT

    •  George (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SherwoodB, Judge Moonbox, oxfdblue

      is an ass. Thanks for reminding us (seriously)

      When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? Eleanor Roosevelt

      by IndyRobin on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 03:21:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Will has done a lot of damage to the USA. (8+ / 0-)

        In this essay, he mocks President Obama for putting solar panels on the White House: just like Jimmy Carter! Heck.

        Carter was an engineer who understood energy. Had America followed his energy program, what he called "the moral equivalent of war," we would most likely be energy independent today. The GOP, with its ever-present oil & gas interests writing checks, would never want that.

        Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

        by Otherday on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 03:29:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If George Will ever used "Free Speech" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Otherday

        ...to mean Free Speech and not the right of Republicans to buy elections, the WaPo should use Day of Judgment size type for the headlines.

        He loves to talk about how opponents of the Buckley v. Valeo and Citizens Divisive decisions oppose free speech, but when Bill Clinton was caught "listening" to what foreign contributors had to "say," Will didn't come to his defense. Didn't even advise how it should have been done.

        The purpose of free speech is to get opinions to the voters so they can take such views into account.

        George Will does not propose anything that would level the playiing field. He equates the money behind an opinion with that opinion's worth.

        Greg McKendry, Linda Kraeger, Dr. George Tiller, Steven Johns. Victims of Wingnut violence

        by Judge Moonbox on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 06:15:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  He'd have been (0+ / 0-)

    in some manor in New York.

    Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

    by Salo on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 03:24:02 PM PDT

    •  If so, the Revolutionaries would have caught him. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaleA

      And given him some tar & feather coating.

      Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

      by Otherday on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 03:30:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I doubt it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaleA, Judge Moonbox

        I suspect he'd have cut some excellent secret deals with Franklin and Washington and Adams who were all fairly rich and particularly in Adams case-pseudo-monarchical.

        This wasn't the October revolution, a violent spat between titled and untitled aristocrats more than anything else IMHO.

        Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

        by Salo on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 03:34:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  230 years ago. It was a great start. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Judge Moonbox

          I don't agree about Adams.

          Had the King caught him he would have been hanged. All that talk about how he wanted a new monarchy in America used to make him quite angry, most of it just election bilge. Jefferson gave Adams credit for all his work at the convention, dominating the debate on occasion.

          Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

          by Otherday on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 03:43:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Cromwell Pym or Hampden (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Otherday

            Started it.   1776 was more like beginning of  the second act.

            Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

            by Salo on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 03:52:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good points. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Judge Moonbox

              Ever read Kevin Phillips' book, Cousins' Wars? He traces the conflicts and populations from Cromwell's time all the way through the American Civil War -- something I haven't seen anyone else try to do. Interesting stuff.

              Still, I give plenty of credit to the 1776 bunch. A journey of a thousand miles . . .

              Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

              by Otherday on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 04:02:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The American civil war (0+ / 0-)

                Appears to have been fought between the descendents of the Cavaliers and Roundheads.

                It's almost a family thing.  

                Read My New Book: The Jolly campaigns and High Times of Banastre Tarlton Esq.

                by Salo on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 07:02:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, that was Phillip's thesis. (0+ / 0-)

                  It isn't a perfect fit, by any means, but you can follow a definite thread through the 3 conflicts.

                  I've been reading about an Alabama family, that includes Senators and Governors, that descends from followers of Cromwell, yet under Phillip's rubric they'd be called Cavaliers. So, in some cases, you'd have to do some stretching of the theory to fit.

                  Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

                  by Otherday on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 07:07:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Nathaniel Bacon. (0+ / 0-)

              Bacon's Rebellion (1676) was the start in America. Only after putting him down, the authorities started pushing racism to get the poor Whites to work against their own interests.

              Greg McKendry, Linda Kraeger, Dr. George Tiller, Steven Johns. Victims of Wingnut violence

              by Judge Moonbox on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 06:19:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Need to Start a Constitutional Amendment Permitng (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, Otherday

    government to fund campaigns.

    SCOTUS has suspended one state program pending a ruling, so I'd bet serious money they're going to rule government funding of elections unconstitutional.

    We should have the amendment in the works right now.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 03:55:35 PM PDT

    •  SCOTUS went over to the Dark Side. (0+ / 0-)

      That Citizens United decision may very well be the worst one since Dred Scott.

      It's is hard to think of any idea that can wreck a society's democratic traditions more than the idea that money given to a politician is that same thing as speech.

      Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

      by Otherday on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 04:04:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then it's a good thing that SCOTUS has (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        never said this:

        money given to a politician is that same thing as speech.

        What they have said is that money spent by a politician is speech. Which is why contribution limits are OK, but spending limits are not.

        And, given that advertising is clearly speaking, and advertising is obviously not free, it's hard to see how the Court actually got that one wrong. Separate the principle (everyone must be allowed to speak as loudly and as often as they can) from the results (Republicans speak louder than Democrats,) and it makes a lot of sense.

        --Shannon

        "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
        "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

        by Leftie Gunner on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 06:49:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What "Contribution Limits"? I don't see any. (0+ / 0-)

          The public isn't even allowed to know who is giving the money. How can we "limit contributions" if we don't know who is handing sacks of loot to our pols? It's a scam, right?

          Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

          by Otherday on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 06:52:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not to our pols (0+ / 0-)

            The large spending from groups who don't disclose their contributors are not giving money to our pols. All of this spending is independent of the candidates and none of the money can be given to the pols directly.  

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 04:55:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Otherday - it's not money given (0+ / 0-)

        This may seem like a nit, but it is a big distinction for the SCOTUS. They haven't stated that money given to a candidate is speech. What they have said is that money spent on independent political activities are speech. The limits on giving directly to candidates continue to be in place and have not been overturned by the court.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 08:34:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We need so many amendments... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otherday

      ...we should probably label the proposal a "Voters' Bill of Rights."

      Greg McKendry, Linda Kraeger, Dr. George Tiller, Steven Johns. Victims of Wingnut violence

      by Judge Moonbox on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 06:38:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Voters' Bill of Rights -- Good Idea (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Judge Moonbox

        It is long overdue. Every voter should have roughly the same say as to who wins an election as another voter. That's equality.

        Money warps the whole system. Someone who gives thousands (millions?) to a candidate has more influence, obviously. It is a lot like awarding extra votes to some citizens. As if a big giver gets 1000 votes, or more. Excessive money pollutes a democracy and makes it a sham.

        Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

        by Otherday on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 06:43:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here in the Corporate States of America (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Island Expat, Judge Moonbox, Otherday

    we like our politics boiled down to 30-second soundbites between ads for boner pills and Ex-lax (George Will is a good substitute for one of these).

    Anarchist bartender poets for beer, verse, and disorganization.

    by degreesofgray on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 04:06:02 PM PDT

    •  Elections = Public Auctions (0+ / 0-)

      We can do better than that.

      There's too many people in our government who don't want it to work, that's a big problem.

      Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

      by Otherday on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 04:08:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  will talked reagan's moral disarmament (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Judge Moonbox, Otherday

    he is so clever. it was when reagan was signing deals to reduce nuclear weapons down to a thousand times overkill.

    i dont like george.

    •  An Extremely Skilled Propagandist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Judge Moonbox

      I recall one of George Will's essays back during Reagan's time in which he praised the value of propaganda and claimed that Americans shouldn't recoil from its use, something along that line.

      After I read that, I never believed a word he wrote or said ever again. Who would?

      Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

      by Otherday on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 04:10:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Eh. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Judge Moonbox, Otherday

    Will suggests a really unlikely scenario to fend off something simply, like disclosure rules for corporations.

    Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

    by Inland on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 04:22:53 PM PDT

    •  Blue Skies (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Judge Moonbox

      There is no good reason why the American public shouldn't know who is giving money to their so-called "representatives." We see the secrecy as a cover for corruption, little more.

      Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

      by Otherday on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 04:26:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  George Will.... (0+ / 0-)

    ....sucks donkey dick!

    The only GOOD Republican is a DEAD Republican!!!

    Wilber

    •  I'd prefer to convince them with cogent argument. (0+ / 0-)

      Not that that works as often as we might hope.

      Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

      by Otherday on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 04:49:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Doonesbury did the definitive George Will (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Judge Moonbox, Otherday

    expose, with his interns writing his columns. I don't think Will has been doing the writing since the 1970's. Sometimes it's obvious.

    The Great Recession is a happy happy joy joy time to drop your obsolete skills and train for new ones.

    by doinaheckuvanutjob on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 05:41:35 PM PDT

    •  George Will = a Brand? (2+ / 0-)

      That's a sorry reality. Like some SCOTUS members letting their clerks do all the work.

      Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

      by Otherday on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 06:25:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I recall a column from 2 years ago. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otherday

      I'm not certain it was Will, but the Post ran a column arguing that the current drought of Constitutional Amendments ratified--just one in the past 39 years (as of today)--was an anomaly; and that it signified that the people who normally push for them had come to rely on judicial legislation to get their objectives.

      What he ignored is that there were two longer periods with ZERO amdendments. The first, 61 years, covered Abraham Lincoln's lifetime.

      Greg McKendry, Linda Kraeger, Dr. George Tiller, Steven Johns. Victims of Wingnut violence

      by Judge Moonbox on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 06:43:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I like your Voters' Bill of Rights -- Do it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Judge Moonbox

        I suppose you could model it after earlier voting rights legislation, to a degree. In this case, it wouldn't be designed to protect an abused group, like African Americans. We'd all need the Voters' Bill of Rights to protect each and every one of us.

        Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

        by Otherday on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 06:48:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If you've never read Noam Chomsky's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Otherday

    letter to Newsweek,
    http://www.tinyrevolution.com/... it's hilarious. Will rejects reality, and substitutes his own.

    you don't believe in evolution, you understand it. you believe in the FSM.

    by Mathazar on Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 07:22:52 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site