Is this the change we can believe in? Is this the change that will move the American people forward, not backwards? I’m talking about Obama and Clinton’s brain-dead position (she voted for it, he supports it but didn’t vote) on the zillion-dollar farm bill boondoggle. Among many other things, this lobbyist-loving Oldthink continues to diminish Obama’s claim to be something more than a garden-variety pol, and that is sad indeed. Agree 100% with David Brooks, who says this in today’s NY Times:
Barack Obama talks about taking on the special interests. This farm bill would have been a perfect opportunity to do so. But Obama supported the bill, just as he supported the 2005 energy bill that was a Christmas tree for the oil and gas industries.
Obama’s vote may help him win Iowa, but it will lead to higher global food prices and more hunger in Africa. Moreover, it raises questions about how exactly he expects to bring about the change that he promises.
If elected, Obama’s main opposition will not come from Republicans. It will come from Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill. Already, the Democratic machine is reborn. Lobbyists are now giving 60 percent of their dollars to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The pharmaceutical industry, the defense industry and the financial sector all give more money to Democrats than Republicans. If Obama is actually going to bring about change, he’s going to have to ruffle these sorts of alliances. If he can’t do it in an easy case like the farm bill, will he ever?
John McCain opposed the farm bill. In an impassioned speech on Monday, he declared: “It would be hard to find any single bill that better sums up why so many Americans in both parties are so disappointed in the conduct of their government, and at times so disgusted by it.”