Whores For President – “A Modest Proposal” To Cure This
Lawrence R. Velvel
We all know that politicians have long been in it for the money -- for the grafting, the monetary favors, the bribes (which sometimes used to be called campaign contributions but now can be just plain bribes), for the presidencies of large companies that go to highly placed political figures who have little or no business experience (e.g., Rumsfeld (Searles), Cheney (Halliburton)). All this has occurred for centuries. But to become President for the monetary reward? This is sort of new, isn’t it? People became kings because this was (ahem) the royal road to riches. But President?
Becoming President to get rich, or richer, is sort of a new phenomenon, isn’t it? The first time this writer can remember hearing about such a thing was when Reagan was said to have received two million dollars from a Japanese company for giving two speeches during a nine day visit to Japan in 1989. Two million bucks for a couple of speeches. Nice work for a guy whom the conservatives pretend to have been the second coming of the Savior.
Reagan’s good work was followed by that of George H. W. (Facedowninthesoup (in Japan)) Bush. After leaving the presidency Facedowninthesoup began working for the Carlyle Group, a bunch of ex-high-government types -- guys like Frank Carlucci, dontcha know. They would take him to places like Saudi Arabia, where he would gladhand. That was his function for them, to gladhand -- nothing substantive, one gathers. The other Carlyleites would turn Facedowninthesoup’s gladhanding into huge deals -- Carlyle now runs about 25 billion dollars or so. How much Carlyle paid Facedowninthesoup is not known, nor does one know how much they let him invest in their deals or how much money he made doing it. But one does know that the Bushes and the Saudis have long been close, and that it’s a long way from Chichijima. Carlyle must have paid Facedowninthesoup plenty.
Then there’s Bill Clinton. It is reported that between 2001 and 2004 Billy Blowhard made about 22 million dollars for speechifying, that about 16 million of this came from foreign speeches, and that he was once paid $400,000 for a speech. And all this was only through 2004 -- as far as one knows, it hasn’t stopped. Nice work for someone whom the liberal Democrats pretend is the second coming of the Savior.
Let’s face it. What we now have are whores for president. Financial whores, but whores nonetheless. Want more proof? -- read The New York Times’ page one article of May 7th about a company called International Profit Associates. The company’s owner is a disbarred lawyer with a criminal record. The Feds are “pressing a sexual harassment suit against the company on behalf of 113 [yep -- 113] former female employees.” The company is being investigated because of accusations of deceptive marketing practices. Great owner, great company, huh? It must be a great company: Facedowninthesoup received $82,000 from it for speaking at a 1999 company banquet, Billy Blowhard got $125,000 for a 2001 appearance. And then there’s Hillary, who hasn’t yet been but wants to be President. (In the past she was only copresident, sort of like Dick Cheney.) She has “collected more than $150,000 in contributions from executives of International Profit Associates, some as recently as September, and spoke at a company event in 2004. As a group, company officials and their spouses are one of the largest sources of contributions to Mrs. Clinton’s re-election campaign.” (Maybe Katie Couric too should run for President, so we would have two female candidates. Couric certainly has the financial greed to qualify as a candidate. Having signed a $15 million a year contract with CBS, she is holding up the University of Oklahoma for $115,000 to make a commencement speech.)
I say it’s time we put an end to this whoring and made honest men and women of these prostitutes. So saying, I would like, as Jonathan Swift said, to make “A Modest Proposal.” Instead of holding an election for President, we should auction off the Presidency to the highest bidder. In the best University of Chicago tradition of the free-market a outrance, an auction would cause the Presidency to go to whomever would pay the most for it because they figure they can make the most from it. This would mean that the Presidency would be an exercise in pure, honest capitalism, which Reagan taught us all to love, instead of an exercise in whoring.
Do not reject this modest proposal out of hand, as some of you will be tempted to do. Think on it awhile. Think how different the headlines might be, and how much better off we might be. Instead of headlines blaring “40 dead in two car bomb attacks in Baghdad,” we might have headlines reading “President Hillary sells Baghdad to insurgents for fifty million. She pockets ten million of it.” Instead of headlines saying “Ice cap melting because of automobile emissions,” we might have headlines saying, “President McCain founds company to drain ice cap melt, transport it to Arizona desert to ‘refloat’ London Bridge and make desert bloom. His cut; 20 percent.” Instead of headlines saying “John Kerry attacked again by Swiftboat group,” we might have headlines saying, “President Kerry buys swiftboaters, then sells them to Viet Nam for $20 million to populate tiger cages.” Instead of headlines about disputes on whether to drill for oil and gas in or off the coast of Alaska, we might have headlines saying “President Giuliani says Seward’s Folly is; sells it back to Russkies for huge profit over our purchase price; gets 30 million personally.” Instead of headlines about 45 million people not having health insurance, we might have headlines saying, “President Frist announces his family’s hospitals will treat all uninsured citizens everywhere for government payments of 110 percent charged by New York City hospitals.”
There are no end of possibilities under the modest proposal being made here, the purely (and desirably) capitalist proposal being made here. Do not reject it out of hand. Think on it. Think on it.
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