January 6, 2008  ·  Lessig

Senator Clinton says: “We’re all advocating for change. We all want to change the status quo, which is George W. Bush and the Republican domination of Washington.”

Really? Is that the “change” being called for by Edwards and Obama? Because I heard their call for change to be bigger than this. To be more fundamental. We’ve not made progress if change gets us to a world where lobbyists influence Democrats rather than Republicans. It’s not “change” if we get back to a world where the Lincoln Bedroom goes to a leading Democratic fundraiser rather than a Republican. If the only “change” at stake here is a change in the party in control, then there’s no much to get excited about.

Update: Some have misread this to be a kind a Nader-esque post — that three’s no difference between the Dems and Republicans, etc. I don’t mean that at all. I think there is a hugely significant difference between the DEMs and GOP, and between Obama/Edwards and Clinton, on the single issue that I care most about — whether we will see any progress in reforming the corruption that is Congress.

  • http://spokeninsanskrit.blogspot.com David Worth

    I couldn’t agree more and I thought the same thing during the debates. Clinton seems to be a democratic cheerleader interested in the status quo, no matter how much she talks about “results”.

  • Blake Reid

    I agree as well – although I don’t think you can underestimate the positive impact of having ANYONE other than Bush in the White House. Whether or not that’s “progress” is a semantic issue.

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    Right – “there’s not much to get excited about”. Anyone who gets elected is going to have to raise A HUGE AMOUNT of money. And before someone starts spreading pixie dust with “T!h!e! I!n!t!e!r!n!e!t!!!”, Republicans and big business can use THE INTERNET!!! too. (indeed, a particularly clever lobbyist might hire someone skilled in psychological manipulation to go around telling people they empower themselves by turning over their money to their corporate masters, something like “markets are constipations” …).

    Thus, my continual failure to understand Obamamania. Is it just that since he hasn’t been President, he hasn’t yet done President-level corruption?

    By the way, ” Lincoln Bedroom” was something of a pseudo-scandal that right-wingers got into the public discourse. We could really use some sort of objective way of measuring this stuff (and even that’s impossible).

  • http://www.draeke.com draeke

    The “CNN Election Center” currently reports that Obama will win only 22% of the national delegates according to their estimates and that Clinton will win the nomination with 56%. Why this report, obviously biased and based on merely their own”estimates” at such an early point in time… Well…

    I think it boils down to the desires of Ted Turner and CNN and the liberal corporate America agenda eluded to by Obama and Edwards (whether they subscribe to it or not is a separate issue.) A great documentary, OUTFOXED, recently showed how Rupert Murdoch and FOXNEWS operate to promote a conservative corporate agenda…

    …But OUTFOXED misses the bigger picture. There is also a liberal corporate agenda being promoted…

    Ted Turner and CNN cannot be ignored in this role. With property ownership (largest individual property portfolio at 1.8 million acres) and intellectual property ownership and control comparable to Murdoch, it would be foolish to ignore that Ted Turner and CNN probably have an agenda too. See facts in Forbes 2003 article “This Land is My Land.”

    Ted Turner says in the Forbes article that “He who profits most serves the best.” … (Mother Theresa who?)
    CNN’s coverage of the Democratic primary campaigns has been subtly pro-Clinton. Examine: the political ticker, where even an article like “Clinton booed at Iowa forum” is qualified with “The event’s moderator told CNN she believes Clinton was hurt by her distance, more than the substance of her answer…Comments by John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd and Barack Obama – who were present -were received with loud applause.”

    A great example of the CNN / Clinton Alliance is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/17/us/politics/17cnn.html?_r=2&ref=us&oref=slogin&oref=slogin
    Remember James Carville? Now really, is he much different than O’Reilly?

    We have FOX and CNN and the common characteristic of both stations (and media 1.0 in general) are corporate ownership (and thus, political agenda.) So it follows that CNN and Ted Turner,need a party and a representative the same way FOX and Ruper Murdoch do. One that it can purchase. For CNN that party is the Democratic Party and their hopeful representative is Hillary Clinton. See the NY TImes article above. [It's a fantastic article, really.] Recall Citizen Kane.

    If we replace Bush with Clinton, or FOX with CNN, or O’Reilly with Carville but still have the same underlying corporate owned profit driven media system and political representatives, what will really change? Nothing.

    CLINTON = BUSH. TWO PARTIES, BUT ONE CORPORATE AMERICA. IT’S THE $, NOT THE PARTY. INVESTIGATE.

  • http://www.draeke.com draeke

    Really, please give this New York Times article 5 minutes of your time:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/17/us/politics/17cnn.html?_r=2&ref=us&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

  • Eddie

    Wouldn’t it be utterly amazing if not ironic if Barack Obama ends up winning it all, the first American with African Roots to be U.S. President?

    Barack who hails from the Land of Lincoln, where Abe Lincoln emerged, who declared Emancipation Proclamation. Not only that, but Barack has been on the ground dealing with the tough political winds in the Windy City of Chicago, where he had to coexist with Richard J. Daley (the same Richard J. Daley who decided to chop up Meigs Field airport in downtown Chicago in the wee hours of the morning because he felt he had the authority and was justified to do so).

    Its also cool that Obama hails in part from Hawaii and also lived in Indonesia as a youngster, having truly been immersed in multi-cultural environments. In Honolulu, for example, where the African American population is sparse, he had to figure out a way to fit in. I have no idea how he did this when he lived in Indonesia, but the guy figured out how to adapt and learn and observe and listen. He’s an incredible listener! It is due in part for these reasons why I think a lot of people see him as genuine and that he speaks from his heart and really wants to effect change. He has that mix of Midwesterner niceness but he’s also not a pushover and the guy is damned smart to boot. Oh yes, I love how Barack Obama is an Ivy League school graduate (e.g., Harvard Law) but he doesn’t come across as a snobbish, entitled, arrogant know-it-all unlike many people I have met who have come from Ivy League schools (nothing against Stanford or Lessig whatsoever — its just that I’ve seen my fair share, particularly in Silicon Valley, of insecure ivy leaguers who feel they are gifts to the planet just because their parents could afford to send them to Ivy League). Obama doesn’t have that attitude and it really really shows, and I think people are really picking up on how articulate, smart and empathetic this guy is!

  • Paul in Ventura, CA

    Do you sense a mean-spiritedness in Clinton’s recent attacks? To me, she is attempting to build herself up by mis-stating the positions of her opponents. I do not think it will work in N.H. Both the states of Iowa and N.H. have more educated residents than the nation as a whole. Paul in Ventura, CA

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    Myself, I wouldn’t say there’s no difference. But I wouldn’t say anyone who could be elected President now could realistically make the changes I think you’d want to see.

    Remember, Bill Clinton when he was elected, was far more a Washington outsider than any of the current top three (all current or former Senators). And note what happened to him, in terms of reactionary attack!

  • http://www.draeke.com draeke

    Clarification to my previous post: The CNN estimates are based on estimates, but also the “committed superdelegates” (party officials and insiders) who have promised to vote for Clinton at the Denver convention. The report gives her 154 of these superdelegates and a total of 169 or 56%. The data is still arguably misleading and well-timed . . . but not as blatantly problematic as my original post suggests. It is not purely “estimated” in the most creative sort of way…

    It might say something, though, when compared to Obama’s 50 or Edward’s 33 committed superdelegates. It supports the argument that she is more of an insider and more deeply entrenched in the party generally.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/03/superdelegates/

  • http://www.negativesoundinstitute.com gurdonark

    Change moves beyond the presidential race.

    Our local Dallas piece ran an article on earmarks by local senators and Congressional representatives.
    I was saddened to see many Democrats failed to learn the lesson of the last election, and impressed, though I am a Democrat, that some of our local Republicans had avoided or minimized earmarks. This is in part a function of the party in power, and yet a lesson is still there to be learned.

    Although it’s always teimpting for the party in power to use its new-found influence on the purse to
    appropriate through earmarks, we’re not going to elimiinate the corrosive effects of money infusions into Washington politlcians until we make the appropriations process transparent. This is the kind of change for which we must advocate when we elect individuals to Congress.

    Similarly, the ramparts on education may not be the federal level at all, but the state education boards and
    local school boards. We have seen an effort to inject religious debate into science textbooks, fo rexample, or partisan ideology into history textbooks. Change is more than the presidential election season. Change is something we experience in all levels of politics, and all levels of culture–until we do, it’s not change, but just
    narrative.

  • Matthew

    What I have a hard time understanding is how so many people talk about wanting change but they vote for or support the same type of person they always have. If you are serious about wanting change then you should seriously consider thinking about one of the candidates who is not so tied down by political contributions and promises made to certain interest groups. You should also consider whether or not the Constitution is an important document or just a piece of paper. Right now there is only one presidential candidate who has voted (in Congress) in a consistent and Constitutional manner and that is Ron Paul. Now I know just saying his name may put some of you off, or make you think that I am a nutcase or something. To you I would like to say this. I am 23 years old and I am PISSED OFF at what I see going on around me. Many of my friends are too, as well as a lot of other people my age. My rights and liberties are slowly being eroded and I do not want to accept that because you are afraid of the big bad terrorist and you don’t mind you phone being tapped or your home being ransacked by ‘Homeland Security’ agents because it makes you feel ‘safe’. I for one do not feel safe. I cannot imagine living in a world with a national ID and tracking implants, because I will not accept them. I will leave the ‘land of the free’ before I accept them. It is not safe to have your personal information in the governments computers. Look what is happening at colleges across the nation! Millions of people my age have had their information stolen because someone left a school or government laptop in their car and it got stolen. In fact I got a letter from the government office that monitors new hiring to ensure that child support is being paid ( don’t remember what agency) that stated that they had DESKTOP computers stolen from INSIDE their facility that could possibly ahve had my social security number, name, address, and birth date all waiting for a thief.

    Well…. I’m rambling. Anyways, for me to feel safe I need the rights that are outlined in the Constitution to be defended and upheld. This gives me the ability to defend myself from crime and tyranny. The only candidate that has my interests at heart is Ron Paul. He knows that the Constitution is LAW and not just an old piece of paper. No matter what any of the other candidates promise to do you can be sure that they won’t return our government to it’s Constitutional size and strength. Therefore I will not be voting for them, and if you value you rights you shouldn’t either.