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Monday, November 21, 2011

David Brooks, "The Two Moons": Today Tony Rezko Is Being Sentenced

In a New York Times op-ed entitled "The Two Moons" (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/22/opinion/brooks-the-two-moons.html?ref=opinion), David Brooks observes that in the past, ordinarily one US political party would ascend, while the other would decline, until the pattern would inevitably be reversed. Today, however, both Democrats and Republicans are being shunned by the American electorate. Brooks writes:

"So it’s hard to see how we get out of this, unless some third force emerges, which wedges itself into one of the two parties, or unless we have a devastating fiscal crisis — a brutal cleansing flood, after which the sun will shine again."

I would suggest to David that in order to know how to get out of this, we first need to know how we got into this.

Given that Obama received a decisive mandate in 2008 and was given Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress with which to work, the Democratic Party should indeed be shining as we approach 2012. Regrettably, Obama should never have been elected president.

In 2008 the US electorate, stunned by an earthshaking financial crisis, was indeed hungry for change, which Obama could promise, but not deliver. Americans were suckered by a slick advertising campaign into forgiving this young man's lack of legislative experience, his procrastination, his past radicalism, his 20-year association with a bigoted pastor, and his tainted relationship with Tony Rezko, who helped Obama purchase his Chicago home by way of a sweetheart real estate deal.

Do you remember Tony Rezko? Once an important fund raiser for Obama, he was indicted on federal charges for using his connections with Illinois state boards to demand kickbacks from businesses, and was convicted on 16 of 24 charges filed against him. Today, Rezko is being sentenced (see: http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/8969106-418/how-much-time-will-tony-rezko-serve.html), but surprise: As I type this blog entry, you won't find any mention of Rezko on today's homepage of The New York Times.

American politics now consists of two moons? I would go a step further and explain this phenomenon by noting that there are no stars, Democratic or Republican, on the horizon. Americans have been governed by the likes of Obama and Pelosi, and are now being asked to consider the "virtues" of Cain, Gingrich and Perry, as potential replacements.

Indeed, there is currently no reason for Americans to gaze up at the darkened skies.

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