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since 1997 | by maryann johanson

watch it: the 1/23/10 weekly address from President Barack Obama

More promise of change. We got a lot of that during the campaign, and now it’s been a year, and we’re not seeing much of it.



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  • Keith

    If you believe in freedom of speech, the Supreme Court did the right thing. If you are concerned about government officials being swayed by corporate lobbying, there are alternatives to restricting speech (doing that, where does it stop). Limiting officials to receiving only donations from inside their district would be a solution. Limiting free speech isn’t the answer, limiting special interest influence is. Wish out President was more about real solutions instead of sound bites.

  • Green

    Ugh. I used to feel guilty smiling aong to all the “Bush is bad” blogs I ready during the ’00’s. But that all that’s changed on those same blogs is the name of the president, I’m disgusted, With myself and with what passes as political commentary.

    Look, I don’t know who you voted for, but the guy I voted for talked about change, sure, but he also talked about patient, measured governance. What did you all expect would happen in a year? And do you know just how much he has done in that year?

    And Kieth, I’ll buy into the free speech argument just as soon as someone can show me the objective difference between “campaign contribution” and “bribery”.

  • David

    In response to Keith, I don’t see it as a freedom of speech issue at all. First of all, it’s equating money with speech, which would in practice mean that those less fortunate have less free speech. Though it’s arguably true that it’s the case, it strikes me as something profoundly wrong. The second point is that corporations are not real people, though the law grants them the rights of people. The issue to me is democracy. And given that special interest influence is ultimately about money, how do you propose to limit it? I mean, don’t take this the wrong way, but the phrase “limiting special interest influence” is rather vague and unspecific, isn’t it? Isn’t it exactly what you criticize Obama for: pleasant sounding phrases that don’t really offer any tangible solutions?

    Im any event, if it hasn’t gotten there yet, this is a further step towards what John Dewey warned people about: that government is the shadow cast upon society by business, a rubber stamp organization that gets all the blame when things predictably go wrong.

  • JoshB

    If you believe in freedom of speech, the Supreme Court did the right thing

    You must be using different definitions of the words freedom and speech.

    Limiting officials to receiving only donations from inside their district would be a solution.

    From the point of view of freedom of $peech, how is that any different from general limitations on amounts? How would this be enforced against corporations that are effectively national or international entities?

    Limiting free speech isn’t the answer, limiting special interest influence is

    ???

    What does this even mean?

    Limiting alcohol isn’t the answer, limiting drunkenness is.

  • Paul

    Thanks, Green, for a link to something positive. I tend to get pessimistic.

    And I, too, have been shocked when I stumble onto conservative blogs or read their trolls on regular websites. The vindictive spite blows my mind away.

  • Green

    Paul,

    It’s not conservative blogs that have me disgusted. It’s Democrats and liberals on liberal blogs calling for blood. It started back in the 2008 primaries. It wasn’t (or least, wasn’t just) “Sen. Obama speaks to my values more than any other candidtate”, it was “HILLARY IS AN EVIL, WAR MONGERING, COPORATIST BITCH!!!!1!!!eleventy!!” At that point I started to realize that the hyperbolic attacks on the Bush Administration weren’t righteous anger. It was a combination of some kind of disconnect from political reality, combined with John Gabriel’s Greater Internet Fuckwad theory.

  • When it comes to politics, I tend to be a “plague on both your houses” man myself…

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