Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lessig on Political Bankruptcy

Diane Rehm's guest today is Dr Lawrence Lessig, who has written "Republic Lost".  Dr. Lessig speaks very well and (I think) sees very clearly.  It is a shame that so few people will read his book or pay attention to what he's saying.  You can listen to the show here (link).

A few things he said that really stuck with me:
(single quoted, because my memory is not perfect, and I am going by recall since a transcript is not available) 'I was a friend of Obama's.  I taught with him and knew him in Chicago.  I campaigned for him, in every race, even the ones he lost. When he made that speech on January 20th in 2009, anything was possible. He ran as the reformer.'
'He said he was going to change the system, that the system was broken, and we needed change.  Hillary Clinton ran saying 'I am going to get in the saddle and ride this horse as far as it can go, I am not going to change the system' ' [JJP: THAT resonated with me, with an incredible clarity!]
'When Obama was handed his first budget, it had 7000 ear marks in it, and his first inclination was 'I am going to veto this' ... but then his advisers told him 'no, that will alienate all of the Democrats in Congress, you can't do that'.  Had he been firm, and vetoed that bill, the conflict would not have been Democrats vs Republicans, it would  have been All of Us vs a Corrupt System of Special Interests.'

Diane: 'President Obama ran into a stone wall in Congress'
'Part of the stone wall he (Obama) ran into was a stone wall of his own creation by defining the fight as one between Democrats & Republicans, so 1/2 the people were immediately against him'
[JJP: Hindsight is always 20/20]

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