Obama Disappoints on Public Financing

Friday, June 20, 2008

You knew it was going to happen, but it’s disappointing nonetheless. Opting out of public financing enables him to continue to rake in huge sums by small donors. This is a double whammy for many people because not only is he completely reversing course, but we’ve also helped contribute to the financial groundswell that enables him to do it.

According to Michael Luo and Jeff Zeleny in the New York Times, “when asked in a questionnaire whether he would participate in the system if his opponent did the same, Mr. Obama wrote, “yes,” adding, “If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.”

Um, you can’t get much flip-floppier than that. And on an issue that is the fundamental corrupting influence in politics – money. Ugh.

It is important, in this case, and with the other disappointments that are sure to come, that we keep our eyes on the prize. But I’ll make a prediction: if Obama and the Dems don’t rise to the occasion once in office, a legitimate third party will rise in this country. This is their shot. The ends had better justify the means.