Gaming the System

By Thomas Kochman - 11.06.2010

In the last scene of the 1972 movie “The Candidate,” Bill McCay, having just won a stunning upset victory for the U.S. Senate, in the midst of celebration, hands his political advisor, Marvin Lucas, a note which says, “Marvin … What do we do now?”

The film, framed around a political run for public office, says everything about campaigning –an end unto itself—and nothing at all about governance.

Like the slide show presented at a strategy session to House Republicans 11 days before Obama’s inauguration asked, “If the goal of the majority is to govern, what is the purpose of the minority?” “The purpose of the minority”– came the answer– “is to become the majority.”

That purpose and the continuous drumming of time worn Republican mantras: limited government spending, reining in the deficit, and lowering taxes had everything to do with providing fodder for the next campaign and no bearing at all on global economic realities or the pressing concerns of everyday working people. Read more »