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Fri Sep 28, 2012, 07:23 AM

David Sirota: The Choice Between Automatons and Leaders

from truthdig:


The Choice Between Automatons and Leaders

Posted on Sep 27, 2012
By David Sirota


Ask corporate executives what they really want in a legislator, and they probably won’t use words like “principled” or “well-informed.” If the cocktails are appropriately strong and inhibitions are consequently reduced, executives will likely tell you in a moment of candor that the best politician, from their perspective, is the one who is incurious and who possesses very little policy expertise. They don’t want people with inconvenient morals, ethics or brains getting in their way. They want the equivalent of T-1000s from the “Terminator” films: unthinking, fully programmable cyborgs willing and able to shape-shift in order to carry out a mission.

Alas, it is rare to get such an admission in public, and it is even more rare to get said admission in the pages of a major publication. That’s why Businessweek’s recent examination of the country’s marquee U.S. Senate race is so significant. In looking at the Massachusetts matchup between Republican incumbent Scott Brown and Democratic nominee Elizabeth Warren, the magazine quotes Brown fundraiser Lawrence McDonald, a former Lehman trader, acknowledging that he and his Wall Street friends hate the idea of an independently informed legislator who might bring her own wisdom to Washington.

“If Warren were to win, McDonald says, she’d be ‘seen as an expert’ by a second Obama administration, which he finds terrifying,” the magazine reported. “Scott Brown is ‘just a good senator,’ McDonald adds. ‘He wouldn’t be an adviser to either candidate in a financial crisis.’”

Get that? Warren is disliked precisely because of her years of distinguished research as a Harvard professor, her tenure heading the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and her overall unwillingness to take orders from corporate interests. Meanwhile, Brown is praised as a “good senator” specifically because he lacks policy knowledge that might help him counsel government officials on how to deal with another bank meltdown. Oh, and because as a lawmaker, he has a proven track record of saying “how high” when Wall Street says “jump.” ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_choice_between_automatons_and_leaders_20120927/



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Fri Sep 28, 2012, 08:07 AM

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