Obama To Accept Corporate Sponsors For Over-the-Top Second Inauguration?
That movie “Idiocracy” comes to mind when one learns that President Barack Obama’s fundraising advisers have recommended the White House accept corporate donations for the January 2013 inauguration. Traditionally, an incumbent relies on donors, but, according to WSJ, the donors who underwrote his $1 billion re-election success are weary to pay for Obama’s celebration. Corporate welfare is much more destructive to our society than popular welfare, and some of the banks are depending upon taxpayer-funds to make up the majority of their “revenue,” if you can really even call it that, because what it really is is loot, plain-and-simple.
Campaign advisers have been debating whether or not to accept corporate funding to stage the ceremony, but have as yet reached a public decision. In reality, though, even if the President only accepts personal donations, and not corporate, he will still be benefiting from a long-list of corporate interests, as we saw in his first inauguration.
Besides all the historical evidence of US government and business colluding, from Hollywood to Wall Street, in recent years there has been a swift rise in the acceptance of this reality by the people and government. And this makes sense, since virtually all Presidents are supported by the business community, across party, what-have-you. Every President since the late nineteenth century, moreover, has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations before his election. This has caused the people to not approve of the President or Congress, with Congress’ approval rating somewhere below 10%.
For the official swearing in and Inaugural Ceremonies, the Joint Congressional Committee bears responsibility. Taxpayers pay for security and other costs of the ceremony upon the west front of the Capitol, while Obama donors cover various balls, concerts and parties. And surely, in the post-9/11 US, the costs of security will be abhorrent. From probably thousands of police officers and security guards, military personnel, metal detectors, naked body scanners – I wouldn’t be surprised to see TSA at the “celebration.”
The projected costs of the ceremony are unknown, as the White House has yet to release costs and/or fundraising goals. But, of course they will be astronomical. The President today has a certain personality cult, which means he must always be presented in the noblest of light, which costs money, you know. It seems for the current Administration the preference has been for a humble, well-to-do president- neatly groomed, etc. You know, same as the last guy, and the guy before that.
At his first inauguration, Obama disallowed corporations from making donations to his inauguration. He still raised more than $50 million from other donors to help cover the costs of celebrations. Obama fundraisers, as well as campaign advisers, champion the idea of corporate money in the inauguration, as allowing corporate contributions would make their job easier by saving them the pains of finding tens of millions of dollars to pay for the gaudy celebrations tied to Inaugurations, particularly 2nd inaugurations.
The Obama administration is comparing the inauguration to a civic event than a political event. They argue that, similar to how corporations underwrite museum exhibits that offer a public service, they should also sponsor openly political affairs. They also suggested that, perhaps, costs to the taxpayer would lessen. Perhaps Obama’s campaign officials are merely trying to spare the ole’ “dip in the coffers” for extra-government affairs?
There is, of course, a major divide between the functions of a museum and the functions of the government. But the aides don’t seem to see any issues with their analogy. The precedent set by allowing corporate funding into Obama’s second inauguration would effectively make corporations in politics across-the-board openly okay, which would truly only represent a continuance of dominant cultural trends. Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, said that were Mr. Obama to accept corporate contributions this time, it would “essentially codify this idea that corporations should be financing politics.”
As hinted to earlier, despite that Obama has barred donations from corporate-bodies, he has nonetheless relied on substantial cash flow from “prominent Wall Street figures.” According to a Public Citizen report on the 2009 inauguration, the people donating to the event were among top-executives from Wachovia, Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers. Six individuals were named from the private sector amassing $770,000 in contributions to Mr. Obama’s inaugural committee.
A History of Second Inauguration Spectacle?
Former President George W. Bush did not ban corporate money in his second inauguration of 2005, raising $42 million for that party. Bill Clinton limited contributions to $100 for his second ball in 1997. He is said to have $9 million left over from his first inauguration.
In this President-as-celebrity day and age, an unlikely solution is that of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s in 1945, who altogether called off the inaugural parade.
The President’s inauguration date falls on a Sunday, and so the ceremony will take place on January 21st. A precedent was set in 1821 by President James Monroe, whose inauguration fell on a Sunday. He moved the ceremony to Monday after consulting the Supreme Court.
1985 was the last time the Inauguration fell on a Sunday. President Ronald Reagan is said to have taken the oath of office in a private ceremony on Sunday, repeating the process in a public ceremony on Monday.
Obama has not yet commented on whether the President will take an oath in a private ceremony on Sunday or consult with the Supreme Court regarding the swearing in.
A question on my mind is, will Jamie Dimon have to kick in?
What the Second Inauguration will certainly spell is a premonition of things to come. Surely, the ceremonies will be gaudy, and will cost millions at a time of national distress. Economic disaster, Middle East violence, Sandy, you know well the list goes on, all will be put on the backburner for a night of wild fun!