Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Congress overwhelmingly passed a $307 billion Farm Bill that included, among a lot of good things, a continuation of generous subsidies to wealthy farmers. McCain thoroughly denounced it for that reason, and George W. threatened to veto the measure. Obama, the idealist, visionary reformer who wants to change the way things are done in Washington, applauded it.

Choose all that apply:

Obama is all talk, no action.

B. He needs to win Iowa in the fall election.

C. If he loses, he plans to buy a farm.

D. He was quoted as saying, "Look, it's OK to be idealistic in speeches, but, heck, everybody knows you can't fight the Farm Lobby."

E. He read my blog about the need in politics to temper idealism with realism, principles with pragmatism, and got so crazy trying to decide where to draw the line that in his daze he approved the Farm Bill.

F. He thought he was being asked about the "Charm Bill."

G. McCain is the real reformer.

H. It's a lot more complicated than this.

PS: For a succinct but balanced view of the 2008 Farm Bill see the statement from Bread for the World, which calls it "half a loaf." http://www.bread.org/press-room/releases/bread-for-the-world-calls-2008-farm-bill-half-a-loaf.html
In fairness to Obama, he said that we should not refuse the better because we cannot get the best. As a candidate for national public office he knows how hard it is to seek justice in the presence of powerful parochial economic and ideological interests -- the bane of democracy.

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