By Nancy K. Matthis | Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 at 5:02 am
Both major US political parties are self-perpetuating power brokers, long divorced from the welfare of citizens. While ordinary folk struggle to make ends meet in a failing economy totally created by these same self-serving politicians, they live high on the hog.
You will recall the trip a bevy of Democrats made to the January climate conference in Copenhagen. Nancy Pelosi shepherded a large group abroad in private jets, where they stayed in five-star hotels eating caviar and lobster and riding in limousines. This luxury living was all at the taxpayers expense, of course.
Now we learn that the Republicans are also living large. Citizens who wanted to end the Democratic profligacy of the incumbents filled the Republican party coffers with political donations. In January the Republican National Committee took in about $10 million, which donors no doubt hoped would fuel victories in the mid-term elections. But the RNC spent most of the money holding their regular winter meeting in Hawaii, a conference that had previously been held in Washington DC where all the pols were already.
From Politico — Michael Steele’s spending spree angers donors:
Republican National Chairman Michael Steele is spending twice as much as his recent predecessors on private planes and paying more for limousines, catering and flowers – expenses that are infuriating the party’s major donors who say Republicans need every penny they can get for the fight to win back Congress.
Most recently, donors grumbled when Steele hired renowned chef Wolfgang Puck’s local crew to cater the RNC’s Christmas party inside the trendy Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue, and then moved its annual winter meeting from Washington to Hawaii.
For some major GOP donors, both decisions were symbolic of the kind of wasteful spending habits they claim has become endemic to his tenure at the RNC. When Ken Mehlman served as the committee chairman during the critical 2006 midterm elections, the holiday party was held in a headquarters conference room and Chic-fil-A was the caterer….
The idea that they are somehow different from — read “better than” — the rest of us seems to be a disease that overtakes politicians after a few weeks in office or in the corridors of political party power. One can only hope that the developing force of the Tea Party movement will counterbalance the elitism of the two established political parties. An article in The American Interest expresses the potential:
When the system seems stuck or dysfunctional and the pressure builds up for change, this is when populists rise up against elites and the suspicion of elites and government that seems to be part of America’s DNA comes to the fore.
Hot Air — Michael Steele: My critics are racist
Los Angeles Times — Could living large hurt GOP chances in November?
Nancy Matthis is the publisher and executive editor of the weblog format news magazine and multimedia outlet American Daughter Media Center.
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Tags: A Tale of Two Parties, caviar, Copenhagen, five-star hotels, Hawaii, limousines, lobster, Michael Steele, Politics, private jet, Republican National Committee, Wolfgang Puck