Money, Politics, and Stupidity

It is an indisputable fact that any act of stupidity will lead to consequences that are of greater than the original stupidity.  The potential consequences of dealing with stupid people are demonstrated in the following news item distributed by the Associated Press on September 10, 2007.

Washington (AP) – Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced that it will be returning $850,000 in campaign contributions raised by Norman Hsu, who is under federal investigation for allegedly violating election laws…


The FBI is investigating whether Hsu paid “straw donors” to send contributions to Clinton and other candidates…


Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said that “… In light of recent events … and out of an abundance of caution … an estimated 260 donors will receive refunds totaling approximately $850,000 from the campaign.”

 Let me translate that last paragraph for you.

Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said that “… Since Norman Hsu was busted as a result of his own stupidity … and since we don’t want any more bad publicity than we already have … we’re going to dump this money back on the people that Hsu used to illegally contribute to the campaign…

 If there is one thing that a politician loves, it’s money.  And if there is one thing that a politician hates, it’s giving up money that they already have.  But, in the above cited case, stupidity has entered the picture.  Let us examine how stupidity and money have influenced the Clinton campaign’s handling of this matter.

First of all, the junior senator from New York seems to have forgotten the scandals attached to the 1996 Presidential Campaign.  If anything, she should have learned to have bogus campaign contributions made in a manner that isn’t so obviously traceable by the news media and the Feds!

Secondly, the manner in which her campaign is dealing with these contributions is an insult to the intelligence of the average voter (not that the intelligence of the average American voter is all that great to begin with). 

Assume the following:

  1. Norman Hsu used 260 individuals to make illegal contributions to the Clinton campaign.
  2. The individuals would have known that what they were doing was illegal.
  3. They did it anyway.
  4. The money these individuals donated wasn’t theirs to begin with, yet it is being returned to them as if it were theirs.
  5. What is to stop these individuals from giving the money right back to the Clinton campaign?

I guess that last one has managed to slip by the media and the Feds.  All in all, this incident just proves what I’ve been saying for years.

Politics requires a constant supply of stupidity for the same reason that a houseplant requires sunlight.


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