Thursday, February 22, 2007

What Would David Geffen Do?

by Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network, 2/22/07

A few years back Bob Dole called these guys the most important people in the world. They were the people who created the culture. They created the country. Politicians just live in it. Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen in particular, the people of Dreamworks. They shaped the entertainment world for the last 50 years. They have been in the last half century akin to what the Magi were to Christendom.

David Geffen, in particular. He was there when John Lennon died and when Joni Mitchell first arrived in our world from the Alberta plains. And he was every place else in between. This week Maureen Dowd, the NYTs columnist, referring to the house he lived in, all but suggested that he might be God.

The Dreamworks Three held a fundraiser in Hollywood for Barack Obama this past week. People like Tom Hanks paid $2,500 for a ticket. And in endorsing Obama, Geffen brought this early panic primary to a turning point.

Right now, I’ll claim that Obama has the Democratic nomination. And if Geffen is right, and he seems to be always right, the one who takes the Democratic nomination in this race will take the Presidency.

So if any other Democrat was thinking of entering, consider that you have done very, very well in holding off. We are at a historical turning point. Enjoy he ride. It will be Obama for the Democrats from here on out and there will be no more entry points.

This may be panic politics and Obama may be a novelty. But so was Arnold panic politics and so was he a novelty. And now he is one of the most highly regarded Governors in California history. So might Obama be as President. Hard to say. The one thing for sure; he will make a difference. It is forgotten now, but make no mistake, to the Roosevelts, the Rockefellers and even I suspect, the Eisenhowers, an Irish Catholic like Jack Kennedy was novelty politics.

If elected, Obama will change our political world just as Jack Kennedy did. In hindsight, JFK does not look like a great President in many ways. But like Reagan, he was the indispensable President. He changed our world and made us what we have since become. And without him we would have been a different America and a different world.

Geffen did something else indespensible: He went after Senator Clinton in a big way.

“Everybody in politics lies, but they [the Clintons] do it with such ease, it’s troubling,” he told Dowd.

Geffen stated clearly to the faithful what most Democrats have conveniently repressed: The Clintons are crooks. Probably the worst in the modern history of the Democratic Party. In an interview with Dowd Geffen cited a pardon granted to Marc Rich after he gave the Clintons a million dollars. I’d complained this year that if they didn’t yield in this most ridiculous journey of political narcissism, the Clintons would destroy the Democratic Party and send the country into turmoil. No need now. The deed in done.

Obama is a god-send to the Democrats because he neutralizes the yuppie vote and the auntie vote going to Hillary. Without Obama, the Democrats could have completely disintegrated. Hillary would have gotten the nomination and lost to McCain in every state except NY and Massachusetts. Now she is finished. Back to Kansas, Dorothy!

Last year I wrote about the "new Democrats" – Mark Warner, Wes Clark and Kathleen Sebelius in particular - saying that Jim Webb would be catalyst to a new movement within the Democratic Party. But first the Democrats had to divide. That is happening now. Since Webb's rebuttal to Bush, the New Democrats concept is taking hold and MSM is now on the case. The new Democrats are starting to call themselves Webb Democrats. That is in opposition to the Democratic Leadership Council types like the Clintons and Al Gore; Democrats sympathetic to Wall St., which Ralph Nader called in the last election indistinguishable from Republicans. Obama fits the new pattern and he will bring in people in opposition to the Wall St. Democrats.

But long-term, the big Hollywood story will be Arnold and the development of the Western places. He is making alliances with British Comumbia RE global warming and generally taking the initiative on a variety of issues, generally ignoring the federal government.

California is going at different speeds than the rest of the country. At some point it is possible for Arnold to establish California identity in defiance of some federal regulation or another. Or the federal government could challenge California’s new autonomy. That will shake the world.

Contention between North and South in the 1800s advanced as the North grew stronger economically in industrial power and population and it became easier for the North to dominate.

This is natural history. At one point CA will be strong RE the rest of the country. But I do not see that it will want to dominate the rest of the country but rather ditch it, so as to not get bogged down in supporting welfare in rust belt industrial regions past their historical period, as the angel of capitalism moves to India and China. In effect, what we are seeing is the end of capitalism in many of our regions as an American Energizer Bunny. And the different regions now are growing and receding at different rates.

But California is the City on the Hill and is bound to prosper through Pacific overseas traffic and cheap labor in the south. Economic policy must have to be regionalized if we are no longer a manufacturing country nationally, and an economic policy for rust-belt regions can't be right for prosperous CA. And why would a Buddhist Seattle be so hot on engaging in religious warfare in the Middle East as per the Crusades in the 13th Century? This is where I see the real interesting issues growing in the next 20 years.

Neither of the major political parties is in any way prepared to deal with these cultural changes and economic issues. Only the Libertarians are. Likewise, only one candidate running against John McCain and Mitt Romney is able to face foreign policy fair and square: Ron Paul.

It is Paul, sometimes alone on the floor of Congress, who has been resolute and patriotic on all of the issues in the Middle East. The others in office today – Cheney and Bush, in particular – will be recalled by history much as Pierre Laval and Marshall Petain are recalled by the French: Bold in intention, but poor in spirit. And in the end, traitors to their own.