Friday, April 28, 2017

A Painful Awareness

The Bible warns of the corrosive properties of envy. Webster defines it this way...a painful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage. My Mother, who always provided me with the real world working definition of sin, described it as the classless inability to rejoice in a friend's good fortune. Either way...envy=bad.

So, let me be clear that it isn't envy which motivates me to write what follows, more like a desire for some good old fashioned consistency.

When I learned that former President Obama had signed a deal to give a speech to Wall Street banker, Cantor Fitzgerald, for the tidy sum of $400,000, my first thought was, man-o-man are the Clinton's gonna be pissed. That's dang near twice what they make for a thirty minute speech!! My second thought was, wonder what Bernie Sanders will have to say about this? But then, my less knee jerk response was more contemplative. I marveled at how quickly the tide turns in this life.

All of my adult life the Democratic Party has railed against the monied interests. Forget my life, the Democratic Party has been demonizing the rich since Andrew Jackson. Wall Street fat cats have been the single favorite punching bag for these people. It's as reliable as death, taxes, and Spurs win!! Actually, that's fine as far as it goes...monied interests can be a troublesome bunch, and sometimes Wall Street fat cats have indeed been a pox on this Republic. But watching career politicians eagarly cashing checks from the very people who they made their reputations trashing is the stuff of grim irony. Not to worry though...I hear that Elizabeth Warren is "concerned," and I'm sure she will remain so right up to the very minute she cashes her first speech check.

President Obama has done quite well since becoming President, having made 15 million from the sale of his three books. Even now he and wife Michelle are about to sign what is rumored to be a 60 million dollar book deal.  Add to this not one, but two $400,000 speech fees, the second from an adoring A&E network crowd, and suddenly the befuddled observer has to wonder about these words
from the former community organizer:

"I mean, I do think that at some point you've made enough money. But, you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you're providing a good product or providing a service."

I will assume that the President is now in the service business, and I am confident that as soon as he gets to that point...he'll let us all know where exactly it is.

Until then, I congratulate the President for proving that the American Dream is still alive and well.