John Ransom

The best political movie of my generation, "Primary Colors," tells the story of Jack Stanton, a small-time Southern governor who becomes president of the United States because he’s willing to sacrifice everything he says he stands for to gain power.

Of course, we all recognize Stanton for who he really is: A thinly disguised portrait of President Bill Clinton, the philandering, charming and wholly immoral talebearer; a simple-hearted liar who can lie about Uncle Charlie winning medals in World War II just as easily as he can lie about his sham marriage.

Far from detracting from the movie, the obvious parallels to Clinton serve to reinforce the cautionary vision that makes the movie so powerful: In a quest to reform the system, a young idealist loses his ideals and, in choosing power over ideals, he becomes the very thing he rails against. 

For many of us, we thought that the cautionary tale reached a high watermark under Clinton. We were wrong.

Liberals, in turn, eventually revolted against the Clintons, against the hard-knuckle tactics, bare-chested romanticism and semen stains that turned high ideals into just another temporary high. 

Instead, they turned to another idealist, President Barack Obama, who, while free of the stains of Uncle Charlie -- and those that come from bare chests that go thump in the night -- apparently has the same willingness to become what he rails against hardest.   

In his latest bid to turn the presidency into a cheap, traveling revival of socialism, radical 1960s ideology and black “power” politics, Obama has begun to sell even more access to the White House. 

It’s not surprising that Obama would do that.

He's, after all, exactly who we thought he was: A professional liberal and dealer in outrage who stays in business by selling a mythical tonic called “fairness.”

Previously -- all in the pursuit of “fairness”-- he sold access to companies like GE, GM, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Solydnra, Microsoft, Google, Kaiser Permanente, DreamWorks and 220 celebrities, like comedian Will Ferrell, who donated $5,000 to Obama’s campaign.   

What’s surprising is that many of the 1960s radicals and their progeny who now rail against corporate greed would be willing to follow Obama’s Pied Piper money parade, not seeing the greed in the president as readily as they see greed everywhere else.

John Ransom

John Ransom’s writings on politics and finance have appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Colorado Statesman, Pajamas Media and Registered Rep Magazine amongst others. Until 9/11, Ransom worked primarily in finance as an investment executive for NYSE member firm Raymond James and Associates, JW Charles and as a new business development executive at Mutual Service Corporation. He lives in San Diego. You can follow him on twitter @bamransom.

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