As a town full of lefties, we're usually happy when our Democratic president visits, whether it's Obama or Clinton or... whatever other Democratic presidents we've had lately. But last night, we flipped our shit.
Obama blew into town to attend a fundraiser. Okay, fine. Politicians do that. And his motorcade and security detail slowed traffic here and there. Again, that's the sort of thing that accompanies presidents. But the key phrase is "here and there." Last night, for reasons no one quite knows yet, "here and there" became here and there and there and that other place and way back there and so on. In some parts, it was a nightmare of apocalyptic proportions. Bloggers on laist.com report that they couldn't get home for hours. Some abandoned their cars to walk home. Some couldn't even do that: Pedestrians weren't allowed to cross some apparently president-free streets. (If this sounds like lame-ass, secondhand reportage, it is. I live and work in the Valley, the New Jersey of the L.A. metro area, where traffic was completely unaffected by all of this.)
It would be easy to say something like, "I'm all for fundraising, Mr. President, but let's use some common sense and better planning when you visit a traffic-heavy city." But that's not how I feel. MONEY IN POLITICS IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WE HAVE RIGHT NOW. It's the source of all corporate-friendly legislation and court rulings that have allowed the BP disaster, Wall Street corruption, the real estate crash, and pretty much every other large problem we have. Cap campaign financing, and you'll not only see real grass-roots reform take hold, but you'll see the true emergence of third and fourth parties.
Then Obama will visit L.A. and tie up traffic for other, more important reasons, like attending the Oscars or going to Disneyland.
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