Campaign finance is sinking to a new low. This week, three photos of President Bush immediately following the terrorist attacks became available to anyone donating $150 or more to the GOP.
This is a disgraceful fund raising tactic. When Bush promised changes in Washington’s political attitudes, he forgot to add, “With everything except GOP fund raising.” These pictures would be more appropriately placed in a memorial or history book where everyone can see them. Perhaps the funds could go to charity or Sept. 11 victims, not the pockets of the GOP.
Bush attended a gala this week to persuade some big donors for the Republican National Committee to contribute to the GOP. He raised a record $30 million in one night.
So why, then, is there the need to “sell” photos of himself? It’s an odd way to go about changing political agendas and doing away with the adolescent antics of the Clinton era as Bush promised he would.
The Democrats are understandably perturbed by this situation as they clearly recall the Republican outrage Clinton experienced when offering stays in the Lincoln bedroom to make money for his campaign. Democrats are calling these photos “propaganda” for President Bush. However, neither party has the right to point fingers at the other when both are so easily bought.
Regardless, there is the reality that many Americans would be willing to buy these photos. According to a poll on America Online, 57 percent said they thought it was all right to use the photos for fund raising. How quickly patriotism takes a back seat to capitalism.
Although that certainly is a large number of people, it is not enough to justify Bush’s political party making money from such a tragic event. Due to the nature of the attacks and the surroundings in which Bush’s pictures were taken, a more appropriate and sympathetic venue should be seriously considered.