A Wise Move
In a country where stupid is the new intellectual, it probably pays to be flexible. In Minnesota, we learned that one price of giving credibility to the right wing press is that ordinary people of good will are driven from government. Their replacements will be the usual suspects of "professional politicians" who masquerade as actual human beings; Pawlenty, for example. The chances that other actual human beings will follow Ventura into politics becomes vanishingly lower every year. The corporate media protects its own, ruthlessly.
The multiple standards the wingnut press applies to abusing government is amusing, at best, and treasonous on average. For example, in our last state election both of our corporate paper media outlets decided that picking on Tommy Emmer's history of drinking and driving and his perverted family's even worse character is out-of-line and irrelevant to the election of a governor. The fact that this candidate has a terrible personal record and that he is, apparently, not much of a parent or role model for his son was pretty obviously important information for those who expect their government's leaders to be honest, responsible, reasonably moral, and accountable. Emmer clearly had none of those qualities.
If the local media had not gone after Ventura at every opportunity for considerably fewer and less serious activities, there might be some credibility in their behavior. Since they pulled out every gun they owned to discredit our first citizen governor in decades, their bias has been easily identified. Pawlenty, who had the Minnesota version of Reagan's "Teflon coating," was a blatant corporate shill from the moment he entered politics. Hell, he lived off the income he made "on the board" for a crooked cell phone company for his two years of "unemployment" between 2003 and 2005, when he took office as the state's governor. NewTel Holdings and their subsidiary, New Access, paid Pawlenty $4,500-a-month to pretend to be a "consultant and legal adviser," although even Pawlenty couldn't remember doing anything specific for New Access and "didn't view that as my job" during the period. How many real humans can knock down $54k/year doing so little that the effort was less than inconsequential?
You can work for any number of crooked corporations, above and below the surface, and our corporate media stays in love with you, The more you know about Pawlenty, the less a working class voter should like him, so the media made sure we knew as little as possible. So, Emmer's kid gets drunk and decorates a drunken coed with penis pictures and he's off limits. A disgruntled state employee invents a tale of Ventura's son having parties in a building that Ventura closed during his term of office, and the media is all over it. Pawlenty gets a paycheck for doing nothing, by his own admission, from a corporation that was convicted of conning citizens out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges and that fact literally vanishes from his public biography. Ventura used some of his spare time to be an XFL broadcaster and the media goes nuts. In his spare time, a resource a governor apparently has plenty of, Pawlenty vanished from the state after he began campaigning for President a year before he left his Minnesota office and it wasn't a blip in our media's outlook, although Pawlenty left the state massively in debt with the worst employment statistics since the last Great Depression.
Our local governments are becoming just as infested by "professional corporate politicians." The media leaves out the middle term of the proper description, because "professional politician" doesn't excite the "wrong kind of reaction" the way the full name might. In a democracy, there is no such thing as a professional politician because elected officials serve the will of the public. In our corporatocracy, there are politicians who are professional in the worst sense of the word: "participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs." These paid and captured employees of corporate America are as disinterested in the future of the country and their communities as are the big box stores that Pawlenty and his ilk believe the country should imitate; "look toward a Sam's Club approach to government by providing value at a low cost." Democracy and Wal-Mart have nothing in common, just as the corporate model and democracy have always been at odds.
In the end, it appears that real humans will disappear from politics and we'll be left with the professionals. You'd think that even someone as committed to the ideals of politics as Obama would have second thoughts after a single term. Ventura probably left us with the perfect model for citizen-politicians: win, accidentally; fight like hell with everyone inbred in the system; leave while you still have a soul; finally, any time you have an audience, remind the public of how fuckin' stupid they were to let you go. Characters like Pawlenty, who have done nothing but suck the public tit their whole lives, don't have that option. Without political life, they aren't live at all. Citizen politicians can always go back to their real life, but if they don't do it quickly they'll lose that option and become "professional politicians" or, as they should be known, full-time deadbeats.