[IMPORTANT UPDATE: See the update below. I now have another way to weasel out of what I promised. Namely, they changed the story. Not that I wasn’t going to weasel anyway.]
I recently pledged:
If the L.A. Times tells readers that Obama actually made a clear pledge [to accept public financing], I will parade naked down Broadway at high noon the following day for an hour.
You have my solemn word on that. And I will aggressively pursue an agreement with myself to ensure that it actually happens.
The front page of the L.A. Times web site says:
He abandons an earlier pledge to participate in the system if his GOP challenger agreed to do the same.
Following the link takes you to a deck headline that includes this sentence: “The presumptive Democratic nominee calls the system ‘broken,’ reversing an earlier commitment.”
It takes until the end of the story to get the details of the pledge, but here they are:
In a questionnaire that Obama got from a Midwest network of good government groups in November, he was asked if he would forego private funding provided his opponents did the same.
Obama answered: “Yes.”
“I have been a long-time advocate for public financing of campaigns combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of moneyed special interests,” he wrote.
Wow. They did it.
Accordingly, I hereby announce that I will not be doing my naked parade.
I never promised to anyway. I promised to aggressively pursue an agreement with myself. It was a plan, not a pledge. And plans change.
It’s not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public nudity. But that system as it exists today is broken. It is a broken system. We face old women and men who’ve become masters at gaming this broken system, and parading around their wrinkly carcasses in front of appalled onlookers. In light of this broken system, which is broken, my aggressive pursuit of an agreement with myself has resulted in failure.
UPDATE: I got an earlier version, which has now been rewritten. It’s substantially watered down now. The version in the print edition is much more the version I expected to see.