George Tsunis is a symptom of an enormous problem we have in American politics. He’s a money spouting cash machine who believes his money buys whatever he wants, from influence to an ambassadorship. He gave and then bundled tens of thousands of dollars for John McCain’s Presidential bid in 2008 and then, when the wind changed, hundreds of thousands of dollars for President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, totaling about $1.4 million. He’s also made donations to his own senator, Sen. Chuck Schumer ($9,200), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ($9,700), and Sen. Bob Menendez ($30,000), the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. We should not let a so obviously unqualified nominee throw around his bags of cash to the detriment of our democracy. Time to draw a clear line. Let’s stop this guy as “Tsoon-as” possible.
In the real world the rest of us live in, we’re required to have the proper qualifications for the jobs we hold, from the most menial to the most intellectually challenging. Congress just passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Public Law No: 113-128), addressing the need for better-qualified and trained American workers. The irony here is stupefying: Making sure hard-working regular Americans are qualified for their jobs – while Congress considers handing a key donor worth $85 million a job for which he has shown himself to be absolutely unqualified which, by the way, pays $200k p/yr using hard-working regular Americans’ tax dollars? It’s mind-boggling. Just like the rest of us, America’s ambassadors should be qualified – and competent too.
Wage Inequality and Economic Injustice:
All persons should receive a wage that meets the qualifications we hold for the jobs we are lucky enough to receive or create. With George Tsunis having proven himself to be so clearly unfit to be our Ambassador to Norway, why should regular hard-working Americans, nearly 60% of whom live pay-check-to-pay-check, be forced to pay this unqualified human cash machine worth $85 million a salary of $200k p/yr using our hard-paid tax dollars – while regular hard-working Americans struggle on??? Again, the wrongheadedness and anti-democratic nature of this is mind-boggling.
Misuse of Taxpayer Funds:
American tax dollars are precious. There are many things for which we all believe our tax dollars could well be used. Education. Day-care. Clean-energy. Infrastructure. Political sales of ambassadorships to unqualified real estate moguls is not on the list. And it’s not just the salary here. Not only does George Tsunis not deserve a salary of $200,000 paid with our hard-paid tax dollars each year, our tax monies should not pay for an unqualified wannabe’s five weeks of paid vacation, enormous capital gains savings, and free private schooling for his children. Not where a nominee has so publicly shown himself to lack basic diplomatic skills, rudimentary qualifications, or even the least bit of knowledge of Norway and its government.
Perception of American Incompetence and Arrogance Abroad: America’s foreign image hasn’t been the best over the last decade or so. Let’s not make it worse. George Tsunis’ wildly inaccurate statements of fact, diplomatic outrages, and lack of qualifications offended a number of Norwegian officials and Members of Parliament, including the mayor of Norway’s capitol city who made it clear that President Obama should send a far more knowledgeable and qualified person. To send Tsunis to Norway would be a fist in the face of a key ally – and an arrogant message to the world. Norway is a vital member of NATO, a key supplier of energy to the EU, an important player in peace efforts in the Middle East, and a strong U.S. ally everywhere. With rising tensions in Eastern Europe and the Middle East the U.S. has to take its diplomacy seriously and treat key allies with respect.