Thursday, August 3, 2006

Pandering Their Way to the Mid-Terms

Nothing sacred in this national 'musical chairs' of mid-term politics, as both parties out-shame themselves for the power to say who will eat and who will serve.

Foxnews Headlines like “GOP Eyes Jewish Vote” and “Democrats Scrambling To Organize Voter Turnout” are symptomatic of a political system gone awry.
The struggle for ‘air-time’ has replaced the struggle for thoughtful solution and ‘running for their base’ rather than offering alternatives is now a knee-jerk response to election. Perception replaces reality.
Like the camel who asks only for his head in the tent, the past three decades of political ‘freedoms’ have given us a tent with all camel and damned little else.
  • Freedom of speech has been warped into the freedom to raise (and therefore pocket) money
  • Which has brought us elections overwhelmingly distorted by cash-rich incumbents
  • Which inspires the flagrant ‘purchase’ of power by those willing to pay for it
  • Which, in turn, widens the national gap between those who have it all and those who have nothing at all
  • Which engenders a sense of despair and ‘anything goes’ in place of the historic climb up the rungs from poverty to wealth
  • Which, ultimately, provides partisanship in the place of leadership
Midtermelections And that is exactly where we find ourselves, three months prior to the November mid-term elections.
It’s not enough to wring our hands over paid-off legislators, they’re all paid-off. Not enough to vaguely understand that administration support panders insufferably to this or that subdivision of their conservative base; the Democrats pander to the same bunch and that’s crippled the legislative process.
Short on leadership, long on followership, government lies becalmed on a sea of crossed-purposes and indecision.
It’s not their fault. Senators and Representatives are just plain citizens, some very bright and some without a clue. They accurately reflect a nation that prides itself on not giving a shit about things other than money, personal interest and the holding-off of all that might put personal interest at risk.
Yuppie Send some other poor bastard to Iraq, I've got a plane to catch.
Senators and Representatives are temporarily elevated, not only to status, but to access—access to unlimited financial gain and the power that comes with ‘being a player.’ Losing an election is not, as Harry Truman deemed it, an opportunity to go home and mow the grass, but a matter of losing all entrĂ©e to money and power.
Who among us would leave all that without a fight?
The ‘fight’ is no longer about principled liberalism or scrupulous conservative philosophy. We don't much have a left or, for that matter, a right anymore. Conservative Republicans are savaging their president for being too centrist. Demoralized and terrified Democrats are unwilling to leave that same Republican portion of the political center for fear of losing yet another election.
The battleground is clear, it’s only the battle that has lost all relevance.
Democrats know the present leadership has
  • lied to the American people
  • slashed and burned our constitutional rights in the demagoguery of terrorism
  • put us in a tragic and unwinnable war
  • lost our international friends as well as reputation for fairness and equity
  • plunged the nation into unprecedented debt
  • reneged on support of the less fortunate
  • encouraged an internal religious feud between fundamentalists and all others
  • failed every test of national need
  • given scarce remaining financial resources to the super-rich.
Nancypelosi_2 In the face of this, with a nation as angry as it has ever been against the powers in Washington, Democrats ‘scramble to organize voter turnout’ instead of presenting sound and viable alternatives. Nancy Pelosi can't put together a viable position from the mire of the center.
How’s this for a platform?
  1. We will, as a party, swear to work with Republicans in open and visible bi-partisanship
  2. We will end all the nonsense of loopholes, outlawing all financial contributions to politicians, no matter the source.
  3. We will restore constitutional government.
  4. We will end all political appointment-as-reward within government
  5. We will exit the war in Iraq, pulling half our troops in 2007, the remainder in 2008.
  6. We will vigorously prosecute all violations of law within the Congress, Democrat and Republican
  7. We will enact laws forbidding all elected officials (including retired military officers) from ever lobbying the members of Congress
  8. We will make it illegal to attach ‘earmarks’ or language not pertaining directly to the bill at hand, to all legislation.
  9. We will shorten the election cycle to 90 days.
  10. We will renounce the principle of preventive war
  11. We will enact a single accounting principle, applicable to all government and military agencies, that promotes easy and equitable cost-comparison
  12. We will require balanced annual federal budgets and phased paydown of the national debt
Another ‘Contract With America?’ It might be disparaged as that, but ‘where we have come to be’ is no more solvable by Democrats than Republicans. A system gone to hell has brought us here and certainly systematic change is the only way back.
Pounding away at the above issues is a way to win in a country that is tired of losers and losing.
____________________________________________________________________
What others are saying and writing about the mid-terms;