Monday, November 1, 2010

The 2010 Elections

Make no mistake about it: The 2010 elections will provide the opportunity for the political establishment to reassert its control over the political and social orders that have been upset by the twin disasters of the war on terror, including the invasion of Iraq and the continuing war in Afghanistan, and the "great recession" that began in 2008. In light of these twin debacles, it was no longer possible to hide from the American people the failures of the current establishment, which consists of both the Republican and Democratic parties. The success of the Tea Party movement, as it is called, illustrates this all-too-well. Whatever its faults, and they are many and even more than many, the Tea Party illustrates the anger and frustration of those who know that the republic needs to be rescued from the current establishment, as its policies from No Child Left Behind to the war on drugs to the war on terrorism to the bailout and to health care "reform" are characterized by failure. Everyone knows this or at least everyone who knows what day of the week it is knows this. And, of course, because Obama is merely another Chicago Democrat - "Don't Make No Waves, Don't Back No Losers" - he has been unable to successfully paper over these failures and make people think that the republic is functional. More radical surgery is needed and that will come in the form of a Republican Party sweep in tomorrow's elections.

From this perspective, it does not matter to the Democrats all that much that the Republicans will make huge gains in the Congress, perhaps even taking the Senate. What better way to indicate to the American people that now is not the time for embracing the radical republican attitude [definitely small "r" here] that the proper measure of the government's performance is not increasing the GDP or the eradication of evil in the world but, rather, how accurately it "re-presents" the American people and works to satisfy their needs and fulfill their desires? After all, such a standard would require that different people control the Republican and Democratic parties or, put differently, that the current leadership be dethroned. Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner switch places....and then what? I will tell you: Not much that is different. After the Republicans sweep, I can hear it now: "Now is the time to 'consolidate,' to compromise, to work together to 'fix' our political system." But, of course,the "fix" will not involve a change of personnel, just a change from one set of incumbent leaders to the other set. If this is a recipe for change, then I have a recipe for spaghetti sauce that is largely catsup! There will be "working together" just as there was after the 1994 elections when the Republicans took over the Congress with Clinton as president. But there will be no move toward a genuinely republican or representative political system because, well, because that would require radical changes in personnel and leadership and that is not about to happen. But, hey, what the heck! After all, if the GDP increases and we get to kill some more terrorists, who really cares if our republic is functional. We can still, as President Shrub recommended, "go shopping!"

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