What the “I’m Mad-As-Hell” Party Could Do

A third political party is emerging in America. Call it the I’m-Mad-As-Hell party.

It’s a mistake to see the Mad-As-Hell party as just a right-wing phenomenon – the so-called Tea Partiers now storming the gates of the Republican Party. There are plenty of mad-as-hellers on the left as well – furious at Wall Street, health insurers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and establishment Democrats.

Mad-as-hellers don’t trust big government. But they don’t trust big business and Wall Street, either. They especially hate it when big government gets together with big business and Wall Street – while at the same time Main Street is in shambles and millions of people are losing their jobs and homes.

First it was TARP, the giant bank bailout that seems to have made Wall Street flush again — so flush the Street is now distributing giant bonuses as if the crash it brought on never happened.

Then came the stimulus package, replete with earmarked goodies for every corporation big enough to hire a team of Washington lobbyists.

And then it was health care, which to some people looked like a sweetheart deal between government and Big Pharma and big health insurers.

To the Mad-As-Hell party, the biggest event last week wasn’t Scott Brown’s upset victory in Massachusetts. It was the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizen’s United vs. the Federal Election Commission, allowing corporations to spend however much they want on political campaigns. True mad-as-hellers see this as inviting even more collusion between big business, Wall Street, and big government – and against the rest of us.

With the mid-term elections months away, both Republicans and Democrats are scrambling to embrace the Mad-As-Hell Party as their own. Republicans are hoping the mad-as-hellers forget the gushing corporate welfare of the Bush administration and the last Republican congress. And Democrats have become born-again economic populists, blaming the nation’s problems on the same “fat cat” bankers and corporate lobbyists they’ve been cozying up to for years.

robert_reich.jpgIf the Mad-as-hell Party helps get money out of politics it will do a world of good. I might even join up. But if it just fulminates against the establishment, forget it. Wrecking balls are easy to wield. Rescuing our democracy is hard work.

by Robert Reich

This article first appeared on Robert Reich’s Blog. Republished with permission

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Comments

  1. D Matthews says

    Who are they ?
    How do we contact?
    Exactly WHAT
    BI- PARTISAN issues are they ( willing to ) address?

    SEEMS OBAMA IS WORKING ON ONE beginning AND WE THE PEOPLE are not showing any support
    http://my.barackobama.com/FairElections

    ( Will same divide & public/petition inaction in dem party as what lost the public option to sink this ship?)

  2. says

    Reich correctly asks us Mad-as-Hell folks to somehow ‘get money out of politics’ – but he himself doesn’t say how to do that. Apparently he’s ready to write us off because he figures we don’t know how to do that either. But he’s wrong.

    There is a way to get money out of politics, and keep it out.

    The key is to get all-too-easily-corrupted politicians out of politics. That’s right – we need actual democracy: deliberative decision-making not by an identifiable and therefore readily corrupted (even if well-intentioned) oligarchic elite, but instead by many hundreds and thousands of citizen decision and review juries, each comprised of willing but randomly selected ordinary citizens.

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