Are the People Really Seizing Power?

rand paulI’ve waited until the dust settled from last Tuesday, and for the first time in decades, I have a smidgen of hope for the American people. I want to get some things straight, right off the bat. The political current that is rooting out corporate incumbents is promising, this nation, and the people that pull the levers at the polls, have a long way to go in order to get out from under the pseudo Democrats and finally finish off the right wing wackos that now make up the nucleus of the Republican party.

The first race that I would like to mention is the victory that Rand Paul pulled off in Kentucky. Let’s be straightforward about Rand Paul. He is a creature of the Tea-Party movement and has seemed to embrace the more reactionary ideals of his father and those of the fringe right. He is no Ron Paul, in fact, he comes nowhere near being the voice of reason that his father sometimes embraces. Ron Paul can be practical, something that is lost on his son.  He has voiced the idea of throwing out the Americans for Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  This is anathema to most liberals, Democrat or otherwise. He can tout the Tea Party at the Country Club where he made his victory speech, but as time goes on, people will understand where he is really coming from, and that won’t bode well for him in November.

Arlen Spector lost to Former Admiral Joe Sestak. Even with the support of Obama and the other Washington heavyweights, the people of Pennsylvania sent a message to Washington that shouldn’t be misinterpreted, continue business as usual and face the wrath of the voters.

Over six years ago I started writing about corporate control of Washington. I had never seen the word in print or spoken by anyone, so I believed I coined the word “Corporacracy”. (Read my book “Complicity to Contempt” .I’m sure I wasn’t the one that really coined the word, but still I felt a sense of pride when I heard the term used over and over by the political pundits. Blanche Lincoln was forced into a runoff, most likely because she helped kill the public option in the recent Health Care Bill. Her corporate benefactors did everything they could to insure her primary win, but all the millions they poured into her campaign was for naught. Bill Halter and his grassroots Progressive backers forced her into a run-off. This is a miracle unto itself.

The prediction of Republicans gaining control of Congress in this year’s General Election is being re-evaluated. The so-called power of the Tea Party and the Conservative Republicans (is there now any other kind?) and their mantra of stopping big government and the intrusion it brings into our lives is being called out. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that in the Republican’s heyday which was only a few years ago, the Patriot Act, The Military Commissions Act of 2006, The FISA Act which allowed unfettered wiretaps and electronic eavesdropping of American citizens without a warrant, and the assault on the Bill of Rights by the “Unitary Executive” brought big government right into our homes. It’s absolutely amazing how the Tea Partiers equate Obama with big government when the Bush and Cheney administration is still fresh in our minds.

I watched The Ed Show yesterday, and the question he asked his viewers was “Should Obama now move to the Left?” I don’t know the answer to that poll yet, but if halting the 1.4 Trillion dollar a year military budget and the outsourcing of jobs overseas helped by government subsidies and the renewed participation of labor unions in the political fray is any indication, President Barack Obama should really consider moving to the left or be dumped into the catastrophic definition being part of the corporate status quo. It would not only be the politically expedient thing to do, but it would also be the right thing to do. The administration needs to throw off their corporate handlers and get down to the business of working for the people of The United States, not the corporations.

The New York Times recently ran the pictures of the fallen soldiers from the war in Afghanistan. This says volumes on where public opinion is headed in regard to that war. Perhaps the President and his advisors should pick up on that. Our government claims that we are fighting to make America more secure from the “terrorists” that wish us harm. When the Generals claim that there are only about 100 al Qaeda in the country, this expenditure of young American lives lost doesn’t ring true. I have said time and time again that the primary mission in Afghanistan is to permit the building of an oil pipeline through the country from the Caspian Sea, and breaking the monopoly by Russia of petroleum products reaching Europe.

The way things are shaping up politically, I find myself reevaluating my connection to the Democrats If the trend towards liberal ideas and social values filters throughout the party; I could readily jump on that bandwagon. I’m proud of the American people, even some facets of the Tea Party movement. Even though the Republicans who have recently become followers of Rush Limbaugh have tried to co-opt the movement, it seems to have backfired in their face. Just ask Mitch McConnell about his endorsements during the primaries.

Things are getting exciting. Everyone who calls themselves liberal, progressive, socialist or populist should pitch in and get the corporate lackeys out of Washington and give the government back to the people who really own it. This is just a beginning. We can’t sit on our laurels and let others keep the momentum going. We need to all get involved and let our democracy work once again for the people, not for the oligarchy that calls itself The House of Representatives, The Senate and the Executive branch.

Timothy V. Gatto

Tim Gatto’s new book Complicity to Contempt is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Abe’s and other fine bookstores now. Kimchee Days, A novel about an anti-aircraft Battery (reminiscent of M*A*S*H and CATCH-22) in Korea during the years 19690-1971 will be out soon.

Published by the LA Progressive on June 2, 2010
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