Let’s be clear on something, I don’t like Mitch McConnell. I think he is a despicable human being. There is nobody in our American government more self-interested and more unprincipled than this low-life Kentucky politician, and I’ll defend that charge in front of anybody.
But right now, unfortunately, he is the force that Democrats (Dancing Bears) have to reckon with. The recent election has given him what he is going to interpret as a mandate. That means he’s going to feel at liberty (constitutionally mandated) to do whatever he wants. And that means that the Republicans will be under no pressure to try to work with Democrats, feel no moral obligation to compromise, but only to dictate an agenda designed to work with insidious harshness against the interests of the average middle-class American. The new Congress will be installed in January (gridlock will be over), but what happens after that — the dismantling of our social democracy — is not something that we should all eagerly be awaiting.
The ballots have not even all been counted, and already the Republicans are plotting their takeover of the American political system. In corporate boardrooms across the country they’re doing high fives, and the big Wall Street bankers are instructing their K-Street minions, the craven, money grubbing lobbyist in Washington ,how to water-down Dodd-Frank and deconstruct the financial protections provided the average American in the newly established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Is this what the country’s founders (the framers of the constitution) had in mind when they created and installed the preamble to our Constitution?
“We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Republicans love to cite the constitution (and invoke God and the Bible in all their preachy rhetoric), but Thomas Jefferson (a deist himself) I’m sure had no thought in mind about something as patently undemocratic as K-Street, and old Ben Franklin (himself a wealthy man, and probably an atheist) could not have imagined anything more vile and pernicious to our notion of democracy than the Supreme Court ruling that corporations are people, thereby allowing virtually unlimited campaign contributions ( big money in politics) as an expression of their right to free-speech and a way of influencing elections.
Yet today we accept almost without demur (since the Court’s Citizen’s United decision) the legally questionable and undemocratic proposition that corporations can (with no transparency) use their money to influence public policy (through the buying of politicians like Mitch McConnell) and thus the outcome of national elections. This is a complete and unqualified, totally reprehensible perversion of our concept of democracy and our representative government.
This gives people like the Koch brothers , and groups like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads unbridled power (through the use of their money) to buy legislators and influence the outcome of elections, and not just at the national level. Today Republicans have full control of 29 state legislatures, and 32 governorships, the largest total since 1928. In Wisconsin, the re-elected governor Scott Walker is a Frankenstein, monster creation of the Koch brothers. In Iowa (long ago a populist stronghold) the legislature is more than 90% under the control of the Koch brothers and their Super Pac money (this figure includes Democrats).
When good Americans stand up on Friday nights at local high school football games and listen to the singing of the national anthem, when we salute the flag as a demonstration of patriotism, this is not the kind of democracy (money polluted, corporate kleptocracy) that we are — in our hearts and minds — acknowledging and celebrating. Maybe Mitch McConnell will rise above his baser political instincts (his personal greed and lust for power) and become a truly dedicated servant and proponent of the public’s interest (statesman), but I’m not counting on it
For Mitch McConnell and the K Street group, corruption and cronyism are what politics is all about, a way of life. To be fair, however, it’s not just the dissolute Republicans. Though more timid and self-consciously embarrassed — and just slightly less bold in their thievery and shenanigans — the Democrats too are sell-outs to the corporate hijacking of our democracy, and just as bad. The political options today for the average hard-working American are all bad. Regardless of your party or affiliation, there are few people in the U. S. Congress today working to protect and promote your interests. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders stand out as the exceptions. Sadly, however, in the corridors of power in Washington, the preamble to the constitution has been all but forgotten in the clamor of today’s noisy and heated scramble for money, power and personal aggrandizement.
The Money Trader