My last TMV post was on September 11, 2012 – over 3 months ago. Despite some advice to the contrary, I have decided to return. Until now, I have intentionally missed commenting on the pointless, fact-free and issue-free nation-wide elections of last month. They were designed to be a complete diversion to keep the majority of delusional Americans thinking we still live in a functioning republic where people matter.
To date, I have also refrained from commenting on a variety of tragic, sad, pathetic and a few comical events that have occurred over the same period of time. Some ongoing events should be quietly observed and reflected upon before venturing any hasty opinions.
Despite those TMV readers and colleagues who were relieved by my absence and who might be dismayed by my return, I will have some things to say over the next few weeks and months with respect to the “fiscal cliff” games, the Newtown massacre of children, the oncoming global environmental disaster facing humanity, and many other political, economic, social and moral issues facing the nation. This post will concentrate on the recent elections and current negotiations over the fabricated “fiscal cliff” that will have serious financial consequences for many people in 2013 and beyond.
Many Americans powerlessly watch and wait to see what our 1% oligarchy will permit their elected puppets in the U.S. government to do with respect to tax, spending and overall public policies. Many pre-approved Federal tax increases and spending cuts are to occur on January 1, 2013. The oligarchy’s principle aim is to further enrich itself and simultaneously continue to impoverish 99% of our society. Discussing any of the silly day-to-day developments in this Kabuki theatre, or debating various public policy ideas that could be part of the negotiations, is a complete waste of time and brain power for the vast majority of Americans – including myself. I will refrain from commenting in detail until a final deal is passed – and that might not occur for several months.
Our elected officials are overwhelmingly corrupt and paid servants of the 1% oligarchy. Until there is a real revolution in the country that completely changes the power and money structures of our society – the bankrupt status quo will continue. Federal legislation concerning spending and taxing are no longer times for sanity or any bipartisanship. This is the new normal for our highly-partisan, sclerotic, paralyzed, out-of-touch, and completely corrupt National Capital. At best guess, whatever agreement that is finally approved by the Administration and Congress will only be faintly concerned with the well-being of the overall population and the nation’s stagnant economy.
The November 2012 elections changed very little and our elected officials and their owners can now ignore the results. During the past 2 years, I predicted in a number of TMV posts that President Obama would be a 1-term President. I was wrong, but how consequential will he be over the next 4 years? He was an empty suit serving the Oligarchy and corrupt system of crony corporatism for the past 4 years – and he will simply continue in that figurehead role for another 4 years. He and his family are in the White House to placate the delusions of many Americans that we are a diverse, exceptional, fair, and just society of equal opportunity that still respects the rule of law.
Republicans lost the Presidency principally because they nominated a candidate who was even worse than Obama. That would have been a rather amazing feat had it come from a reality-based and competent political party during the nation’s past. But in retrospect – it was fully expected by a party now so publicly dominated by its extreme right-wing lunatics and their very unpopular policies.
In November 2012, fewer than 55% of eligible voters went to the polls in the U.S. – and about 90 million eligible voters did not bother voting for either Presidential candidate from the 2 major moribund and bankrupt political parties. Despite predictions to the contrary, neither party is about to implode or disappear. With this election, Republicans have just become irrelevant – as Democrats already have been irrelevant for nearly 20 years. They both exist as servant “zombie” parties funded by the same 1% oligarchy that actually owns and runs this nation.
The U.S. Senate now has 55 Democrats but since a 60-vote supermajority has and will be needed to accomplish anything (and for certain judicial nominations it takes only 1 Senator to block any candidate) the minority will still control its operations. Considering the majority of Senators (and U.S. Representatives) are members of our Oligarchy (in wealth, income and overall outlook) nothing of significance will change with respect to domestic and international U.S. policies.
The incredibly unpopular House of Representatives remains in Republican control. This was a result of many different factors. Extensive gerrymandering by Republican state legislatures in 2010 set up more “safe” Republican seats than Democratic ones. The 2012 election results show that Democratic candidates obtained more aggregate votes than Republicans in most states – if one combined the results from all Congressional districts. Most Democrats were happily complacent with just keeping their safe districts and the Party presented weak and unfunded candidates in many contestable seats.
The 2010 U.S. Supreme Court’s “Citizen’s United” decision that permits unlimited undisclosed spending by the Oligarchy in Federal elections was helpful to many status quo candidates. Some voters are perennially ignorant, apathetic and unable to adequately focus on the basic requirements for choosing candidates. Finally, the low overall voter turnout across all economic, racial, age, sexual, religious and even former political groups was a subtle repudiation of both major Parties. The U.S. corporate media outletsuccessfully blocked any coverage of all viable third-party candidates rendering them “unelectable” since they opposed the oligarchy’s viewpoint.
The Republican Party only represents the interests of the top 2% of wealthy Americans – and honestly states it doesn’t give a damn about anyone else. The Democratic Party only represents the top 10% of Americans but it hypocritically states in has the best interests of the great majority of Americans. After elections it acts sole(ly on behalf of the same oligarchic class as do the Republicans. (Arguments are limited to what’s best for the other 8%.) Both parties have a joint long-term vision for the nation that does not exceed two years – until the next elections.
What’s left of the Republicans is a small party of really bad ideas and policies – not to be confused with what’s left of the Democrats who have a party of no ideas. They are both out of touch with reality and the facts. Instead each clings to its own emotional delusions and political fetishes in order to serve the narrow interests of their extreme partisans and their largest campaign contributors.
I did vote last month in Phoenix, Arizona where I have lived and voted for the past 6 years. I had no problems casting a ballot because I have a state-issued voter ID card, an Arizona driver’s license, and I’m a white male over 50. I was principally interested in some of the state-wide ballot issues.
I could not in good conscience vote for either Obama or Romney – both puppets for the Oligarchy. A vote for a lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil. In my case it was more an issue of comparing their overall stupidity and incompetence. Instead I voted for Jill Stein of the Green Party for President.
In most statewide races, I voted for the Libertarian party candidates (since they were the only alternatives in some of the races to Republicans and Democrats). I voted for one Democrat – Richard Carmona for U.S. Senate – a former Republican who was subjected to a nasty onslaught of negative ads by a Republican establishment very angry at his recent defection. To no personal surprise, all my preferred candidates, and most ballot issues I supported, were defeated. But I did not endorse much of the status quo.
Arizona had a very good overall voter turnout – well over 65% but it took weeks to finally count all the ballots because the state has cut so many government programs and basic services (including staff and equipment for elections) during the long recession. Prior to the 2010 Census giving it another Congressional seat – Arizona voters enacted a provision to make redistricting Federal and State legislative districts on a non-partisan independent basis.
As a result of non-partisan re-districting, there were many more competitive races across the state, and two democratic women narrowly defeated two conservative men in 2 new Congressional seats. I didn’t think any of the 4 candidates in the 2 contested suburban Phoenix districts were very good candidates and there was a huge amount of negative advertising covering up that glaring fact. However, at least the 2 seats will remain competitive and the incumbents will have to fully represent the interests of their districts in order to remain in office.
Strangely enough for some of my readers, I am a registered Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic central Phoenix area where our long-standing Democratic (member of the progressive caucus) U.S. Representative Ed Pastor ran nearly unopposed and won handily over a nominal Libertarian candidate. It’s not that I agree or disagree with many of his positions – I simply do not believe that any person (political views being irrelevant) should ossify in elective public office essentially unchallenged for over 20 years. Since he needs and raises very little money for his campaigns, at least he is not beholden to any large campaign contributors. Sadly, he is aloof, distant and unresponsive to many of his constituents. Turning only 70 years of age next year, he’ll probably die in office sometime during the next 20 years.
I will stop now as this post (as most of my prior ones) has exceeded 1,500 words. For the handful of dazed readers and editors who have endured to this point, I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and Happy 2013. Please be warned that I’ll be posting again before and during the 2 upcoming holidays.
Submitted as time ticks away, late on Thursday, December 20, 2012, by Marc Pascal, ranting happily from Phoenix, Arizona – just hours before the end of the world as per millions who enjoy misinterpreting ancient Mayan calendars and prophesies. If you’re correct, then we’ll all meet again – somewhere, someplace and at some future time to point fingers and argue ad infinitum.