“If you are in the hip pocket of any political party, prepare to be sat on.” ~ Gary North
Political victory in the United States is best defined as follows:
Getting your political agenda enacted into law, enforced by the Executive branch, and upheld by the courts.
A definition of political victory that ignores any of these criteria is part of a shell game: getting people elected for their careers’ sake, not your agenda.
To achieve this three-part victory, you must be part of a voting bloc that has the power to impose sanctions: positive and negative.
Establishment politicians understand this. They respect it. They have learned to exploit it. They tell their constituents: “You can win through me if you supply the votes to enable me to win (positive sanction) at the expense of my opponent (negative sanction).” This is the politics of the shell game, what I call the Punch and Judy show.
The correct definition of the power to impose political sanctions is this:
Sufficient votes to deliberately keep your party’s candidate from winning in November if he waffles, and sufficient votes to elect his replacement two years later.
There is a corollary:
The willingness to run a post-nomination independent candidate against an incumbent member of your party if he has waffled during his most recent term in office.
Any voting bloc that has this ability will not be in any party’s hip pocket.
Conclusion: a fundamental strategy for political success is to get the rival wing of your party into the party’s hip pocket.
In modern American history, we saw this strategy applied by the Eastern Republican Establishment’s refusal to support Goldwater in 1964. They ran Governor Scranton as a last-ditch effort to keep Goldwater from getting the nomination. When that failed, they literally walked out of the convention.
Johnson won in 1964. He did not run in 1968. Nixon defeated Humphrey, and the Republican Establishment took over the White House in 1969. They were willing to go down to defeat in 1964 in order to ruin the Goldwater wing of the party. They were wise to do this.
Hat tip: Times Online
by Tim Reid, Washington
George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantánamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror, according to a new document obtained by The Times.
The accusations were made by Lawrence Wilkerson, a top aide to Colin Powell, the former Republican Secretary of State, in a signed declaration to support a lawsuit filed by a Guantánamo detainee. It is the first time that such allegations have been made by a senior member of the Bush Administration.
Colonel Wilkerson, who was General Powell’s chief of staff when he ran the State Department, was most critical of Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld. He claimed that the former Vice-President and Defence Secretary knew that the majority of the initial 742 detainees sent to Guantánamo in 2002 were innocent but believed that it was “politically impossible to release them”.
This weekend, Ohioans have been reminded of the brevity of life with the passing of Chief Justice Thomas Moyer. We mourn his passing but celebrate his service.
While we are reminded of life’s shortness on earth, those of us of the Christian faith are reminded every Sunday, but especially this Sunday, of the resurrection power of God.
Personally, this is my favorite time of the year. The pressures of life can be staggering but watching the world come to life after the long winter energizes me. But most importantly, being reminded of the most precious Gift we’ve been given and the power the Truth and the Life has over death is a thought that can encourage us all.
As we take some time as a family to reflect and rejoice together, I wish each of you a joyous time together as well.
by Andrew Gavin Marshall
March 30, 2010
This is Part 2 of the series, “When Empire Hits Home.”
The western nations of the world have built their great wealth and societies on the exploitation and plundering of the people and resources of the rest of the world. The wealth, freedom, and structures of our societies have been built on the starvation, robbery, deprivation and murder of millions upon millions of the world’s people, both historically and presently.
It seemed for a time that “Western Civilization” had worked, even if only for the west. We saw the emergence and growth of a vibrant middle class, which has its origins in the Industrial Revolution, out of which we also saw the formation of the “nuclear family.” The middle classes of the west grew in wealth, education, and access. While the great problems of the world, and for the majority of the world’s people, persisted and expanded exponentially, the great purpose of the middle class was siphoned and expanded into facilitating the development of a massive consumerist society. The function of the middle class became that of consuming, not necessarily contributing to determining the direction of society.
Nevertheless, life was good; or so it seemed. Thus, the people were by and large able to turn a blind eye to the plight of the world’s majority. As the decades progressed, however, the great western empires, increasingly united under the umbrella of a US-led NATO empire, grossly expanded their plundering and exploitation of the rest of the world. New avenues for capitalist expansion needed to be found, more money to be made, more assets to be owned, more power to be had. As a part of this process, class structure was being reorganized, which meant that the middle class was to undergo an evolution.
We can laugh at the desperate people who threaten violence against elected officials. But they are not the fools. We are.
March 31, 2010
by Chris Hedges
Photo Credit: cometstarmoon
hat tip: TruthDig.
The language of violence always presages violence. I watched it in war after war from Latin America to the Balkans. The impoverishment of a working class and the snuffing out of hope and opportunity always produce angry mobs ready to kill and be killed. A bankrupt, liberal elite, which proves ineffectual against the rich and the criminal, always gets swept aside, in times of economic collapse, before thugs and demagogues emerge to play to the passions of the crowd. I have seen this drama. I know each act. I know how it ends. I have heard it in other tongues in other lands. I recognize the same stock characters, the buffoons, charlatans and fools, the same confused crowds and the same impotent and despised liberal class that deserves the hatred it engenders.
“We are ruled not by two parties but one party,” Cynthia McKinney, who ran for president on the Green Party ticket, told me. “It is the party of money and war. Our country has been hijacked. And we have to take the country away from those who have hijacked it. The only question now is whose revolution gets funded.”
The Democrats and their liberal apologists are so oblivious to the profound personal and economic despair sweeping through this country that they think offering unemployed people the right to keep their unemployed children on their nonexistent health care policies is a step forward. They think that passing a jobs bill that will give tax credits to corporations is a rational response to an unemployment rate that is, in real terms, close to 20 percent. They think that making ordinary Americans, one in eight of whom depends on food stamps to eat, fork over trillions in taxpayer dollars to pay for the crimes of Wall Street and war is acceptable. They think that the refusal to save the estimated 2.4 million people who will be forced out of their homes by foreclosure this year is justified by the bloodless language of fiscal austerity. The message is clear. Laws do not apply to the power elite. Our government does not work. And the longer we stand by and do nothing, the longer we refuse to embrace and recognize the legitimate rage of the working class, the faster we will see our anemic democracy die.