Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Oligarchy or Term-Limits?

The pundits and media-types have had a field day dissecting the election results of 02 November. Reasons have ranged all the way from the ridiculous to the sublime with respect to the cataclysm in the House, throwing support to the democrats, and the very modest gains in the Senate, still controlled by the democrats, but barely, and not actually at all when considering the Senate’s strange filibuster rule. In any case, the president’s veto power is perhaps the element that is most domineering.

Public rage has been an operative term in the whole mess – folks tired of what they consider business as usual, generated and maintained primarily by various self-interests, frequently via corruption of one kind or another. Jobs-lack has been accounted as a primary concern, the blame for the high unemployment rate placed squarely on the shoulders of the president and the democrat-controlled houses, and largely justifiably so, especially since the big winners in the Obama administration have been the Wall Street gangsters and not the “little people.” Obama, a multi-millionaire himself, has surrounded himself with Wall Streeters and academic economists, not realists. Voters resent this and the vote showed it.

Climate-change-control has been a constant drumbeat by Obama and the so-called progressives, with the ultimate demanding of a cap/trade global fiasco at a time when the Europeans, who have tried this, are running away from it as fast as possible. Significantly, however, the man-in-the-street has become aware of the gigantic fraud connected with manmade-global-warming claims or manmade-anything else, thus making this issue a non-issue and blaming the powers-that-be for the enormous lies connected to it. The current house democrats passed that infamous cap/trade bill last year – without reading it, of course – and John Q. Public resents being made a fool of. The vote shows this.

Perhaps the main reason for the political tsunami, however, may simply be more philosophical than anything else. Most folks understand the nation to be a republic operated by democratic means, with the people making the decisions, albeit mostly through elections in which they find success or betrayal. What they’ve seen since Obama’s inauguration, however, has been a relentless effort to change the government into an oligarchy, a government not by the many but by the few. This recognition has been enhanced as they’ve watched the Congress – actually the democrats – become a willing tool, not even bothering to read the legislation they pass, simply a collective rubber-stamp for the chief oligarch, the president, operating through Reid and Pelosi. This small band constitutes the oligarchy. Hopefully, that’s changing.

This oligarchic approach was obvious from the get-go as the media reported each day on the identities of the new “czars,” a small group of people merely “hired” by the president to carry out his mandates. Though often operating with more power than cabinet heads, they were exposed to no vetting by the appropriate Congressional committees, though with the democrats holding a sizeable majority they wouldn’t have had to worry anyway…just automatically joining the Congressional democrats in becoming part of the oligarchy.

There was the czar appointed to oversee the car industry, as if there was not a transportation secretary. There have been czars appointed to oversee economics, drugs, Afghanistan/Pakistan, Israel/Palestine, AIDS, “Green jobs” (Van Jones banished quickly because of being a communist), Guantanamo closure…you name it…a czar for just about everything and a czar to oversee the czars, none of these people accountable to anyone but the president. That’s a bureaucratic oligarchy. There are cabinet secretaries responsible for all of those things but they have to go through the confirmation process, ergo, just bypass them, a hundred times easier and faster.

In the right atmosphere, judges become part of the oligarchy, legislating from the bench what the chief oligarch wants, often with decisions directly contravening the laws passed by Congress and flying in the face of the Constitution. Two California judges have recently decided that Congress may not make laws dealing with marriage and homosexuals in the military, so they, with a stroke of the pen, nullified those Congressional enactments. Obama’s first SCOTUS appointee actually had just been overturned by the SCOTUS regarding her decision that ethnicity (or at least the “right” ethnicity) trumped proven ability in the matter of assigning jobs to public employees. The Senate democrats confirmed her. This is oligarchy, and it’s scary.

Perhaps the most effective tool in guarding against oligarchy is term-limits, something selfishly recognized in part by Congress in 1949 when it passed the resolution restricting a president to two terms, ratified in 1951 and now a part of the Constitution. That Congress, with the best opportunity to guard against oligarchy up until then, proved its hypocrisy in not placing term-limits on Congresspersons, thus making politics a career-choice, with those with the greatest seniority actually conducting the nation’s business and once entrenched almost totally un-susceptible to being replaced. Think Byrd, Kennedy, Thurman, Helms, Dingell and a host of others marked by being either smart, unscrupulous or complete nincompoops rising to high places in the oligarchy.

The Congresspersons will never vote themselves out of office, even after a term of 12 years or so, the ideal maximum, and gaining the predictable “golden parachute,” so it will be up to two-thirds of the state legislatures to force that proposition, also not likely to happen. So…the alternative must be used as it was during the recent election, to wit, vote the bums out of office…and keep doing it.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

2 Comments:

Blogger foxofbama said...

MRacker:
Here is what you haven't read

David Remnick's The Bridge
Jill Lepore: The Whites of Their Eyes
Sean Wilentz on The Birch Society, Glen Skousen and the Tea Parties; and his book Bob Dylan in America.
You were a wise man I imagine in the 50's; but your time has past.
Mine will pass soon.

Otherwise hope things are well with you.
Do read the Bob Dylan chapter on the Sacred Harp and Doc Watson song The Lone Pilgrim. May be some common ground for us to discuss at bl.com
Foxofbama

12:05 PM  
Blogger MUCKRAKER said...

Naw…but I read Rove’s big book and he didn’t mention Richard Land once. Actually I’m a product of the ’30s – Great Depression! To see how mean the world is these days, read American Assassin by Flynn. It’s a page-turner.

4:53 PM  

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