Beliefnet
A Pagan's Blog

Anyone wishing something worthwhile
would come out of Washington has got to be disappointed in the outcome of
Tuesday’s elections.  Disappointed,
but not surprised.  Even though as
both a party and on almost every issue the Republicans poll begind the Democrats,
they whipped them soundly in the House. 
The reasons are many, have nothing to do with people opposing
progressive and religiously tolerant issues, and begin with the smooth talking
fraud in the White House.  But do
not end there.


Obama made three basic mistakes and
faled to listen to people who warned him. 
I knew they were mistakes at the time, but obviously do not have access
to His Mightiness, but others with similar perceptions and better informed on
the details did.

1. A president’s greatest power is
in his first year in office.  Obama
squandered it away in an imbecilic quest for “bipartisanship” with the most
savagely partisan crowd ever elected in our lifetimes – until Tuesday.  It was imbecilic because he proved
unable to learn fro experience.

2. He failed utterly to provide
leadership towards the “change” he had continually promised.  Campaigning against business as usual,
he immediately began business as usual. 
The first hint in this dereliction was his appointing almost entirely
Clintonites. But it was hardly the last.

3. He treated his strongest
supporters with disdain.  The gays
are the most visible recipient of this stupidity, but Hispanics, the young
and all progressive Democrats (who were responsible for his beating Clinton for
the nomination) were treated no better.  He played “11 dimensional chess” alright – against his supporters, using them as sacrificial pawns.  Problem is, he’s a bad chess player.

One could add that in those areas where he had the power to
initiate change without getting Congressional approval, he mostly did not.  No investigation of Bush era criminal
action. He failed to support Dawn Johnson when he could easily have done so.  No follow through on promises for
transparency in government.  Quite
the contrary.  The Iraq War ended
by renaming our troops as support troops. 
No investigation of the banks. 
Very little attention paid to the economic needs of any one but the very
wealthy.  A secret committee made
up of many hostile to Social Security to report on its “deliberations” between
now and the end of the year.  He
let BP control our Gulf Coast during a time of crisis.  I could go on at greater length, but
you get the point. 

That right wingers call him “left”
mostly shows how utterly incapable they are of even the most vestigial
understanding of politics. But then they want power and do not care about ideas or policies. He is a slightly more enlightened tool of the
corporate elite compared to his Republican opponents, but little more.  Look at the stock market performance rather
than mumblings by paid liars to see the proof he has been good for
shareholders. The stock market does not rebound when businessmen fear for their profits..

He was better than Bush, but did
nothing to encourage his supporters that he was a man of his word and showed
no strength of leadership.  He did
the opposite.  And now he (and we) are paying the price.

Might Obama suddenly take fire,
reverse his mistakes, and become a mensch?  Stranger things have happened, but not often.

Add to Obama’s miserable performance
perhaps the worst Senate leader in history, Harry Reid, who gave Bush little opposition
when in the minority and the Democrats little success when in a big majority,
and you have a party dominated by weaklings and incompetents.  Voters all too often simply admire
strength, and while Republican “strength” is built on lies, hypocrisy, and
posing, it still looked impressive compared to Obama and Reid.

So what does this mean?  I think it is the final proof that the
Clintonian politics of cybical triangulation is a dead end, particularly against the radical right.  It is also proof that we have for all
intent and purposes a two party oligopoly where the corporations win both ways,
and the people lose – quickly under the Republicans and more slowly under the
Democrats.

There are three things Americans
can do right now to try and reverse this dismal picture.

1. Challenge Blue Dogs and other
corporate servants in any primary where a candidate can be fielded.  Many Blue Dongs died, opening up their districts to decent candidates when the tides turn.  Make sure decent candidates are in the primaries. But this is a stop gap, no matter how successful it can be at times.

2. In states with initiatives, push
for majority vote elections and an instant runoff.  This is already being tried in some cities and chaos has not ensued.  It means a vote
for a third party is not a wasted vote because your second choice can be the
major party candidate least awful.

Those are prerequisites.  Then . . .

3. Public funding of all
campaigns.  If a candidate spends
his or her own money, or other money, or there are political mass media ads
from other parties, public funding will match it dollar for dollar. 

4. No public employee may ever work
as a PAID lobbyist after leaving public service.  For life. Don’t like it?  Don’t be a public employee. This measure should be strengthened every way that is constitutional.

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