I WENT DOWN TO
2 MAY, 2009
© PIRATE JOE
Ah, time for another screed. The title of this one
is not as carelessly chosen as one might think. We now stand at many
crossroads, but the one I wish to write about tonight concerns the
future of America’s political parties.
The Republican party is on particularly shaky ground
at this point, and some are saying that it just may be the end. Maybe,
yet maybe not. There are two things that are not in doubt, however:
(1.)The Democrats will be the ones who make that decision.(2.) Don’t
count the Republicans out just yet. Remember Watergate?
Republicans suffered just a four-year (one term) exile from the White
House and returned triumphantly for a 12 year stint. One could argue
that they are in considerably more trouble this time: the American
people, heading into financial turmoil and sick to death of eight years
of ruling class über allis,
elected Barack Obama to bring them “change they could believe in” I
voted for him, too. But will he deliver?
The chessboard looks rather interesting now, with
unexpected developments on both sides. Rush Limbaugh has, for all
intents and purposes, taken over the Republican Party. He’s the bishop
with a comanding view at the centre of the board backed up by a pawn:
you can take him out, but you’ll lose your piece. Think twice. Mr. Michael Steele,
chairman of the Republican National Committee, found out the hard way,
and is off to the side, captured and out of the game.
Mr Limbaugh is effectively steering the party
further to the right. That’s a big gamble right now, my prognosis is
that Republicans will either win big or lose everything.
The End of The
GOP and Formation of “Party X”
Rush Limbaugh has been working hard to take over the
GOP, and turn it further to the right in a paroxysm of Ayn Rand
inspired ruling-class worship. This is Limbaugh’s real raison d’être: although if
asked, I’m sure he would identify himself as a social conservative, his
many (ex) wives and his love of opiates would suggest his approach to
lifestyle choices is not exactly Sunday School inspired. No, Limbaugh’s
job is to convince us all to believe that “dat man in de big plantation
house is gwine to take cayah of us”, if
only we make him even richer. Ronald Reagan named it
“trickle-down economics”. Translation: make the rich richer and you’ll
have better garbage to pick. Indeed. Oh, by the way: notice that the
word is “trickle” not “flow”. We wouldn’t want the riff-raff getting
ahead too quickly now, would we?
One of Limbaugh’s most defining moments occurred
last winter when the big bank CEO’s were called down to testify before
Congress about the economic crisis (which those same CEO’s
engendered). Limbaugh was “outraged” that these folks were being made
to “grovel” before Congress. He bellowed, screamed, panted and whined,
while his blood pressure made a respectable run at the Guinness World
Book of Records. Obviously, Limbaugh was freaked that anyone from the
Ruling Class should be thus treated. You
or I can be summoned before Congress if some issue should arise,
but the Ruling Class should be above such things: (Remember, Dick
Cheeny just ignored Congress).
Limbaugh thundered on to make his philosophical outlook as unambiguous
as possible: “when we return to
power....and we WILL....it will be the union bosses that we’ll drag
before Congress....and when it comes time to fire people, union workers
will be the first to go!” (Of course, Rush; how dare the
riff-raff organise to secure their rights. We all know that they
deserve nothing more than what the ruling class deigns to give them.)
Interesting point: Mr. Limbaugh used the word “we”. To what office has
he been elected?
While we’re on the subject, let’s take a quick
overview of how we have faired at the hands of the ruling class over
the years. We’ll start with the (post-Renaissance) beginning of the
modern era, (leaving juicy little tidbits such as ancient Egypt,
the Roman Empire, Ghengus Kahn and Church rule behind)
Let’s see: how about the feudal system? You remember
that: Dukes and princesses, earls and lords, kings and queens,
duchesses and all manner of hereditary “nobility” who owned virtually
all the land. We, of course, were
peasants. Our chances of advancement? Well, let’s just say we
would all be envying that lucky snowball in hell.
In the New World, however, feudalism would not fly.
Never at a loss, the ruling class came up with slavery, a novel system whereby
they not only owned the land, but the
people, too. Then those damn, pesky liberals kept whining that
slavery was immoral, and a blight upon our nation. Communists must have
been behind it, oh wait...there were no Communists then. Liberals had
their way and we ended slavery.
So what to do? Ah ha! How about the sweatshop? We got to work 16 hours
a day, seven days a week. At least the pay was good, sometimes as much
as $5/week. Heat? Ventilation? Bathroom breaks? Come on, you can’t have
everything. Besides, why should the boss have to pay you for using the
bathroom? Occasionally, you might get killed, as in the Triangle Shirt
Factory fire (N.Y.C.,1911) (where fire exits were blocked by stored
merchandise) but hell, storage space costs money, and if the boss has
to pay for more space, that will cut into profits.
How about the coal business? The Company supplied
you with a little house to live in (not much more than a shack) and you
spent 14 or so hours a day in the mines. Pay? You never got any real money,
instead you were paid in Company issued script...good no place else on
earth but the Company store. Of course the items were highly marked-up,
and you never had enough. No worry. Your credit was always good: “another day older and deeper in debt”.
It is worth noting here that in Rush Limbaugh’s
bible, that is, Ayn Rand’s “Atlas
engrossing novel in which she lays out her ruling class worship) a
Taggart Transportation train is stranded in the desert. A passing
vehicle offers a ride to safety, but a loyal employee elects to stay
with the train, knowing full well that there will be no other
opportunity to leave. Although it is not specifically stated whether he
survives, (he is never mentioned after that) it seems that despite her
abject worship of the ruling class, Ms. Rand just couldn’t constrain
herself from a little bit of honesty regarding the rewards to the
common folk for Company loyalty. Or perhaps it was her way of stating
that the common folk should
be sacrificed for the Company.
We could mention the violent suppression of union
organisers, the exploitation of women and children, Ronald Reagan’s
desire to lower the minimum wage....but I think you get the idea.
How It Might
At a time when the American people have had quite
enough of far-right politics, Mr Limbaugh is single-handedly taking the
GOP into another hard right turn. Mass defections (à la
November, 2008) and Arlen Specter aside, what’s happening is plain
enough for all to see: the liberal wing of the GOP has long since been
drummed out, now, at Mr. Limbaugh’s (and the Club for Growth's) behest,
it’s the moderates’ turn to go. And just where will they go? To the
Democrats, that’s where, as Captain Limbaugh sails the GOP deep into
the lunatic fringe, past the Bush and Reagan Islands, coming to rest
just to the left of the American Nazi Party, on the Isle of Right. And
just who will be left? The extreme right-wingers.
Yet it’s the defectors we need to be concerned with
here. Some will be quite happy in the Democratic fold, while I suspect,
many, if not most others would feel more comfortable a little more
right-of-centre. Herein lies the nexus of my theory: with the GOP
firmly entrenched in deep-right la-la land under Captain Limbaugh,
there would be a huge power vacuum between them and the slightly
left-of-centre Democrats, a power vacuum ample and large enough for a
completely new party to form, a party that would, more or less, fill
the place that the Republican party occupied under Teddy Roosevelt or
Dwight Eisenhower. This new party, (we’ll call it “Party X” for
illustrative purposes) could be an attractive new home for the
disenfranchised erstwhile moderate and liberal wings of the old
Republican party. Party X would, of course, distance itself from the
old Republican party. With a far more electable roster of candidates,
they would attract the funding that used to go to the GOP.
Don’t laugh. Just because the Republicans and the
Democrats are all we’ve known for all our lives, does not mean that
(that) is the way it always will be, or for that matter, always was.
American political parties do
come and go. Remember the:
(George Washington, John Adams).
[they split to become our two present-day parties] (Thomas Jefferson,
James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams).
(William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore).
Abraham Lincoln was a Whig, switching to the Republicans only upon the
dissolution of the Whig party.
Scores America’s Biggest Political Victory Ever in 2012
Perhaps we could subtitle this “with a
little help from my friends”. Barack Obama has firmly re-asserted
himself as pro NAFTA and as a globalist,while in today’s America,
talented, highly competent professionals are turning to junk jobs (to
stave off the inevitable for even just a little while) as they come to
grips with the fact that whether they be 62 or 26 their careers just may well be over.
While it is quite true that the president said up front that he was not in favour of scrapping
NAFTA, but was instead for re-negotiating it, he seems to be backing
away even from that stance. That, his continuation of George Bush’s
“just give Wall Street anything they want” programme, and the Senate’s
recent rejection of allowing bankruptcy judges to alter mortgage terms,
(that one obviously out of president Obama’s hands) are all give-aways
to the ruling class. President Obama, (who I firmly believe is among
the most decent and humanitarian individuals to ever occupy the White
House) seems to be losing touch with Main Street as he climbs the
winding stairs in the Washington Ivory Tower. Public resentment is
building as more jobs die or go overseas, as foreclosures rise and more
Wall Street bankers take bubble-baths in taxpayer cash. I find it
disgusting and ludicrous that the Senate felt that common American
citizens shouldn’t have the benefit of getting their mortgage terms
adjusted in bankruptcy court; because they didn’t manage their finances
properly, while AIG gets billions from those same taxpayers because they didn’t manage their finances
When FDR took over the reins in 1933, he first gave
out money directly to the people to keep them from disaster. He knew
that creating jobs would take time, and that something needed to be
done then and now to fill the
gap until his jobs programme was ready. He also knew that folks would
spend that money, and that would add some much needed juice to the
economy. So far, we haven’t even seen a foreclosure moratorium from
this administration. If Democrats don’t wise up, (and fast) this will tip in a big, negative way.
Re-invigorating our economy means jobs. Not just minimum-wage (or
slightly better) junk jobs, but real, steady, good paying jobs with
opportunities for advancement. No one will be eager to start a family,(
for example) if they know that at any moment their job could disappear
and that they could look forward to perhaps decades of minimum-wage
It Might Line Up:
Right now I think (despite popular opinion) that
this all portends far better for the
Republicans then the Democrats, who are astoundingly out of
touch (and) who remain committed to Republican principles such as
massive cash for the ruling class and globalism, with as little going
to the common folks as possible (if a little is good, none is better).
They are dumbfoundingly unaware (or so firmly under the thumb of the
ruling class that they feign unawareness) of the fact that trying to
create good jobs and rebuild our economy while retaining globalism and
NAFTA is like trying to fill a bottomless bucket. Democrats also
seem blissfully ignorant of the fact that the American public tends to be more
conservative than liberal, and that therefore if the Democrats
don’t help them, and instead offer the choice of “trickle-down
economics under Democrats” vs.“trickle-down economics under
Republicans” they’ll choose “trickle-down economics under Republicans”,
and the new, even further-to-the-right GOP (under Captain Limbaugh)
will come roaring back in 2012. Just as when you hand the man at the
store your money, you expect merchandise in return, when people hand a
political party their votes, they expect action in return. Sadly, it
seems to be “meet the new boss, same as the old boss” so far.
It is Barack Obama and the Democrats,
not Robert Johnson who have gone “down to the crossroads” this time. At
just over the first 100 days, it may seem as if there’s still all the
time in the world, in reality, there is not. Programmes take time to
design and implement. Once they are up and running, they take even more
time to engender noticeable results. Like it or not, November 2012 is
the deadline. If president Obama and the Democrats have not
distinguished themselves and delivered results to the people by that time,
Republicans will win big, and we will get decades of favouritism for
the ruling class on one hand and the imposition of dreary Puritan-like
morals on the other.