“The Winter of America’s Discontent”

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Our leaders have offered excuse after excuse to try to explain why they won’t can’t pass social legislation.  Not since the time of LBJ have they passed any social legislation of significance.  Why could LBJ get such landmark legislation pushed through Congress as the following, and in such a very short time frame, while the Democratic majority of both Houses of Congress and a Democratic Administration is mired in self-inflicted gridlock?  Here’s a reminder of what was accomplished in two short years a few decades ago (and these are just the really big ones–there were many more also passed, and worth a few minutes to check them out  here : (all emphasis mine)

1964:  Civil Rights Act of 1964  (plus many, many more socially beneficial laws)

1965:  Medicare

Housing Act

Voting Rights

Anti-Poverty Program

Aid to Appalachia

Highway Beauty

Clean Air Water Pollution Control

High SpeChild Health

High Speed Transit

Community Health Services….etc, etc, etc.

Republicans politicians have subsequently made it their goal to reverse every single piece of social legislation enacted during those two years and before, and  blocking any future attempts to enact more socially responsible legislation. Democrats have either passively stood back and allowed them to do so, or have actively assisted them in destroying as much social legislation as possible. While LBJ wasn’t the most likable guy in the world, and he made many mistakes (we know what they were), he did get that legislation passed.  He wasn’t a “nice guy”, but he got the job done.

In 2008, the people had had enough.  They gave the Democrats a clear majority in both Houses of Congress, and the White House. Instead of doing as they were elected to do, the Democrats have fought among themselves, have made multiple unnecessary concessions in the name of “bipartisanship” with their uber-partisan Republican colleagues, and have sacrificed principles (and the good of the people) for the sake of the lobbyists.  The Republicans meanwhile continued to do what they do best–obstruct for the sake of obstruction.  

Via huffington post this article discusses the fact that Voters are Fed Up With Both Parties.

It has been more than four decades since the Congress of the United States has been able to summon the will to pass a major piece of social legislation…

Significant healthcare reform is all but dead for this session, and the chances of substantively addressing the regulatory breakdown that allowed Wall Street’s irresponsible speculation to precipitate the worst global financial crisis since the Depression seem to recede with each passing day. So too the prospects for passage of further stimulus measures to remedy the crisis of unemployment and underemployment…”  

The people continue telling the politicians they are not doing their jobs:

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey, for example, found that although 52% of the nation’s voters retain a favorable view of President Obama, only 38% have a similar appraisal of the Democratic Party. The Republicans fare even worse; just 30%, fewer than 1 in 3 voters, view the GOP favorably…

“A national Washington Post/ABC News poll found that just 24% of Americans, fewer than 1 in 4, trust congressional Republicans…The House and Senate Democrats didn’t fare all that better, and are trusted by just 32%. Forty-seven percent of those polled — still less than half — have confidence in Obama’s ability to make the right decisions…”

Well, Democratic and Republican politicians–if that isn’t a giant “No Confidence” vote from the people who elected you, what is?  BTW, Democrats: If 24% of Americans view the Republicans favorably–why are you still bending over backwards to accommodate them, to the detriment of your constituents?

But, what is even more troubling about the politico’s lack of willingness to listen to their constituents is what their willful disdain for the people who elected them could mean to our democracy:

When people’s mistrust of their elected officials and the parties reaches these levels…… Discontent with the present and apprehension about the future have become the background noise of our politics, yet both sides of the congressional aisle seem deaf to the din….

In one of his magisterial explorations of German politics between the wars, the historian Ian Kershaw mused that “there are times — they mark the danger point for a political system — when politicians can no longer communicate, when they stop understanding the language of the people they are supposed to be representing.”

It would be reckless not to insist that this country and its politics remain, in crucial ways, far distant from Weimar. It would be rash, though, to pretend that the distance remains as great as it once was…

Unfortunately, it seems that far too few of our politicians are able to step back from the kabuki theater of DC politics, and listen to their constituents.  If they were wiser and had more integrity, they would listen, then they would make rational decisions and follow through with acts of principle for the good of the people.  They would act with courage instead of cowardice.  They would put the people before the politics.  If they don’t begin to listen soon, the gap in the “distance between the Weimar republic” and our current Democracy could grow shorter and shorter. The problem is how do we make them listen and make them do it?  The more troubling question is:  Can we?  Thoughts anyone?



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  1. …as if these kooks weren’t the only ones that the republicans have been listening to and representing–earning them that whopping 24% overall satisfaction rate in the poll.

  2. Ian Kershaw has been paying attention . . .

    “there are times — they mark the danger point for a political system — when politicians can no longer communicate, when they stop understanding the language of the people they are supposed to be representing.”

    We’re there.  

  3. Hah, if I had the answers to this,

    The problem is how do we make them listen and make them do it?  The more troubling question is:  Can we?  Thoughts anyone?

    I’d rob a bank and take us ALL on vacation!  We need a F..king break — endless — nine years plus!

    I have no friggin’ answers — I have some ideas only!  

    For one, we need to replace all the Congress and Senate critters who have betrayed us — whew, that’s a lotta’ peeps!  But it needs to be done — there are some new ones out there to look at.  

    But, also, I think we need, as many here believe, to start tending to and participating in “community” efforts.  That would include buying locally, participating in community government, doing any and all things to stop feeding the snakes — we need to cut off the “snake’s head.”  How do we do this?  Find means, in whatever ways possible, to starve it!  

    Our government is a “cancer” that has been metastasizing rapidly in the last nine years (earlier, as well, but not as quickly), the same for which no efforts to arrest it have been made,” thus, we have the situation we have now. Cancer does not STOP growing of its own accord  — it must be treated! (Remember, “Impeachment is Off the Table,” etc.”  Little “nips and “tucks” here and there are worthless, IMV, and, in fact, though suggested, are not really happening period.

    When I have the answers, I’ll e-mail you with the same.  😉  

  4. Why is that?

    The 1992-1993 Premier Illuminati Advancement years

    Globalization was enhanced via NAFTA and the China and India carbon exempt status.  That was the very start of the industrial gold rush for those countries.  It was also the start of US destructive “free trade” treaties cementing the death we are facing now.

    It was also the era of deregulation of the financial industry.  The end of the education dumbed down era and the start of education as “compliance era.  

  5. We make them afraid of us by not voting for people who don’t represent us, regardless of the letter they’re wearing after their name and regardless of who takes the seat instead.  

    We cast our votes instead for someone who will represent us, no matter how “tiny” and “hopeless” this person’s party is said to be.  A primary challenger in the primaries; a third-party challeneger in the general election.  Generously speaking, one quarter of American voters still  trust Republicans and one third of American voters still trust Democrats to represent them.  Both of those numbers will probably continue to fall.  That leaves 42 percent (and counting) of American voters–a segment of voters who would win national elections in three-way races–who are looking for another party.    Obviously, that voter segment isn’t looking for another corporateparty, of which we already have two.

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