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Commentary :: Politics
Well What Are They Going To Do?
14 May 2010
So we head into another election season after the momentous one of just a year ago. The mood of the country would seem to be going in the opposite direction at least according to mainstream media. What we have been hearing about is how disappointed the country is with the current president and that anger is building. We hear the country has decided to turn to who for change? What? No way!!!! It’s… the guys we all went running from last time around!!!!!!! Oy gevalt!!! Voters are in an abusive relationship and can’t say no
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Who would have thought? How could it be? If they tell us it’s true it must be true. Right? Well that’s where we should go if everyone else is, but when you talk to people on the street most people say something a little different. I don’t mean the selected 5-6 or whatever we see on the news as if they represented all of us. Sure polls say this and that, but they say all kinds of different things. In fact polls tend to swing so much and so often as to seem to be just part of the theater. It all depends on which ones get reported on and how they are couched in the segment in question.

Remember health care reform? It had seventy percent approval rating in June of 2009. ( Oh yeah the majority of the country was supposedly for it. Just a few months later? Well we had wall to wall coverage of conservative protesters going bonkers in town hall meetings and suddenly all the hoopla went the other way. It was as if someone was saying “look this way, now look that way.” But most people really say both parties are to blame. Yet, the only pundits we hear from are of either of the two parties on the news. Why is that exactly?

For a time it seemed something new might truly be in the air. There were these protests we kept seeing that reflected real frustration on the streets and at home with government in general. These were orchestrated by a combination of grass roots activists and well paid Washington lobby groups. These being lobbying groups like FreedomWorks, not only helped organize Tea Part events and are listed on their web site (, but were lobbying for big corporate interests at the same time.

The founder has lobbied for corporate interests including big banks, and those of those angry at corporations and banks etc. Hmmmmm. FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey has played both sides of the fence. For instance, “throughout 2004, Armey and DLA Piper had lobbied for Equitas, a British insurer that managed asbestos claims and lobbied to shape legislation creating a trust fund for people suffering from asbestos-related diseases. (FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe says Equitas supported the bill.) But Armey also voiced radio ads for FreedomWorks that urged people to ask senators to oppose the legislation.” ( Who’s wagging who?

He has been a loyal Republican for most of his life, yet now claims to be the figurehead of a group supposedly independent of any political party. However, along with the many other supposedly independent leaders of the party, he has advocated for more of the same. Most people who are independents, like myself, have grown to find the development of the Tea Party interesting. As a registered Independent I was very skeptical at first, but then thought perhaps this could be the real thing - a group advocating for a new direction. They even pushed a third party candidate to almost win in upstate New York.

Previous to that many people including myself said they were just a shill for the Republican Party at the top level. Being as all the people up top were for many years Republican politicians, activists, workers, employees or lobbyists it was hard not to think that way. Then, the more time went on and with the phenomena of New York’s 23rd district how could one not begin to wonder?

But suddenly they all started saying “vote Republican” either outright or in less blatant terms. FreedomWorks’ Dick Armey did the same on CNN. ( Sarah Palin has also done the same. ( Whatever us Independents thought of Sarah Palin one way or another, when she said Tea Party Activists had to choose a side and that would either be Republican or Democrat, she said they were not capable enough to start a new direction for America and that we need to go with the same culture of Washington. Why was it good enough for Doug Hoffman, but not anyone else?

In the end what main party candidate can really pull us away from the status quo? When Tea Partiers said, “neither Republicans nor Democrats were doing right by us” we all started to take notice. It was something we all could agree with. It was something we all had been saying for a long time. Barack Obama did make some historic changes, but Washington pressure also forced his hand on many other issues and he was made to acquiesce. We all saw this happen.

When Scott Brown was elected in Massachusetts he was supposed to be an example of a Republican propelled to Washington by the Tea Party who would show something of the new Republican who would stick by those principles. At least that was the message and the celebratory mantra upon his win. But did that happen or did he begin moving, shifting and mainstreaming? The fact was he just turned out to be a middle of the road Republican like so many before him and would not be the Tea Party representative. Grass roots Tea Partiers nation wide said they felt burned.

So why should we believe any other person elected to one of the major parties would be any different? Why would they be a huge change? Why would they be expected to be this incredible departure? Has there been any difference in the past?

Take the GOP for example. When they said they would be the fiscal conservatives in the past were they? Were they the Tea Party conservatives in the past? No, contract broken. Were they the pillars of family values any more than Democrats? No, contract broken. Were they foreign policy conservatives who would follow through on no new nation building? No, within a short time following 911 an invasion of Iraq was being planned. Contract broken. Find a way to work with the new government? Nope, contract broken.

The truth is Washington politics really won’t be changed by Washington politicians saying “this time it will be different.” It will be what it has always been. Anger will be turned into another chapter of frustration and disappointment. Then we will have an expensive campaign to push us to the other guys and then again. It will go on this way as long as we say we want different and keep the same old guys wearing new costumes. They’ll just change into regular party costumes a month or two after they are in office to conduct business as usual or be forced into it by their larger party.

The truth is until there are true differences there will be lip service and just the same old. The truth is until we see more than just the two we will have just the two and business as usual. Washington will not change until Washington changes. Only we can do that. If the Tea Party says, “get the same guys wearing different costumes in” they are essentially saying “get the same guys in.”

It took an independent named Bernie Sanders to get some change regarding Fed transparency going. Hopefully that won’t be blown by the typical two. That spirit can only be won by new people. That doesn’t mean get rid of the typical two, but that we need to have real fresh blood injected to force hands who probably want to do it, but are held hostage by big corporations. I mean if the Tea Party are not Republicans, why is it whenever experts are asked about the Tea Party and their stance the experts being asked are always Republicans?

To read more about my experiences with harassment at The University of Connecticut go to
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