"The time is always right to do what is right"~~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Whew. Nasty. That was one hell of a campaign season; one hell of an election. Democrats emerged, bruised and broken, yet their mindset seems to be -- hey, we survived Bush, how bad can it be? Sadly, the grim truth they refuse to face is -- we didn't survive Bush...
The radical right-wing, neo-conservative, religious-based, hate-empowered GOP once again owes the half-crazed ideologues in the Supreme Court a hearty thanks for plunging yet another dagger into the heart of democracy with its Citizens United corporate giveaway. And no Justice on that venerable body is more ideologically rigid than Dick Cheney's hunting buddy Antonin Scalia, who ramrodded the Court's 2000 Presidential "Selection" for George W. Bush, and is now out there taking aim at the century-old 17th Amendment to the US Constitution, which is literally the last barrier to a corporate-owned nation.
The 17th Amendment allows U.S. Senators to be elected by the people, rather than by individual state legislatures. Recently, referring to the Constitution, Scalia said the 17th Amendment "has changed things enormously. We changed that in a burst of progressivism in 1913, and you can trace the decline of so-called states’ rights throughout the rest of the 20th century..."
We need another "burst of progressivism" -- and soon. We are in the throes of a political convulsion, an intellectual and moral battle that we are increasingly in danger of losing. It's time to stop, take a deep national breath, and then...take a deep national bath. This nation has been in a spiraling nose dive for a decade...We need to make a genuine effort to actually see what we've only been looking at -- actually listen to what we've only been hearing.
Neither party spent much time talking about the issues; the real problems facing this country. Perhaps that's because the Republican party is a greedy force, too corrupt and venal to change -- and the Democratic Party is a shameless enabler, too timid and flabby to make a difference. Throw the corporate media in there, where it's all politics all the time because that's where the money is, and it's easy to see -- if you're really looking -- why we're caught up in the patriotic spirit of waving the flag for more tax cuts, trading freedoms for safety and following our presidential Pied Piper into the quagmire of endless war.
Republicans are dangerous. Like Bush, they are morally depraved, in that they feel no guilt or remorse for anything they say or do, regardless of the outcome. It's far too easy in this Tea Party sodden society to rationalize that murdering, wounding, displacing millions of innocent human beings was, and continues to be, necessary in order to protect the American people.
They say they are against big government, and justify their destruction of the social network by repeating "the american people...the american people...the american people" in mind-numbing repetition, much as Bush justified his bloodlust with a constant "september the 11th...september the 11th...september the 11th."
The only things Republicans have ever given to the American people is depression, poverty and despair. And their foot-stomping threats to shut down the government until their billionaire donors get a tax cut is a clear warning that more is on the way.
Having a Black man within a country mile of the Oval Office has driven a majority of Republicans, and some Democrats -- as liberal radio commentator Mike Malloy says -- "bat-shit crazy," and they are determined to destroy President Obama. Just days before the mid-term election, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared, “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Really? With the barrage of critical issues swirling throughout this nation -- more than 15-million "american people" unemployed and, every day, more losing jobs, homes, unemployment insurance, health insurance, their very lives -- yet nothing is more important than destroying the President?
Lest anyone think the old Kentuckian was racist, just days after the election, he chucked his hood and went into safe, regressive "american people" spin, saying for all practical purposes -- the american people reminded us this week that we work for the american people and we owe it to the american people and to future generations of the american people to work together to find solutions to present troubles of the american people and to help guide our nation of american people to better days...
“The formula is simple, really," McConnell said. "When the administration agrees with the American people, we will agree with the administration. When it disagrees with the American people, we won’t … If the administration wants cooperation, it will have to begin to move in our direction.”
Simple translation -- what all Republicans are saying if you listen -- Our way, or the highway -- and to hell with the American people.
Neither party can escape its history. American people struggling to prevent the American Flag from becoming their funeral shroud should remember that the Great Depression did not come about by accident. While Americans were standing in soup lines, the Republican administration was carrying Big Business through the crisis. Banks, insurance companies and corporate donors all got bailed out; big business got tax cuts -- but there was no relief for "the american people."
Sound familiar? Yes, because President Obama, in his cowering attempt at bipartisanship, is taking us "forward to the past" so rapidly that our knees are hitting our chins for nothing less than endless war, a recession caused by a permanent rich-man's tax cut and the final shredding of our social safety net. It is likely that our veterans, our children, our elderly will be forgotten or cast aside simply for the enrichment of lobbyists who paid for Republican campaigns and are now swarming all over the Capital.
Time is running out. Like Jon Stewart said when explaining the reason for his Oct. 30 Rally to Restore Sanity on the National Mall, the American people -- regardless of their political affiliation -- "Know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light we have to work together."
So let's do it! The time is right. Let's give Scalia another badly needed "burst of progressivism." After all -- like McConnell says -- we're the american people...
Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is an OpEd editor, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.