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Fri Nov 30, 2012, 05:42 AM

No Wonder So Many Are Disillusioned by Our Politics -- We've Got an 18th Century Political System

http://www.alternet.org/books/no-wonder-so-many-are-disillusioned-our-politics-weve-got-18th-century-political-system



In 2008, an economic earthquake of historic proportions shook the world. That was followed by numerous aftershocks whose effects are still being felt years later. In the middle of the economic crash, a new audacity of hope arrived in the form of the first African American president elected in U.S. history. It was a jubilant moment showing America at its best, taking a giant step toward the dream of a multiracial society.

The very campaign of Barack Obama, which drew in unprecedented numbers of young people, seemed to auger a new era in politics that held out the potential for a badly needed transformation. Time magazine featured the face of President-elect Obama on its cover, photoshopped into a likeness of President Franklin Roosevelt complete with tipped cigarette holder and grey fedora. It seemed that a new New Deal was on the horizon for an America suffering from the ravages of a historic economic collapse.

Yet, within a short time, the Obama administration found itself flat-footed on nearly all policy fronts. Confronted by intractable challenges and difficult choices presented by the economic crisis, and hindered by a polarized Congress more interested in political brinksmanship and deploying cheap, anti-majoritarian strategies like the filibuster, the Obama administration responded with timid proposals that failed to realize its promise. It turned out that America’s antiquated political system was so creaky and sclerotic that it was impervious to even the most talented of its politicians.

President Obama’s leadership failure came at a crucial moment. Without a politics that could rein in the economics, Wall Street honchos at Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brother and others had turned our banks and financial system into their personal casinos to be bailed out by taxpayers when their bets tanked. The economic crash had been caused by a hyper-deregulated U.S. financial system that, without sufficient political and administrative oversight, had spun out of control. Wall Street’s brand of capitalism resulted in a socializing of the losses and privatizing of the gains. And so it fell to the American political system, which had failed to rein in the runaway train to begin with, to re-regulate the economy and try to make the country safe again for capitalism.

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Reply No Wonder So Many Are Disillusioned by Our Politics -- We've Got an 18th Century Political System (Original post)
xchrom Nov 2012 OP
CanonRay Nov 2012 #1
marmar Nov 2012 #2
xchrom Nov 2012 #3
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #10
PETRUS Nov 2012 #4
leftstreet Nov 2012 #5
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #6
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #9
Romulox Nov 2012 #7
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #8

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:12 AM

1. It worked fairly well until about 1992

When;

a) Newt Gingrich became speaker of the house
b) Right Wing talk radio started up
c) President Clinton took office and "no compromise" became the GOP mantra
and they stopped recognizing the legitimacy of Democratic Presidents.

It hasn't worked worth a shit, since.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:36 AM

2. C'est vrai. Changes will only come from a massive push from the people.


........ Whether it be reigning in the banks, dealing with the climate crisis, taxing the rich, etc, etc, -- this political system, hopelessly corrupted by corporate money -- has shown its inability and unwillingness to make ANY change. It's time for a people-powered deconstruction.

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Response to marmar (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:38 AM

3. indeed!

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Response to marmar (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:00 PM

10. Unwillingness. Just before the President took office the American People crashed

 

the Capital Hill switchboard and literally flooded them with emails and messages telling them "NO!" to the bankster bailout. Over 70% against and still they put us on the hook for trillion$. If that doesn't make it perfectly clear for whom they work, I don't know what else would.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:45 AM

4. K&R

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:48 AM

5. Appears to be the weakest, most cowardly Administration ever n/t

DURec

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:55 AM

6. what we have now is an oligarchy and plutocracy

The government can no longer really make the kind of changes that need to be made. We the people will have to make that change.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:08 PM

9. We are, ostensibly the government. You're right, we have to provide the will to change it. n/t

 

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:57 AM

7. Occam's razor: Nobody is "stopping" the President from proposing liberal policies. He's a centrist

at very best.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:17 AM

8. "President Obama’s leadership failure came at a crucial moment."

 

2008 was the moment. That moment was not merely lost, it was actively shunned. The President betrayed the people in order to satisfy the old line politicians and the parasites that own them.

Going through the blow-by-blow again will accomplish nothing. This article sufficiently points out the overall effects as well as pointing out some of our most cherished delusions. Unfortunately, the author is in the business of hawking his book and so we will have to buy it to read all the details of how he proposes to implement the changes we almost universally agree must be made, but I'm sure that if he has indeed figured it out we will all hear of it soon enough.

"Trillions for Wall Street, nothing for Main Street" is more than a slogan, it is an inescapable indictment.

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