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Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:57 AM

Money and The Maxed Out Right

What will Wall Street do? The Republican Party has been their go to team for most of the last century. Sure Wall Street curried favor among some Democrats also. They are after all the folks who brought us hedge funds. But .to sell their interests to the voting public, Wall Street long ago positioned Republicans as the “Daddy” Party in American politics; the “Father knows best” eat your spinach Party. Wall Streets interests require deft promotion because Big Money is not all that popular in a Democracy where most people, to varying degrees, must struggle to get by. So Republicans were billed as the ‘grown ups” in the room, to contrast with those “flakey” to the point of “radical” liberals who, Republicans asserted, controlled the Democratic Party. Well that game plan has sure been shot to hell. Cue the pyrotechnics over our nation’s debt ceiling.

From the post World War Two days through the close of the 20th Century, Wall Street for the most part fronted Republicans who, by and large, didn’t pick ugly fights with well intentioned liberal goals, just with all the methods advocated to achieve them. The first major glitch in that playbook arrived with the Goldwater movement, which stunned the Republican Establishment in 1964 by defeating Nelson Rockefeller for the Republican Presidential nomination. LBJ’s subsequent landslide victory helped shove the social conservative genie back into its class glass bottle for nearly a generation, but 1964 exposed Wall Streets political Achilles heel. Staid candidates may reassure the general electorate, but staid doesn’t inspire a movement, and to cobble together national electoral majorities Republicans need social value conservative foot soldiers in the trenches to energize their sober centrist appeals. The trick lay in excluding them from the halls of power.

From Big Money’s perspective, Reaganism hit the sweet spot, all the fervor with little loss of real control. Wall Street could, and did, do business with Ronald Reagan, who mostly only frightened off the liberals. But right wing populism can be like crack cocaine. Wall Street soared on the Rush, but soon became dependent to it. Fear and anger bred votes that they came to bank on. Economic populists, for self evident reasons, are problematic for Wall Street to manage but “traditional values” populism posed no such conflict of interest. Increasingly there wasn’t a regressive social movement that Republicans refused to flirt with. But like Frankenstein’s Monster, the coalition that Wall Street helped stitch together developed a life of its own.

They were supposed to stay under the radar. They were supposed to settle for table scraps plus an occasional bone thrown to them. In Washington and on Wall Street the lessons from 1964 were forgotten. Give smoldering ashes oxygen and flames will reignite. Quietly but unambiguously, the John Birch Society strode back in from the cold, as an official sponsor of the CPAC Conference which major candidates for the Republican 2012 Presidential nomination addressed. In the hills and hollows where the KKK once gathered, Right Wing Militias stage military exercises while racism itself is reinvigorated through a “Birtherism” movement obsessed with denying the legitimacy of America’s first African American President.

The Right is embarked on a forced march away from America’s center, with the Republican Party now held as hostage with large portions of that Party showing clear signs of Stockholm syndrome. When there no longer are any holds barred do major financial interests still have a hold on the Right? When virulent conspiracy theories center on the U.N. in N.Y.C, how distant can Wall Street remain? Just how safe is that bet Wall Street made on social conservatism? Its Chosen Son just went down in flames; all the money in the world couldn’t save Mitt Romney from the company he was forced to keep. The litany of litmus tests the New Right forced Romney to pass disqualified him to a broad swath of voters.

The Center refuses to hold and the New Right isn’t strong enough to carry the Republican Party on its own, not on a national scale at least. The Right, for practical purposes, is maxed out. It might yet grow more extreme but it will not grow larger. For every new voter it attracts a former one is repelled, and even that temporary stasis is slipping away as the aged die and a white majority erodes.

This nation has war fatigue but Republicans want more war, or at least more Americans left behind in countries we are trying to exit. Attempts to resurrect the Cold War have not proved very popular. America no longer favors the Republican Party to govern our foreign affairs. Republicans used to reliably win elections by playing to homophobia, but today that tack works against them more often than not. Republicans heavily courted fundamentalists and wound up in a war on science, which is seldom a long term winning strategy. Their embrace of traditional gun culture morphed into defending expanded ammo clips for Survivalists and anti-Government rebels. Opposition to Abortion broadened to attacks on contraceptives, and now rape is heard described as a means of procreation.

Fifty years of branding have been overturned in five. Republicans once were cast as realists with their feet firmly planted on the ground. The Democrats, it was said, were the wild eyed dreamers. That is not how it seems today. The Right embraces brinksmanship as their favored tactic; Shutting down the government slides from being a threat toward a desired outcome.

The self professed custodians of our nations treasure are preparing to play craps with the full faith and credit of the United States of America, and that does not make “The Market” happy. Wall Street, literally, was hit hard by Super Storm Sandy, and the overwhelming majority of House Republicans just voted against bailing New York out. Who can Wall Street turn to, to carry their water now?

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Money and The Maxed Out Right (Original post)
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2013 OP
Jackpine Radical Jan 2013 #1
NewHere112233 Jan 2013 #2
ieoeja Jan 2013 #3
NewHere112233 Jan 2013 #7
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2013 #6
NewHere112233 Jan 2013 #8
cyberswede Jan 2013 #9
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2013 #10
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #4
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2013 #5
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2013 #11
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2013 #12

Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:12 PM

1. I'd say you're calling it about right.

But the English usage Nazi in me wants to point out that the word "tact" as you use it in the 3rd from last para should either be "tactic" or perhaps "tack," as in directing a sailing vessel close into the wind.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:13 PM

2. Constitutional Republic...

Not Democracy. Its a pet peeve of mine, I apologize. Had to edit... did you see what all was in that "Aid" for superstorm sandy victims? The thing that got to me was all the money going fisheries in Alaska? Im sorry but what did superstorm sandy do to fisheries in Alaska? It was filled with a bunch of unnecessary spending that had nothing to do with helping the victims of that storm. I am ALL FOR helping the victims of the storm. I am NOT for unnecessary spending in our current situation as a country. I strongly feel that bill needed to be stopped. If everyone is intent on getting aid to the storm victims as quickly as possible, please make it about the victims, and not about the fisheries in Alaska. (And that is only one example of the unnecessary spending put into the "aid" there was many more. That was the one that I just happen to remember most.)

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Response to NewHere112233 (Reply #2)


Response to ieoeja (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:56 PM

7. Sorry

Our country was founded as a Constitutional Republic, the Representative Democracy part is only as of the last 100 years in our country. (As of 1913 because that was the first senate entirely voted in by voters, rather then the state legislators.) You are right, Im sorry, it is now both.

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Response to NewHere112233 (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:48 PM

6. 2 and 1/2 months after a major disaster is not the time to shave "Pork" from disaster response funds

Two weeks after, maybe. Every day in Congress there are ample opportunities to strip "pork" from legislation for anyone wanting to "make a stand". Sandy Disaster victims have suffered for too long already without Congress stepping up for them. The Republican House is self governed - nothing stopped them from passing fully adaquate clean funding for Sandy disaster victims in a timely matter. It was not a priority of the Republican House to do so.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:59 PM

8. 2 1/2 Months

Why did it take 2 1/2 months to come up for a vote? What was preventing it from being brought up sooner? Just wondering because I don't understand why it took so long to come up in the first place because I do agree that this aid is extremely important...

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Response to NewHere112233 (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:16 PM

9. Maybe this...

The delay is probably due, in no small measure, to Right-Wing political activist David Koch, the fourth-richest man in America and bank-roller of the SuperPAC Americans For Prosperity, who warned congressmen away from the Hurricane Sandy aid package, under pain of his financial retribution.


http://www.silive.com/opinion/columns/index.ssf/2013/01/in_hurricane_sandy_aid_delay_d.html

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Response to NewHere112233 (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:41 PM

10. What cyberswede said plus Boehner's fragile Speakership...

He was afraid the Tea Party would topple him in the new Congress if he brought forward any spending proposals without direct offsetting spending cuts in the closing weeks of the last Congress.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:22 PM

4. So what happens when Wall Street shifts its money Niagara onto the Democrats full force?

I don't see that as being necessarily an unalloyed good thing for the average American.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 12:33 PM

5. There would be a clear down side to that from a progressive stand point

Will they? Not all that likely but I suppose not impossible. I think it is more likely that Wall Street will be hedging their bets a lot more in the near future, they will bolster "the Center" on both sides of the aisle - not so much because they themselves are deeply centrist but they need elected allies with strong centrist appeal for their agenda to move forward smoothly.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:07 PM

11. P.S. The problem may be it's too late

While Big Money may now want to support the Center, the Center has become less politically viable. Activist passion is starting to trump cash from both sides of the political spectrum.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 09:27 AM

12. I think the Super Wealthy seriously miscalculated

They played for short term gains, going for easy victories with a ginned up electoral majority that would support their self interests. But in the process they destabalized a status quo in America that by and large had been favorable to their agenda. I think most members of that class will ultimately conclude that they have no real alternative to funding pro establishment Republicans in a destructive civil war inside of the Republican Party. Meanwhile the Democratic base has been radicalized and energized in outrage at the excesses of the Right. Wealth inequality has been growing for decades with little wide spread attention paid to it until the last few years - the Left has gained influence as a result of Wall Stret etc. miscalculating.

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