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'America is better than this': paralysis at the top leaves voters desperate for change

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 06:46 AM
Original message
'America is better than this': paralysis at the top leaves voters desperate for change
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/20/paralysis-i...

The US Congress achieved something last week. In the face of an attempt to make school lunches healthier, politicians fought against a plan to limit the serving of fast food. Instead, the red tomato sauce used to make pizzas will remain officially classified as a "vegetable", so that they can still be served to the nation's schoolchildren. The move followed intense and successful lobbying by the frozen food industry.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Washington weightier matters were not so straightforward. This Wednesday a "supercommittee" of Republicans and Democrats faces a deadline to come up with a deal to reduce America's vast deficits. If it fails, a huge programme of government spending cuts totalling some $1.2tn will be triggered, slashing at the defence budget and devastating vital social programmes at a time of economic hardship and growing poverty.

Needless to say, the supercommittee is hopelessly deadlocked. So, while the political system responds to the needs of the frozen food industry, it cannot agree on something as important as deficit reduction: even in the face of the threat of mind-boggling cuts. "Pizza sauce is not a vegetable," said Burdett Loomis, a political science professor at the University of Kansas. "But if they can't get it right on pizza sauce, how can they do something on the deficit, or healthcare?"

To many Americans that feels typical of the current state of their political system. The country faces a spiralling deficit, unemployment stuck at 9%, a moribund economy and the inexorable rise of China. Yet America's politicians seem more divided than ever before and neither side seems especially popular. For many Democrats, President Barack Obama is a profound disappointment. Among Republicans the likely 2012 frontrunner, Mitt Romney, is unpopular with conservatives. The rest of the Republican field has shocked many with its poor quality. Rick Perry's failure to remember his own policies in a TV debate, ending his stumble with a now famous: "Oops!" And Herman Cain also embroiled in a sex scandal recently gave a spectacularly ill-informed answer to a question on Libya. In a response that has become an instant YouTube hit, the pizza magnate stammered, stalled and almost dried up altogether when asked if he backed Obama's decision to support the Libyan rebels. He has also confused China with Iran. The gaffes have compounded a growing perception that US politics has become dangerously dysfunctional.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 07:22 AM
Response to Original message
1. We have witnessed a propound lack of leadership qualities in this country that
runs across all political parties and ideologies.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. indeed. we live in Post-Democracy america.
the question is -- what comes next?
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Kurmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Oh please, just get out and vote in 2012, and try to fix the debacle that was 2010.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 07:37 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. you can tell me what to do -- when you start paying my bills. nt
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Debacle? I guess some of you allowed 2010 to go poorly in your
State and districts, whatever that might be. Here in Oregon we had the highest turn out for a midterm since the 1980's and no Democrat lost an office in DC, no Republican gained one. We elected a new Democratic Governor as well. Same sort of results can be seen throughout this region, California did well, elected Democrats, Washington State did as well.
So. Where are you and why did you allow the 2010 election to be a 'debacle' for you and thus a glitch for the entire nation?
Are you certain that your style and snark are not part of what lost it for your region? I'm not. Here, we are critical of policy we do not like, and yet we vote and elect Democrats. There, you make snotty comments and lose elections with low turn out. Why do you think you lost so badly, while we did just fine and dandy?
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Magoo48 Donating Member (315 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #3
11. I agree we should vote,
but at this point in time, nothing will change. Our nation is in desperate need of a reform minded leader.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 07:43 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. As someone was saying in another thread ... it will be either a move toward
OWS initiatives, or a move toward some strange warped sense of freedom that we are told is freedom. I think similar, that it will be binary. If our gov. was not for the most part owned by the 1%, I could be more optimistic. I think what is key, is how many Americans really wake up and take action, at minimal with their vote ... looking deeper than the political rhetoric.

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 07:46 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. i'm certainly in the dark -- and not optimistic.
i don't know HOW we are going to fix our certainly dysfunctional democratic institutions.

our ineptness and failures are exposed as being bone deep.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 08:03 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. It's such a significant problem and runs so deeply. Frankly, it's difficult to
think anymore of portions that are not truly dysfunctional.

For years I was an eternal optimist, but these past 13 years have made me rather pessimistic ... even our election system is flawed and coupled with that is such a profound level of ignorance in this country.

Now, that in itself is bad enough, but layered on that one has such profound levels of disinformation, deception and high-powered psych-ops marketing techniques being employed.

Also, IMO, the democratic party has shifted radically from what it once was ...

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. 1 thing came to mind reading your post -
Local judges who stand for election & whose campaigns are funded by business.

It's corruption at the first rungs of the ladder.

Me? I've become a political atheist.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. We have elected judges here. Many people don't bother to vote for
the judges because it gets very complicated who's who, what party, what they stand for and sometimes there are so many. ... so, it only takes a minimal amount of votes to elect a judge, so many people do not vote ... so, the RW'ers and monied interests get out the votes to elect questionable judges with vested interests and agendas, and the majority of citizens don't get what's going on ...

Also, if you write your congress critters here, anymore, they don't even bother to respond they are so RW. And if you oppose their RW views, "if" they do respond, you often get back a letter basically telling you how stupid you are.

I have to admit, I've pretty much lost interest in the entire system. What really highlights the failure of the system is a 9% approval rating for congress, and they still muck along ... and it doesn't matter what the majority of the citizens ever want, congress and the administration do what they damn well please.

Only if you throw hoards of money at their feet do they listen. The system IMO is crooked and corrupt, failing in almost all directions. Some days I say to myself, why the F do I even care. It's like working for a corporation that really sucks, and you quit your job because you know it's such a F'ed up place. The problem here is, it's not easy to quit your country and hire on to a new one.

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. +1
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-20-11 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
13. It's NOT Paralysis--It's CORRUPTION
It's a fascist coup--locking the People out of their government and into slavery.
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