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May 13, 2012

More Reason Not To Put Your Energy Into Electoral Politics

By Rob Kall

If you think things can be changed with electoral politics today, think again. Matt Taibbi's lastest Rolling Stone article has certainly confirmed my attitude towards electoral politics. The system, at this time, is totally broken.

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If you think things can be changed with electoral politics today, think again. Matt Taibbi's lastest Rolling Stone article has certainly confirmed my attitude towards electoral politics. 

The system, at this time, is totally broken. Elections are done using totally manipulable electronic voting machines. Election counts are a chimera, the idea of recounts, a fraud, the idea of trustworthy election counting-- a delusion or outright lie. 

David Swanson's book, Daybreak, suggests that the US Senate has become pretty much un-approachable by constituents. In his book tour, promoting Daybreak, David basically said it is not worth spending time attempting to influence members of the Senate. He convinced me. A senator is either a good guy, like Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown, or they're party hacks or DINOs, ie., Corporatists-- corporate bought and paid for. 

Since the passage of Obamacare, including the selling out of the Democratic progressive caucus, where they broke their promise not to pass any legislation that didn't include a public option, I've written off the House as well. Sure, I'll vote, occasionally for the odd Democrat who has promise, but for the most part, I've written off wasting time on electoral politics.

Change-- big change, like America and the world desperately needs, will not happen in Congress. It could happen through there, not ith Citizens United and the power of lobbyists in place. Those must change. 

Change CAN happen in America, but it will take people in the streets, people, en masse, confronting corporate power. The bottom up and horizontal worlds must confront and defeat the top down powers of the world. 

Matt Taibbi wrote, in the May 24th issue of Rolling stone, an article, How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform. This is a powerful article, and to me a profound example of just how broken Congress and the electoral system are. Taibbi wrote:

The giant reform bill turned out to be like the fish reeled in by Hemingway's Old Man -- no sooner caught than set upon by sharks that strip it to nothing long before it ever reaches the shore. In a furious below-the-radar effort at gutting the law -- roundly despised by Washington's Wall Street paymasters -- a troop of water-carrying Eric Cantor Republicans are speeding nine separate bills through the House, all designed to roll back the few genuinely toothy portions left in Dodd-Frank. With the Quislingian covert assistance of Democrats, both in Congress and in the White House, those bills could pass through the House and the Senate with little or no debate, with simple floor votes -- by a process usually reserved for things like the renaming of post offices or a nonbinding resolution celebrating Amelia Earhart's birthday.

The fate of Dodd-Frank over the past two years is an object lesson in the government's inability to institute even the simplest and most obvious reforms, especially if those reforms happen to clash with powerful financial interests. From the moment it was signed into law, lobbyists and lawyers have fought regulators over every line in the rulemaking process. Congressmen and presidents may be able to get a law passed once in a while -- but they can no longer make sure it stayspassed. You win the modern financial-regulation game by filing the most motions, attending the most hearings, giving the most money to the most politicians and, above all, by keeping at it, day after day, year after fiscal year, until stealing is legal again. "It's like a scorched-earth policy," says Michael Greenberger, a former regulator who was heavily involved with the drafting of Dodd-Frank. "It requires constant combat. And it never, ever ends."

That the banks have just about succeeded in strangling Dodd-Frank is probably not news to most Americans -- it's how they succeeded that's the scary part. The banks followed a five-point strategy that offers a dependable blueprint for defeating any regulation -- and for guaranteeing that when it comes to the economy, might will always equal right.

Here's a list of the five ways,. The article gives great detail on how each of these work and were accomplished for the Dodd-Frank legislation. 

STEP 1: STRANGLE IT IN THE WOMB

STEP 2: SUE, SUE, SUE

STEP 3: IF YOU CAN'T WIN, STALL

STEP 4: BULLY THE REGULATORS

STEP 5: PASS A GAZILLION LOOPHOLES

Taibbi concludes this lengthy article, saying, "But money never gets tired. It never gets frustrated. And it thinks that drilling holes in Dodd-Frank is every bit as interesting as The Book of Mormon or Kate Upton naked. The system has become too complex for flesh-and-blood people, who make the mistake of thinking that passing a new law means the end of the discussion, when it's really just the beginning of a war."

We're in a war all right. We've been an a class war, with the uber-rich-- the .001% and the corporatists against the 99.99%.  Congress and the White House have chosen sides and they're not ours. 

There are other options and most of them involve action and streets, boycotts and doing a lot more than electoral politics once every two or four years involve. 


photo by Rob Kall

The question is very much up in the air over whether the US will survive this war. it depends on each one of us. Taibbi's article makes it clear that believing Congress is capable or willing to help is a delusion. Perhaps that word, DELUSIONAL best describes the politics of  our times. One writer who wrote a book on Delusional Democracy is Joel Hirschorn, who's written over 200 articles for Opednews. He's focused a lot of his energy on an Article 5 constitutional convention. I'm not sure that  has any hope, given the Congress we have. But the idea that Democracy has become a delusion-- that is very real, and no delusion at all. 



Submitters Bio:

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.

To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..  and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table

Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. 


To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click hereWatch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.


Follow Rob on Twitter & Facebook. His quotes are here

Rob's articles express his personal opinion, not the opinion of this website.


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