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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/17/10


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"A law was made a distant moon ago here,
July and August cannot be too hot,
And there's a legal limit to the snow here
In Camelot."
"Camelot," King Arthur to Guinevere
, Alan Lerner & Frederick Lowe

The November 2nd election results were disappointing, to say the least.

President Obama let the Democratic Leadership Committee (DLC) take control of the Democratic Party's electoral apparatus once again, and what happens? The Democrats lose the House, and very nearly lose the Senate.

Of the 14-million people between 18 and 30 who voted for President Obama in 2008, only five million voted in 2010. If half of that missing nine million had turned out to vote this year, the Democratic Party would still be in the majority in both the House and the Senate. And this in spite of the millions spent by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Karl Rove, the Koch Brothers, and other proponents of the oligarchic corporate state that seems to be descending on this country as the Saxons once descended on King Arthur's legendary post-Roman Britain.

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The best way to counter the massive amounts of money that the Chamber of Commerce, etc., is going to throw at the next election is with a true grassroots, populist campaign, like the one organized by Howard Dean after John Kerry lost in 2004.

Hierarchical party groups like the DLC do not like populist groups such as the young people who, under Howard Dean, helped elect Democratic majorities to the House and Senate in 2006 and 2008, as well as made Barack Obama President in 2008. Why? Because they cannot control them. Populist groups might demand something like the public option for health care, or a moratorium on foreclosures, or something else that would make the Democrats wildly popular.

The after-election results show that with the exception of specifically targeted individuals -- like Russ Feingold and Alan Grayson, who had millions spent against them by outside groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- Democrats who ran under a Liberal/Progressive banner won. It was the "blue dog" conservative Democrats, those darlings of the DLC, who were voted out of office.

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The question which has arisen in my mind is this: Why hasn't Barack Obama taken advantage of the more progressive and populist branches of the Democratic Party in running his cabinet and making policy, helping with the Democratic National Committee, or aiding him in getting Democrats elected to the House and Senate to make sure his policy initiatives get passed?

One reason might be that the last American President to demonstrate such independence in his policy making decisions -- by going against Wall Street, the Big Banks, Big Oil, and the Military-Industrial Complex -- was murdered in his motorcade in Dallas 47-years ago this month.

President Kennedy's assassination in Dallas November 22, 1963, was the beginning of the decline of the United States in essentially every sphere of its existence that matters day to day for most Americans. I have written and published five articles for OpEdNews this year on JFK's murder ("Pacem in Terra," "Into a Thousand Pieces," "The Great Enemy of the Truth," "Quo Vadis," and "A Terrible History"), establishing what I believe is the nature and depth of the conspiracy against our 35th President, and some of the reasons that the conspirators undertook such a dire and malevolent course.

The murders of President Kennedy, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, Fred Hampton, and John Lennon; together with the attempts on George Wallace, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan -- among others -- is only a rough measure of the level of bloodthirsty corruption to which our nation has descended in the last 60 years. John Perkins' book Confessions of an Economic Hitman, details the extortionate practices of the American Military-Industrial Complex that have been used to ensure a docile leadership in other countries.

We see today the forces behind JFK's murder on the verge of complete and irretrievable triumph here in America. The last 30 years has seen a transfer of wealth from the bottom 80% of the American people, to the top five percent that is unequaled in American history. Even the "robber barons" of the Gilded Age could only dream of such an aggregation of wealth and political power in such a short period of time.

Much of this wealth and power has been acquired under circumstances that are morally questionable, and many times illegal. From the savings and loan debacle of the late 1980's, to the madness of the derivatives market that came within a hair of sinking the economy not only of the United States, but of the entire world, "greed is good" has become the creed of our age, and selfishness a byword for a new what is "right."

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Personal income taxes are at 80-year lows for the top one percent of wage earners (salaries over $400,000.00 annum), and capital gains taxes are little more than half of what they were in JFK's time. Because of the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC, these plutocrats can secretly invest a small portion of their annual income anonymously with organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to elect individuals who will see that their tax rates are pushed ever lower. (Professor Robert Reich's October 11 Alternet article, "8 Ways to Fight the Right Wingers and Corporations Buying Off Our Government," is a must read.)

This has been the direction that this nation has been headed since that grim November afternoon in 1963. The best of us, the men and women of true principle who have achieved high public office, die before their time under mysterious circumstances (Paul Wellstone), are forced out of office by non-political scandal (Gary Hart), or by a massively funded election campaign by an opponent (Russ Feingold, Alan Grayson), or simply quit, tired of fighting a battle that asks for too many compromises without enough clear victories (Pat Schroeder).

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Richard Girard is an increasingly radical representative of the disabled and disenfranchised members of America's downtrodden, who suffers from bipolar disorder (type II or type III, the professionals do not agree). He has put together a team to (more...)
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