Even as another potential Great Depression looms, the US political/media system seems incapable of honestly addressing the crisis and devising coherent answers. Instead, the old partisan and lobbying games dominate the political world, and obsession with trivia commands the news media's limited focus, Danny Schechter writes.
Some years back, Thomas Frank nailed it in his book, The Wrecking Crew. It was subtitled "How Conservatives Rule" and it showed how narrow self-interest and well-practiced cynicism in the service of partisan warfare has crippled our political system, resulting in a deep paralysis despite the looming threat of a collapse.
What it really is, Danny says, is sabotage, a tactic that involves deliberate effort to insure that reforms are effectively undermined. Today, the hatchets are out to do-in the needed financial reforms contained in a bill that has already been neutered and nit-picked, trimmed, sliced and diced by what's called "legislative compromise.'
And now a congressional-style Seal Team Six has been assembled by the Republicans and is ready to pounce on the new enemy of the politically powerful banksters: financial reform. (There is no corporate privilege or malevolent bank practice that bankster lobbyists will not defend . . in the name of fostering financial growth.)
One juicy sex scandal involving one or more pols gets more ink than all the investigations of how special interests, well-paid lobbyists, billionaire funders, think-tank gunslingers and slippery lawyers for hire serve to stop even mild reforms that might cost the industries they work for money or influence. There are no reforms they won't endlessly amend into oblivion.
Here's how it works
First, they commission bogus and selective studies to "prove" why reforms need to be "reformed," their way. Then, with PR and complicit corporate media, they orchestrate coverage to sell their policies. They start with something small like protections for debit cards, and then escalate to full-scale warfare.
Escalation example: the knives were out for the new Consumer Protection Bureau with a major campaign targeting Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren, who first proposed the agency and was widely considered the most qualified to lead it.