It is quite often I find myself in a political discussion wherein I state that I think that both major political parties are essentially corrupt but I find it extremely annoying when a democrat seizes on this to focus on my allusion to republican corruption, agreeing with me momentarily but jumping right back, usually within minutes, to using this as evidence that democrats are altruistic while their colleagues across the aisle are not. This is the bipolar nature of our minds it seems. Agreeing that both sides are corrupt as a premise for a later statement that one side is not is evidence of mental disorder if anything.
Now, I think I just might have you here. Today, I would like to talk about this from the opposite perspective. Today, I will rant against this dynamic as it is employed by the right.
While both sides of congress are known to try to sneak things through legislation without fully divulging themselves, today we find this disingenuous posture being taken by Senator McCain and others. While they tell the American people, in one media spot after another, that their budget is fiscally conservative and that this is the big difference between it and the other budget being considered (it is true that it reduces the deficit in comparison to the democratic effort by four tenths of a percent), another difference that is, by the numbers, much bigger is that the McCain offering suggests an increase in defense spending over the next five years by 125%!
Even if you think that is necessary, why is it glossed over? That is enormous! Why is this not cited as a big difference between the two budgets? Well, I have the answer for you: because republicans know that the mandate demonstrated by the American people is not in unison with their aims. Just as in the 2000 election and in the 2004 one (where one of the founders of Diebold - an executive with the biggest manufacturer of electronic voting machines promised to "deliver Ohio"), the will of the people is seen as something to be avoided by what passes for republicanism these days.
Do democrats have a habit of misleading people in pursuit of some goals? Yes. Is their power based on a mandate from the people without the necessity of calling in a conservative body like the 2000 Supreme Court to manufacture it? Yes.
I voted in 2008 for the first time in my life and I voted for Barrack Obama, knowing full well that up to a point, if not completely, he just might be as corrupt as all the others but I was not voting for him; I was voting for a mandate. Without a clear statement by Americans as far as what they stand for, we might as well have abandoned all hope.
The mandate matters, people. It is the thing that these bastards are answerable to. Even if it is answered to by most politicians merely as a posture or on the surface, it is still something they cannot stray too far from lest the discrepancy between word and deed become such a chasm as to be undeniable. This is what happened to the republicans in the last twenty or thirty years. Hooked on ideas of how to project populist adoration, they forgot that such things are most easily put forth by folks who actually do feel the pain of the people and not just studied how to appear to feel.
Obama won because he stood closely enough to the mandate of the American people that he was actually able to speak at enormous length without cue cards, off the top of his head, the very things we were all thinking and this reeked of legitimacy. We shall see I suppose.
Again, I say that the mandate matters for these very reasons and right now, as I type, the McCain crew is trying to shove through a budget whose biggest difference, by far, with the other one being considered is that it more than doubles our military budget. Why hide this fact?
They are appealing to their very constituency and this is where their whole house of cards might come down for good, which would be a sad blow to traditional conservative republican principles (not ones based on corporate greed and race but the original republicanism). This ought to be a good indicator of whether they are behind the people or the defense contractors and now, clearer than ever, is the fact that the agendas of the people and the defense and intelligence community differ markedly.
Still, I must ask why did this footnote pertaining to a vast increase in military expenditures not get reported by the media or the democrats? Why did I discover this as scrolling text at the bottom of my television screen while viewing C-Span?