I've said many times that I'm neither Republican nor Democrat in my political sympathies. I distrust both parties, regarding them as havens for elitist insiders who want to use party political structures to manipulate our political system (and our nation as a whole) for their personal advantage, individually and as an elite group.
The past couple of days have produced yet more evidence that my suspicions are absolutely correct. To begin with, let's look at the actions of a few senior Democratic Party operatives.
1. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has attached an immigration reform bill (with provisions that have been overwhelmingly rejected by US public opinion, across the political spectrum, for a long time) to a Defense appropriations bill that must pass if our men and women in uniform are to be funded. In other words, he's cynically disregarding the opinion of the American people in favor of a measure that he and his Democrat colleagues believe will gain them support among a particular constituency - Hispanic voters, present and (potentially) future. They don't care about the nation, only about what's good for them. They doesn't mind jeopardizing military funding to force through this measure; indeed, they're hoping Republicans will try to block the bill, because they can then portray their opponents as being unpatriotic and anti-military (even though neither accusation is or will be true). That's precisely what they did with the extension of unemployment benefits: attached unacceptable legislation to the bill, then turned around and accused Republicans of not caring about the plight of the unemployed when they blocked the legislation (despite Republican invitations to submit the unemployment benefit extension as a stand-alone bill, without added baggage, which they would support). It's cynical, in-your-face politics at its worst.
(In fairness, let's admit at once that Republicans have done precisely the same thing in the past. As I said, this sort of shenanigans isn't limited to one party.)
2. A Democrat congressional representative, Eleanor Holmes Norton, has tried to solicit a campaign contribution from a lobbyist by making a very heavy-handed, almost threatening approach, emphasizing her importance in 'the system' and (by implication, at least) pointing out that a lack of support from the lobbyist might threaten his interests in areas where she wields influence and/or authority. Her approach may, in fact, be illegal, as she must surely be aware - but that hasn't stopped her. Read the whole thing here. (Again, let's freely admit that Republican fund-raising has probably been guilty of similar ethical and/or legal mis-steps.)
Now let's take a look at a couple of Republican imbroglios during the same period. The Republicans are, of course, not in power at present: but the same elitist self-interest and self-absorption is evident in their actions.
3. Senior Republican strategist Karl Rove did a verbal hatchet job on successful Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell on a television program after her primary victory. He couldn't have portrayed more clearly the views of the 'establishment'. They want candidates who will support The Party (capital letters are used deliberately), who won't 'rock the boat' but will follow orders and adhere to The Party's Policy all the way. They don't want insurgents who will think for themselves, who aren't bound to The System and can't be relied upon to blindly follow its directives. Rush Limbaugh (whom I don't normally like) has nailed it perfectly in this video extract from his show. I highly recommend listening to it carefully.
4. Too many 'establishment Republicans' have demonstrated in recent weeks that they feel entitled to their positions; so much so that, if party members won't select them as candidates, they'll run as independents or for another party. Examples include Senator Lisa Murkowski in Alaska (who's considering running as a write-in candidate), Governor Charlie Crist in Florida (who saw he couldn't win a primary battle against Marco Rubio, and therefore withdrew from it and from the Republican Party to run as an independent), and Attorney-General Bill McCollum in Florida, who lost the Republican primary as a candidate for Senator, and is now reportedly discussing switching parties. In each case mentioned (and in others we haven't), the actions of the 'establishment Republicans' threaten to destroy the chances of the 'official' Republican candidate by splitting the vote - but the 'establishment Republicans' don't care about that. They're entitled to the positions they hold or have held, by golly, and they'll fight for dear life to hold on to them, by fair means or foul. The 'will of the people' seems to mean nothing to such politicians.
These are a very few examples of how the two major political parties have become participants in and defenders of the 'establishment' to such an extent that they're now indistinguishable from it. Neither party really cares about the will of the people - only about what's good for them. I trust neither the Democratic nor Republican Parties to put America first.
The same trends are visible in State and local politics - again, irrespective of political party. To cite just one example, did you notice the news report today that a South Carolina town council can't get enough support to annex additional property - so they're cutting off the water supply of those living in the area concerned, in an attempt to coerce them into acceding to annexation? So much for democracy! So much for the voice of the people! "We're in charge, and if you won't allow us to do what we want to do, we'll damn well force you to do so!"
I wholeheartedly endorse what Tanker, over at Mostly Cajun, said today.
I want small government. I don’t want government looking at the size of my toilet tank, and I resent paying somebody to sit in an office and write rules about my light bulbs. I don’t want my government paying people to stay home and procreate. I get tired of a government who is mainly concerned with ME only so far as it seizes a huge chunk of my paycheck every year, and then watches to make sure that I don’t own a gun with too short a barrel.
. . .
It’s time [for] government by the people, and that means people like me.
My advice to potential voters this year, on a national, State and local level: vote against the incumbent, irrespective of his or her political party. Sure, there are a few 'good' incumbents, and those fortunate enough to be represented by such people will know to vote for them: but the majority appear to be nothing more or less than Establishment hacks, not worth the powder it'll take to blow them to Hell. Vote against the Establishment, and for new blood that can bring a fresh perspective to Washington - and then hold their feet to the fire, letting them know in no uncertain terms that if they become like their Establishment predecessors, we'll kick their asses out of office too!
A plague on both political parties' houses!