FLASH! “Jeb Bush ‘excited about the possibility’ of a presidential run!” Really? Could this be more predictable?
So it’ll be Hillary, going all liberal following two years of smiles and silence to pick up her base and Jeb going as far to the right as he can without sounding too much like a nutjob to pick up his base as they both head off into the primaries. Then, as the general approaches, they’ll tell us what they really think, but only if it’s deemed acceptable by various board room bullies who care more for their bottom lines than they do for America, the oil barons of Texas and assorted other billionaires who have no more connection to Main Street Americans than George W. Bush has to worrying how to pay the rent and put food on the table.
Hillary, of course, could surprise everybody and turn her back on the bankers who have been paying her $200,000 a pop for speaking engagements, not to mention contributions to the Clinton Foundation, and the potential threat to Bill’s legacy should the big money stop rolling in.
What do you suppose the Wall Streeters were buying with those mammoth speaking fees? Advice on how to invest their billions? Why do you suppose Bill cozied up to the Bush clan once he left the White House?
Meantime, middle America is being devastated as the gap between the rich and the rest hits dimensions not seen prior to the Gilded Age as the nation’s youth struggle to pay back huge college loans for an education that should be free and our elderly can’t afford dental care.
The following passage on the Gilded Age (1870’s – 1900) bears consideration: “Political corruption was rampant, as business leaders spent significant amounts of money ensuring that government did not regulate the activities of big business – and they more often than not got what they wanted. Such corruption was so commonplace that in 1868 the New York state legislature legalized such bribery. Historian Howard Zinn argues that the U.S. government was acting exactly as Karl Marx described capitalist states: “pretending neutrality to maintain order, but serving the interests of the rich.”” – Wikipedia
Sound familiar? Pretend it isn’t so. Pretend Hillary will do a 180 on the robber barons of the 21st Century and fight to fix it. Or that anti-unionist, Rand Paul, who opposes abortion rights and gay marriage while favoring increased military spending and taking even more from the poor to give to the rich, is a viable alternative. He’s all over the board, with a sound argument for restoring constitutional rights but voting against reforming the NSA. His strategy, apparently, is to generate backing from confused moderates and some liberals who can’t see themselves backing Hillary because of her Wall Street (and other) baggage. Generating confusion could be intentional. Or perhaps, since this is all about winning, like a blind man in a tunnel he’s making things up as he feels his way along. A convenient strategy for someone who doesn’t want to be nailed down to specific issues, which appears to be what Rand Paul is up to as he ducked one question by walking out on the interview and another by shushing a reporter, although it’s difficult to say.
We should be so much better than this. There is some consolation in knowing any Democrat will be better than any Republican, as the GOP continues doing all it can to take us back to the Middle Ages with barons and earls sitting on hilltops overlooking millions of peasants below, begging for scraps to survive. Some consolation, not much. It’s admittedly marginal, but the margin is there.
There’s a whole family hanging out at my local market these days, mom, dad and two kids, all begging for scraps. “Lost my job,” says the sign the head of the family holds. And this is an upscale neighborhood. Before the Neocon takeover pushing our political system so far to the right that it’s bumping up against fascism, NAFTA, the WTO, the Reagan tax cuts for the rich and and the off-shoring of millions of good jobs, there were no homeless on the streets in my part of Los Angeles. Detroit, and other American cities were not in bankruptcy. This is scary. It’s also unnecessary. And it all started with “Reagonomics” in the 80’s to be carried forth by Republicans and Democrats alike.
Representative democracy in America is barely existent. It went to the highest bidder with the blessing of a shameful Supreme Court, who declared money is speech and speech is money and corporations have the same legal standing as people, while the media, like a watchdog chained out in the barn, prattles on, mostly acting like it’s business as usual. It’s not. The country has been hijacked.
We keep repeating the same mistakes. And Jeb Bush, is “excited, ” while Ted Cruz goes on Obamacare and the ghost of Ayn Rand picks up her Social Security check. Now there’s some real news.