It used to be simple; if you were a fiscally conservative gun owner that was pro-life and believed in a strong military, you voted Republican. The Republican Party, to show their gratitude, would then cut taxes, pay lip service to the pro-life crowd, protect our gun rights, and build up our military.
Then, along came George W. Bush.
At first, W was a welcome change from the Clinton Regime. His public profession of faith and his resolve in the face of adversity seemed to indicate that the adults had returned to the White House and the Hippies that had resided there previously could take their place on the ash heap of history. Things were supposed to get even better when there was a clear majority in the House and the Senate. Except that they didn’t. The indolence and arrogance exhibited by the GOP during that time was infuriating to those of us that had suffered through the Clinton years, biting back on our rage against the utter contempt that the Clintons had for Americans, secure in the knowledge that these buffoons and their ilk would soon be given their walking papers because that’s the way the system was supposed to work. When the GOP had an unfettered majority, we looked forward to the massive rollbacks of government, huge tax cuts, and major increase on our individual liberties that we had been told were the hallmarks of the GOP. We waited. And waited. And waited.
When a bunch of Muslim lunatics flew airliners into the World Trade Center, anyone on the street could have done the appropriate things; close the borders, deport the illegal aliens, round up those that had expired visas, and send them packing back to wherever they came from. This would have been the logical and correct thing to do. For some reason, that logic evaded W’s administration. Instead, the border remained uncontrolled, airline passengers were subjected to the indignities usually reserved for cattle in stockyards, and the Bush Administration created the very Soviet sounding Department of Homeland Security. In the meantime we became involved in a two-front war in the Middle East, which subsequently caused spending to skyrocket, and the economy, already weakened by a decade of manufacturing interests leaving the USA for the cheaper labor and looser environmental regulations overseas, began to decline. This lackluster performance on the part of the Republicans is what lost them the majority and subsequently the Presidency.
Then came President Barry and his cronies.
Obama’s presidency seems to be an amalgamation of all of the worst aspects of the Clinton and both Bush administrations. For instance, the deceit of Bush the Elder with his “No new taxes” pledge being emulated by Barry’s promise to stimulate the economy by spending taxpayers’ money to reward a bunch of corporate executives for monumentally failing at their jobs. Clinton’s violation of the Constitution with his retroactive tax increase has been mirrored by Barry’s violation of the Constitution by forcing people to buy health insurance, and Baby Bush’s spending is dwarfed by Barry’s. Exhibiting no ability to lead, and even less ability to make good choices, Barry flounders while the GOP is poised to gain a whole bunch of ground in the upcoming mid-term elections. Things are looking pretty good for the Elephant team and they, no doubt, would already be breaking out the brandy and cigars if it weren’t for the fact that us pesky voters have insisted on getting involved.
Having already been duped once by the GOP, many voters have begun looking around for suitable replacements. “Business as usual” is not going to fly this time around. Those that are found to be squishy in their resolve are being shown the door. Witness the Republican primary in Alaska where Lisa Murkowski, the candidate with the GOP stamp of approval, was beaten by Joe Miller, a candidate supported by the grass roots Tea Party. She should have had an easy victory and ten years ago, she probably would have, but that was then. The people spoke, Joe Miller won, and he will be facing the Democrat come election time.
Even more amazing was the Delaware primary where Christine O’Donnell’s stunning victory against nine-term GOP-approved Mike Castle came seemingly out of nowhere. Again, the voters actually chose the candidate they wanted to represent them, and it is making the Republican insiders crazy. Squeals of protest are heard regarding the electability of someone that was not anointed by the party chiefs. No less a person than Karl Rove has turned upon the newly elected GOP candidate in Delaware (although, to be fair, he has recently changed his tune. I’ll leave you to speculate as to why). The reason for all of this is as sinister as it is unsurprising; politicians hate voters who pay attention.
You see, as long as the voters vote according to the guidelines of both parties (“Hippies and abortionists form to the left, gun nuts and grubby capitalists to the right.”) the politicians can sort of snooze through midterm elections. Incumbents are a shoo-in, newbies get a taste of the campaign trail and then fall into line and wait their turn, and the voter, if he or she bothers to vote at all, votes for the name that they recognize from the commercials. No fuss, no muss.
Unfortunately for the gang of thieves in Washington DC, the jig is up. The idea that one party is different from the other has been revealed to be true only on paper. Dig deeper and it is obvious that the only real difference is the way that they want to spend the money that they gouge from our paychecks every year. I think that one of the best descriptions I’ve heard of the Democrats and Republicans is “The Combine”; a term coined by Chicago Tribune writer John Kass, it is a title used to describe bipartisan corruption in Illinois. I think that it can be applied nationally.
The Combine on a national level, work to keep the status quo, that is, keep the tax money pouring in to support their lives of wretched excess, all the while telling us about the good that is being done with it. The only thing that throws a wrench into the nefarious machine that is The Combine is a voting body that pays attention, and becomes involved in the process. The influx of Tea Party candidates into the forefront of the election cycle is what happens when they do. This sudden uprising of Joe Averages looking to unseat career politicians has, frankly, scared the shit out of them. Should voters start paying attention, those in office are going to have to start working to keep their promises. A difficult task when you have made so many that you can’t remember them all since you had no intention of keeping any of them.
Like my good friend Kevin Starrett told me, “The only thing politicians understand is fear, and pain. The fear of losing an election, and the pain of having to live under the laws they helped to enact,” I say that from today forward, we give them large doses of both.