With 100 hours to go until election day, this has been one of the most surreal political seasons in memory. While Democrats are closing in on their rivals in many senate and house races, it seems to be way too little and late. The tidal wave is coming brought to you by the likes of the following:
You have the prospective next Speaker of the House John Boehner campaigning for a nazi re-enactor Rick Iott, a Tea Partier in Nevada telling Latinos not to go to the polls and staying 3 points ahead of the Majority Leader Harry Reid. You have one of the least credible and most laughable head of the RNC Michael Steele on the eve of taking credit for an electoral tidal wave. You have a party, whose own leaders conceded in private they ran out of ideas two decades ago about to take control of the House, perhaps the Senate and spend the next two years filibustering, investigating and smearing every decent policy since the New Deal while labeling their opponents socialists, terrorists, unpatriotic, and worse. You have a “fair and balanced” media outlet that concedes its own political bias as a way to score ratings and advertising, and yet this outlet gets a prime spot in the White House press room. Its commentators get away with Islamophobic narratives that CNN, MSNBC or NPR that even they couldn’t deploy against any other group. You have a party that was pretty much treated as dead 2 years ago, on the eve of a broadscale victory with nothing to offer the public except hate, ignorance.
Unless you look at the bigger picture that suggests none of this matters. the lying, name calling, racism…. they are simply distractions. Underneath it all, It’s all ideology, stupid.
What matters is the larger corporatist assault on democracy that was inspired by Louis Powell’s memo in 1971, that took root during the Reagan revolution of the 1980’s, Clinton’s end of big government in the 1990s and the victory lap of neoliberalism in the post 9/11 2000s.
Beneath the name calling, head stomping stupidity is the underlying attempt to question political authority in the United States. For the first time in a long time, the narrative is explicitly peeling back a vision of America to its pre-New Deal, even pre progressive era of Lochnerian corporate excess (unregulated freedom of contact). And you have Tea Party leaders questioning the social contract, raising questions abut the legitimacy of the federal government that most people thought were settled with the Civil War, or even the federalist papers. Beneath the witches and homophobic propaganda, state’s rights politicians are attacking the federal government. Its legitimacy. The social contract that gave us the federal system. And they are doping it by claiming federal powers are unconstitutional. These fundamentalists are running around with pocket editions of the constitution (a good thing by the way) and pointing to passages they clearly have never read, or at least fail to understand. (The establishment clause in the first amendment. Is that your final answer, Mr Coons?) Still at this level of distraction we are getting closer to the point, which is this: private corporations are dumping millions of dollars into right wing political campaign coffers, with no accountability/ no transparency. They have taken over the political and policy process. And its all behind the curtain. And when you pull back the curtain what you see are private firms generating hateful but extremely profitable policies, under the Tea Party Banner and w/ the stamp of legitimacy given them by faux intellectuals like Kris Kobach and faux political leaders like Jan Brewer (never elected) and all in the name of freedom and state’s rights.
This is the America that is being advanced by the current campaign cycle; increasing the stakes for everyone to get out and vote next Tuesday, but scarily foreshadowing a future in which such voting is irrelevant