By: Gregory A. Wood
Originally Published: 11/6/2014
Political Nuts, No Soup:
The “Bate and Switch” Parties
by: Gregory Wood
I would just like to point out the obvious, which is perhaps furthest from the obvious. Here it is: Republicans are not in the least, republican. Democrats are not, in the least, democratic. If you notice this, then the rest of the political fictions fall away, supposing you haven’t yet succumbed to Fox “News.”
What we have, I think, should be called the ‘Bate and Switch’ parties, where no beer is served, hors d'oeuvres are snatched away at the last moment, and “No Food Will Be Served.” Housing and healthcare are optional, if you qualify. If not, tough shit, thanks to a “representative” House which has gotten an approval rating hovering around 10% for nearly 20 years. Lately, Congressional approval has crashed to 7%! What does that tell you about representation?
Since George W. Bush was seated in the U.S. Presidency, at least 1.5 million people have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. International law has been pretty thoroughly broken down by the U.S. The UN members openly critical of the U.S. policy of invasion, torture, and assassination have been tapped, hacked, and silenced by the United States.
At home, our “unalienable” Rights, protection through due process of law protecting your life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, have been pretty much dismantled. Rights are arbitrary or depend on how much money you have, if they exist at all.
Prior to 9/11 there was a Constitution guiding law in the United States. There were laws preventing government surveillance and government influence on elections. Now it is anybody’s guess. Any elected official talking about freedom or The Bill of Rights in these United States? Nope. Or one if you count Bernie Sanders. President Obama promised to close Guantanamo as his first act as President. Remember? It was incredible that a mostly Democratic Senate withheld money for the President to dismantle Guantanamo unanimously! The vote was 98-0. So much for torture and illegal imprisonment. If there was ever going to be a signal about the absence of the Bill of Rights in the United States that was it.
In the meantime we have had our police forces mysteriously militarized. Who voted for that? During the Occupy demonstrations, militarized police were directed in a coordinated attack against Occupy demonstrators federally. That was anti-constitutional and illegal. In Oakland over 600 people were arrested in one day! And now we have witnessed indiscriminate murder of several black citizens across the country by police in a very short time finally resulting in citizens’ outrage in Ferguson, Missouri after the shooting of Michael Brown. The police response looked like an invasion and martial law run by thugs.
It is not just that we have criminal police behavior and a torpid Congress at issue. We have a bunker government and a mock Congress since passage of the “Patriot Act,” the Homegrown Terrorist and Violent Radicalization of 2007, and the other anti-constitutional legislation passed during the Bush years. None of it has been undone.
What have we got now? We see fairly easily the new American fascists in Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly but what about their facilitators and collaborators? Apparently, they are everywhere in the media and the Congress with the very suspicious single exception of Senator Bernie Sanders.
Since 9/11, Americans dream of freedom and justice while it’s taken from them by buffoonish authoritarians and hidden fascists of the hugely wealthy one percent.