No, apparently we can’t
May 9, 2009
Congress has begun to demonstrate that it just doesn’t get it. The wave of hope, some might say desperation, that put Barrack Obama in the White House, is being routinely ignored by the people’s own representatives in Congress and state houses around the country. Fast to spend the people’s money bailing out the very institutions that brought us to a financial crisis, legislators refuse to turn their backs on the big money interests that paid for their holding office and pass legislation to help the people of this country out of their mess.
The Senate turned down Sen. Durbin’s common sense measure to authorize bankruptcy court’s power to modify homeowner’s mortgages. Those same courts can change mortgages for the rich – vacation homes, investment properties and other mortgages that the common family cannot afford. Yet the mortgage on that home they rely upon for shelter cannot be touched in bankruptcy. Banks say they want to honor the “sanctity of contract” when speaking of these mortgages, but have no problem demanding tribute from the people when they make bad decisions.
Congress refuses to cut programs benefiting big agri-business, refuse to raise taxes on those who benefited most by the insane financial frenzy of the past decade. Apparently giving the average American a few bucks a month in tax rebates is supposed to quiet us and ignore the fact that Congress is unwilling to force corporations to pay taxes they avoid by setting up an “office” in the Caymans.
The fantasy of a “filibuster proof” majority is just that, an illusion. The reality is that Republicans have a majority with their philosophical allies –“ blue dog” Democrats. Liberals, progressives, pragmatists didn’t gain a majority, they just are being used as cover for the very same rapacious fascist big money interests that have run this country for many decades, maybe forever.
Representative democracy is at stake, but we have to wake up to the fact that we cannot look to anyone but ourselves to do anything about it. Even giving Pres. Obama the benefit of the doubt as an individual, it is increasingly clear that he too is largely a “beard” for the oligarchs. I hate this realization, and as I have my whole life still hold out a shred of hope that it just isn’t so. But I do have eyes and can see patterns.
It is time we start a movement to change the Constitution so that all members of Congress and the Presidency can run only on public funds, available to anyone who can demonstrate a modicum of viability. The same amendment would limit the impact of lobbyists by cutting them off from Congress and drying up the source of the corruption.
The same must be done in every state which, like California, is in a stranglehold of people with immense amounts of money. We cannot pass a budget without their approval, cannot elect anyone to office, even down to the municipal level without their consent.
We have the illusion of democracy. We are on life support. Pass the paddles and resuscitate the body politic. We are near death.