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With Labor Day the 2010 mid-term elections kick into high gear.
Actually, the campaigns have been running in overdrive for months now, fueled by voter anger, Democratic desperation, Republican optimism, Tea Party enthusiasm and the blog-fueled 24/7 news/discussion cycle.
Republicans believe they will take control of Congress in this election and set the stage to oust Barack Obama from the White House in 2012. Democrats hope, amid fading prospects, to retain control but accept the fact that even if they don’t lose their majority, the margin will be so razor-thin that they won’t be able to steamroller legislation.
Voters, driven by blind anger, don’t really care who they elect as long as it isn’t an incumbent form either party. Polls, ironically, show voters don’t trust Republicans but are willing to vote for them anyway.
Tea Party leaders see the election as a chance to steer the GOP away from the extreme right and more towards libertarian. Their mantra is based on anti-government, anti-establishment, anti-incumbent and “taking government back” even if they are not sure what they will do with government is they do control it.
Anyway you play it, the end result is dissolution, not solution — a shotgun approach to fixing this nation’s ills.
Will it work? Good question. It reminds me of something my grandfather once said.
“You know,” he told me about 50 years ago. “People used to tell me to ‘cheer it, things could be worse,” so I cheered up and — sure enough — things got worse.”
Are we headed in a new direction? Maybe so, maybe not. Maybe the ‘new direction” is a back road into the same old swamp.
Barack Obama promised change and a new way of doing things. Instead, we got the same old corruption (Nancy Pelosi, Charlie Rangel, Maxine Water, et. al). Instead of reversing things, Obama piled on more of the same (no changes in the Patriot Act, continuation and expansion of warrantless wiretapping, etc.).
The Tea Party burst upon the scene as an anti-establishment movement based on the grassroots but its real roots belongs within the Republican establishment — created by a Republican consultant who pioneered the creation of phony “astroturf” grassroots movements and funded by conservative oil billionaires with a history of supporting GOP causes.
Can we believe that any of these prophets of change can — or will — deliver on their campaign promises? Even if they are sincere, will the system allow them to accomplish anything?
That’s the Catch-22 of Campaign 2010. Even if voter anger delivers and throws out the bastards, the ones who take control will be the Republicans and they will elect John Boehner speaker of the House and Mitch McConnell majority leader of the Senate.
The establishment will be in charge.
And change will be sent to the back of the bus.