|Birds of a feather...|
Now that Sarah Palin has dropped her facade as a political contender, grass-roots Republicans have rushed frantically, their hat-hung teabags a-sway, from one pseudo-champion to another. First, it was Michelle Bachmann, then Rick Perry, then Chris Christie, and now it's Herman Cain. (Will Ron Paul's day never come?) All done, of course, in the wistful hope that they might avoid settling for the one candidate that actually has a chance to win: Mitt Romney. And, no matter what he may say now, if Romney is elected, he's not going to bring about some kind of right-wing utopia.
Trust me on this, right-wingers. I know.
Liberals and progressives have learned that bitter lesson ourselves (albeit from the other side of the spectrum). The candidates that we've held dear to our hearts over the years --Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader, even Ted Kennedy back in 1980 --have been ridiculed, pooh-poohed, and treated with contempt.
In the end, a compromised candidate wins the nomination and the Oval Office and falls in line with the wishes of the big banks, energy corporations, and insurance companies.
Whether Romney or Obama (and I predict, come January 20, 2013, it will be one of those two men taking the oath), it'll be more of the same: tax-payer subsidies for corporations and the mega-rich; cutbacks and neglect for everyone else.
The one ray of hope is manifested in the Occupy Wall Street movement. It is a movement with no clear message. In my view that is a strength and a cause for hope. The movement is an expression of general outrage: the country is falling apart, people are out of work and living in poverty, and the overwhelming wishes of the population are discounted and taken off the table. Need examples? How about the call for a single-payer health care system? How about the demand for investment in public infrastructure? How about protection for Pell Grants?
Despite right-wing demagogues claiming otherwise, I believe the Obama administration is rattled by the movement. Obama, like Romney, talks a good game when it comes to appeasing his base. But now the Left is stirring up trouble. It wasn't supposed to be like this. Obama thought he had liberals and progressives in his pocket.
If the Tea Party folks could somehow get past their contempt for liberals and progressive, and if liberals and progressives could get past our contempt for the Tea Party (those are some big "ifs"), and we could join together, we just might get something accomplished.
This country needs major political and economic reform. Obama, Romney --it doesn't matter. Until the system undergoes a fundamental correction, we're just pissing in the wind.