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    Incumbent Elites Endangered

    09/24/2010

    Democracy and Power 105:  The Politician seeks power

    The desire to rule is the mother of heresies.
    -St. John Chrysostom

    In America, a politician intentionally selects to enter politics.   He or she seeks power in the name of the public good, but predominately they seek power.  When a person enters Congress or the Presidency, they seek and use the coercive power of government. 

      Incumbent Elites Endangered

    Castle, Crist, Murkowski, Bennett, and four more candidates for the senate were anointed and supported by the Republican establishment.  All were defeated.  Why?  They readily participated in seeking and maintaining their positions of power, and eagerly partook in the mutually corrupting relationship between special interest lobbyists and campaign contributions. 

    Acquiring political power is simple.  First, please the constituents.  Think earmarks - a bridge, an airport, an educational center, etc.  Once they have purchased sufficient constituent votes, then be loyal to the Republican establishment.  Only through fidelity to the hierarchy of the establishment can real power be exerted.  Alas, the quest for power requires colluding with the special interest donors: banks, insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, education, seniors, unions, big business, etc. 

    For many decades America’s damaged governance system slithered along.  The Democratic and Republican hierarchies, whichever had the majority, legislated favorable tax breaks, exclusive legislation, government backed mortgages, and more - and accumulated enormous debt.  Despite this sordid governance, America still out performed the world.

    Of course after years of misfeasance, a financial crisis occurs.  Reflexively responding, the government bails out big banks, big insurers, Fannie and Freddie, the auto industry, rewards unions over bond holders and more.  Resultantly, the people of the United States and the world suffered...and continue to suffer. 

    The electorate is outraged by this sleaze.  Normally in the past, the electorate suffered in isolation.  Today, the internet has greatly enhanced the knowledge of congressional process and decisions.  More importantly, individual Americans have the opportunity to expand their interaction with others to become a political force. 

    Tony Blankley, a long time political observer, in Real Clear Politics notes the new challenges to hierarchal political party control:

    Strategists talk a lot about grassroots, but the dirty secret in modern politics is that the grassroots have generally been superfluous. What has mattered is message and money. This is true for Democrats and Republicans. No wonder then that many insiders were stunned and perplexed by authentic grassroots activists, hooting at them in town hall meetings, organizing caucuses to discuss constitutional principles, holding rallies and protests that weren't decreed by a leader or sanctioned by a hierarchy and descending on Washington by the hundreds of thousands. For the left, it must be particularly terrifying to see the same 21st-century technology and social networking that propelled Obama in 2008 -- and which they felt entitled to as their exclusive domain -- hijacked by opponents of the Obama agenda. 

    Blankley bluntly states the force of the Tea Party:

    Grassroots activists are sending the GOP a message: "Reform, or perish." Shrewd incumbents like Arizona Sen. John McCain paid heed, shifted right and won.

    And the future power:

    This grassroots rising has every potential to endure, evolving into the dominant political party with the power to sweep away irredentist "establishment" Republicans.

    Blankley appreciates the dedication to a small and defined government, and the change in the Republican Party:

     As a party, broadly, the GOP will embrace their new voters and their old principles, and thereby profit from the energized grassroots activists whose efforts would surely flow to a third party next time if thwarted by the Republican establishment this time.