Political Realities?

I was watching last night’s War Room with Jennifer Granholm this morning (on Current TV which is run by former VP Al Gore). They were having a small debate on whether or not the President should be going with a super PAC. The quote that struck me in this was from Governor Granholm who said: “I want to make sure we have the best opportunity to get a constitutional amendment <re: getting money out of politics> and I think that lies with President Obama rather than the Republicans.”

I definitely agree with the point that the Republicans would do nothing about it. But do you really think the President will? His progressive credentials are sketchy at best. The Health Care Reform act was one of his biggest accomplishments, and I support the main part of it. It is awesome that people will no longer be denied health insurance based on an existing condition.

But in the end he acceded to the wishes of the insurance companies and went with an individual mandate instead of a universal option which would have forced them to become competitive. And their opposition to the plan in general was half-hearted. It gave the administration something to point to and say: Look, if the insurance companies are opposed to it, it must be good. Meanwhile the potential customer pool of those companies skyrocketed.

It is only now that they are realizing that their faux opposition caught on a little too much. The mandate piece of it is what’s being challenged by state attorneys general across the country. So the advantage they gained in the act is in danger of falling to their own rhetoric.

He did get rid of DADT, but it was only after considerable pressure from human rights groups. Read Matt Taibbi’s analysis in Rolling Stone of the Wall Street Reform Act and you will see that those reforms are weak and ineffectual.

There are several areas where he has managed to back, successfully, progressive issues. But he has done so reluctantly and only after being reassured that there was enough general support for him to safely do so.

And when it comes to the environment he has failed miserably. He continuously, as I have pointed out before, backs the interests of big energy. The Department of the Interior is issuing oil permits for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico with “safety features” that are exactly the same as the ones which failed in the BP spill. I guess they feel that enough time has passed for the general public to forget the horrifying scenes of oil burbling freely out of the rupture into the no-longer pristine waters of the Gulf. Meanwhile the cleanup is ongoing. “Drill Baby Drill” may be a slogan for the Palins of this world, but it is an actuality for this administration.

Now, with the administration backing a pro-Obama Super PAC, he has abandoned the cause of getting money out of politics. Many of his supporters are saying “Well, you can’t bring a knife to a gunfight” (and how cliche` is that anyway?),  but if you think that this is a temporary capitulation, think again. Temporary has a bad habit of becoming permanent. The administration says they must bow to political realities. And that is the point of all of this.

Political reality is what has gotten us to the point where money rules the system. The American public pays little or no attention to the long-term plays of politics. And those plays are destroying the system of support for the people of this country, and for the environment.  Republicans and Democrats have forgotten what true principles are. And that is the real political reality.

I am, by no means, a spokesman for the Occupy movement although I am a supporter. But I believe I am safe in saying that the purpose of the movement is to expose these political realities for the sham that they are. We no longer have a true representational government; we have a system rigged to ensure that the rich get richer. The politicians, for the most part, care about nothing more than power grabs.

It’s past-time for the American people to stand up and say that we reject the concept of “political reality.” If we don’t do so soon, it will be too late.


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