Quote of the Day: "If elections really changed things they would be illegal." -- Emma Goldman
I [Jim Babka, Downsize DC] will start with a confession . . .
* I cheered in 2006 and 2008 when the voters body-slammed the Republicans
* And I will cheer again next week when the Democrats too get slammed
Both the Republicans and the Democrats have thoroughly deserved their repudiations. I think our political parties are so bad that it's almost always appropriate for incumbents to lose, and for the majority party to revert to minority status. But that doesn't mean that such changes really improve things.
Did things improve in 2008 when Obama's Democrats gained control? I think the answer is no. Obama has continued, or worsened, nearly all of Bush's policies, and with the Democratic Congress has managed to outspend the profligate Republicans. Should we really expect the Republicans to be different this time?
If you hold out hope, prepare to have it crushed, starting here . . .
Do you know these names?
* Dave Camp
* Wally Herger
Or these names?
* Jerry Lewis
* Bill Young
Camp and Herger are the two highest ranking Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee -- the committee tasked with figuring out how to get revenue for the government.
And Lewis and Young are the two highest ranking Republicans on the powerful, big-spending Appropriations Committee.
If you elect a Republican majority, these are the guys who will decide how much the government taxes, borrows, and spends. Will these men gives us real change that leads to real improvement? If their past is any guide then we can expect the following . . .
* Camp and Herger will deploy deficit spending.
* Lewis and Young will continue to expand the budget, especially for wars and projects that violate your civil liberties -- things like national ID systems and warrant-less surveillance schemes.
Camp and Lewis, the two men most likely to chair the two most important spending and taxing committees, are part of a Congressional caucus called the Republican Main Street Partnership. The "Main Streeters" call themselves "common-sense conservatives," because, apparently, other fiscal conservatives lack common-sense. But the word "main" isn't just a road in their lexicon, it's code for "mainstream" -- you know, like those wonderful people in the media.
This tells us that Camp and Lewis won't stray very far from the echo-chamber of the DC beltway crowd. They're resistant to doing anything radical like actually reducing the size, scope, power, and expense of the federal government.
Three of the four men named above also have reputations for being among the biggest porkers in Congress. One watchdog group named Lewis, Congress's most corrupt member.
So far, so bad, but what about . . .
The Tea Party candidates
My concern about investing hope in the GOP doesn't end with powerful committee chairmanships. Sadly, even the non-mainstream candidates aren't so great. For instance . . .
Many so-called Tea Party candidates love the Military-Industrial-Complex, including its fondness for reckless wars that make us less safe. Such candidates also show little concern for the Constitution when it comes to things like due process.
Even worse . . .
Many Tea Party candidates are even bad on government spending. James Ostrowski has noted that there are nine Tea Party candidates for the U.S. Senate, and NONE OF THEM will name EVEN ONE government program they would eliminate.
I'm sorry to break the news, but most of the Tea Party candidates are just as bad as the Republicans, who are just as bad as the Democrats. This is why . . .
We don't like talking about political personalities. They pretty much all stink.
And we think partisan politics is even worse. Parties are palliative to thought. They're toxic to discourse. They provide social proof that cognitive dissonance is just dandy, while logic and consistency are dangerously radical.
So mostly we avoid these subjects here in the Downsizer-Dispatch. We've tried, instead, to focus on issues and principles. But try as we might . . .
Americans love the political silly season
I've just spoken to three groups in two states. One aspect of my experience was fascinating. In several conversations with those who heard me speak, even where I had been clear that this was not the time to worry about electing the right people, good folks still wanted to talk about partisan politics -- who's up, who's down, who will run in 2012, etc.
Pogo said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."
Partisan political elections are a stronghold of the enemy. When we focus our attacks in that area we are hitting them in a strong point, NOT a weak point. This means that the Statist politicians will constantly win, and YOU will constantly lose. By contrast . . .
The Susquehanna Valley Regional Tea Party (SVRTP) has done things the Downsize DC way, with striking results. As one of their leaders puts it, "We're not here to support candidates, we're here to get candidates to support what we want."
Still another SVRTP leader got visibly angry at their recent rally because a Congressman was allowed to address the audience! The SVRTP view is that candidates should attend their meeting NOT to speak, but to LISTEN!
What a breath of fresh air! And you know what? It works! Just look at what the SVRTP has accomplished. They've gotten the sitting Congressman from their area, and the future Congressman from the other district in their area, to agree to introduce all of the Downsize DC Agenda bills. Now ask yourself a question . . .
Which is going to do more to improve America . . .
* Replacing one group of gangster politicians with another group of gangsters, or . . .
* Making ALL the politicians bow to what we want?
Please take notice, the SVRTP has NOT endorsed, worked for, contributed to, or elected ANY CANDIDATE, but they have PRESSURED all of their local politicians, and the PRESSURE has worked!
I've said it before, I'll say it again: CHANGING THE WORLD IS EASY, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS STOP DOING HARD THINGS THAT DON'T WORK (like worrying about elections).
Think about it another way. How big an army of supporters did the SVRTP need to get their local politicians to support what they wanted? They had 4,000 people come to a rally last year, and they have maybe 200 people who are active on a regular basis. That's it. That's all. So ask yourself this . . .
How many DC Downsizers do you need in your district to control your House rep? Whatever that number is, THAT should be your goal -- not Downsize DC's goal, but YOUR goal. If it was easy for the SVRTP it can be easy for you too. We'll show you how in the days and weeks ahead.