By Bill Crawford
Tyrannical forces are hard at work behind the scenes to grab power and sway from November’s elections.
We get glimpses of these forces from big money activities – huge contributions to super PACs, massive media buys financed by so-called independent groups, and closed meetings between candidates and groups of big givers.
We see their influence as Congress and the White House manipulate issues, funding, and decisions to rally special interest support.
We’ll see more as carefully crafted, poll tested, focus-group massaged messages, TV ads, robocalls, direct mail pieces, Facebook campaigns, Twitter messages, and political speeches assault our fears, desires, and beliefs.
We’ll see, hear, and read more as the multitude of talking heads and columnists beholden to one force or another preaches from carefully crafted, poll tested, focus-group massaged, well-distributed talking points.
And we’ll wonder about their power and reach as gas prices rise for no supply or production related reasons or employment numbers improve for no clear economic reasons.
Yep, for the next 11 weeks or so, we the sheep of the American Republic will be at the mercy of mercenary wolves in their incredible shepherd disguises as they relentlessly hunt for power. This is not to denigrate good folks and true believers, but they often naively front for the wolves. When you see too many free, independent Americans in lockstep, beware.
The hunt is not really a new thing. They’ve been at it all along. They’re just smelling blood and closing in for the kill, an opportunity arising from the hostility and chaos they’ve fomented in Washington.
Consider these three occurrences:
In December 2009 a bipartisan group composed of 20 Republican and 15 Democrat Senators introduced a bill to create the Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action. It was modeled after the Base Closure and Realignment Commission in that task force recommendations could only be voted up or down by Congress, not amended. The bill failed when seven of the Republican co-sponsors voted against it.
Later in 2010, President Barack Obama appointed his bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. It proposed major changes to reduce the deficit. Eleven of the 18 members supported the plan, including five of the eight Republicans, but it required a super majority of 14 to pass. Romney vice presidential pick Paul Ryan helped scuttle the proposal.
In 2011 House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama negotiated a deficit reduction deal. Just before its announcement the Senate’s “Gang of Six” proposed a plan that offered higher tax revenues. When Boehner wouldn’t agree to those higher revenues, Obama scuttled the deal.
In each case, the wolves attacked behind the scenes killing off key support, snarling much needed conciliation, feeding political chaos…creating conditions favorable to power grabs by would-be tyrants.
Bill Crawford (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a syndicated columnist from Meridian.