Op-Eds Speaking Truth to the Powers-That-Be

Win the White House… Why? Gridlock is Power to Libertarians

(First published at The Huffington Post)

by Brian Ross

Conventional wisdom has been that the party who holds the White House holds real power. No longer. Serve up whatever clown in the GOP big top you want to run for the highest office in the land. Gridlock is the name of the game, and it can’t work with a member of the Republican Party at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Libertarian Ultra-Right funders: The Kochs, Coors, DeVos, Mellon-Scaifes, Freiss and a few dozen other major contributors to the Tea Party have a different agenda than the Neocons of the traditional wing of the Republican Party.

To hell with the White House. Hold Congress hostage and dismantle government from the inside through congressional inaction.

This Congress has been the least productive in generations to a purpose: Tear down New Deal government. The Tea Party does not negotiate. They stonewall. They gridlock. They blast holes in brokered deals made by GOP leadership. They damage the reliability of our currency and credit. They shut down the government to accelerate its demise.

The bills that the Tea Party, and their hostages in GOP leadership, put forward are assaults on John Birch Libertarian demons: The poor, minorities, women and costly internationalism:

  • SNAP (Food stamps);
  • Healthcare enfranchisement (Obamacare) & Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Social Security
  • Anti-immigrant legislation
  • Blocking of appointments, and the work of government watchdog agencies who might derail their agenda
  • Anti-woman/anti-choice legislation
  • Under-funding veterans benefits
  • Discrediting and gutting global military and intelligence infrastructure

Power always emanates from money. Money is pouring into the rewiring of our government, and they have their eye set on the one real prize in the government they despise. The purse string powers of the Congress.

Control the House, and neuter the Senate at the very least, or control it outright. No Tea Party majority is required. Just enough heel-dragging know-nothings who follow orders well and will dogmatically tow the line to generate gridlock that keeps the government from funding the New Deal socialist state.

To achieve gridlock, the GOP cannot be in control of the Congress and the White House. They did it with George W. Bush, but that was to a purpose.

Talking heads ranted about Democratic slaughter in 2010, but it was the GOP’s Neocons who became the Far-Right Funder’s first target. Neocons were wiped out by the Radical Right’s flood of Citizens United dollars into those mid-term primaries. They were hailed as just a different stripe of Big Pork Socialists by the true believers of the Tea Party who replaced them.

In 2014, the Tea Party minions need a bogeyman to rail against.

Democrats and their New Deal government.

Put a Tea Party Republican in the White House, and the public would expect the party in power to do SOMETHING. You can’t, after all, gridlock your own party’s president.

The Democrats, and the majority of Americans who generally like New Deal America, aren’t going quietly into the night either. They could effectively turn the tables on the GOP using their own tactics. As we saw during the government shut down by the GOP, the Tea Party has to avoid angering the electorate. They need just enough gridlock to chip away at the power of the federal government and its agencies, without angering the American people enough that they actually DO something about purging your cronies from office.

The power of the White House remains a problem for the Far Right. The Obama Administration has successfully used its power over the agencies of government to end-run a good percentage of the Tea Party’s stonewalling.

Which is why the Far Right has used every angle to try to denigrate and discredit the White House. Birtherism. Benghazi. The IRS nonsense. 51 symbolic House votes against Obamacare. It’s all part of the propaganda war to chip away at the power and prestige of the Oval Office.

The Funders have spent millions over the last forty years to channel that FUD: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt to voluntarily disenfranchise the electorate.

FUD is the basis of America’s consumerist society. Bombarded generationally with millions of hours of commercials to worry us that our breath isn’t fresh enough, our body shapes aren’t good enough, our laundry isn’t white enough, and that our money and our sex lives won’t last long enough — if you turn the FUD machine against our democracy and our government, you can get people to believe:

  • Government is hopelessly corrupt and inept;
  • Nothing the voter will do can change the system;
  • Demon government and our political system, not those throwing the monkey wrenches into it, are the problem.

Which is why it’s no surprise that disaffected voters in America are at an all-time high. A January Gallup poll found that 42 percent of Americans, coming into this election found that 41 percent of voters are registered as Independent, or align that way. That’s the highest total in the 25 years that they have conducted the poll. A McClatchy poll found 41 percent.

The majority of that loss hits the Republican Party. You’d think that would be a BAD thing if you’re pushing this agenda.

It’s actually a GOOD thing, though, because it leaves Republican primaries to the hardest of hard-core Tea Party voters, and lets the Libertarian Right go RINO hunting more moderate Neocons.

The mid-term is critical, as is disabling anyone of any capability from running for President from the GOP.

CPAC, which just ended, was more of a freak show than political power showcase. Fringers like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz were the stars. Neocon “moderates”? There are none. Jeb Bush has the boat anchor of W. around his neck. Chris Christie is about to be pushed off his bridge too far, leaving the carnies, and side show hucksters to squabble over the GOP primary for the office that, as Libertarian overlord Grover Norquist observed, should be nothing more than a rubber stamp.

Hillary would be a spectacular choice for the Kochs and their friends in 2016. The only FUD almost as powerful as a “scary” black man in the White House would be a dangerous liberal “feminazi” and her “radical liberal” husband. The White House, and whomever occupies it, be damned.

Apathy is power.

The Mid-Terms are where apathy thrives. The key to controlling the Congress is maxing out on apathy and dominating the sparsely-populated polling places of the 2014 mid-terms.

If the Democrats can’t interest voters in turning out to turn out the Tea Party blight on Congress, and in our state houses, Americans will be doomed to the disintegrating government their well-groomed apathy has wrought.

My shiny two.

About Brian Ross

Brian Ross is a writer, screenwriter, political satirist, documentarian and short filmmaker who blogs for Truth2Power, the Huffington Post, and the Daily KOS, among others.

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