It looks like we’re sending a bunch more folks to Afghanistan to get more deeply involved in a land war in Asia (life imitates art?!). One of the tenets of that appears to be pushing the Afghan government to stamp out local corruption. Former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, with whom I don’t always agree (and whose daughter I mostly abhor), hits the nail squarely on the head. For me, he ties our health care reform mire right to Afghanistan in a single, neat paragraph.
"Who are we to seriously be preaching [such] a crusade?" he asked. "We have a financial sector that is voraciously greedy and exploitative, to put it mildly. We have a Congress which is not immune to special interests. And we have an electoral system that is based largely on private donations which precipitate expectations of rewards. The notion of us going to the Afghans and preaching purity is comical.
And it IS comical. The Republicans aren’t the party of "NO". They’re the party of "YES" – to institutionalized corruption. And the Democrats are at best marginally better.
We all know how far up Max Baucus’s rear the hand of the insurance industry is. Dick Durbin has made it plain as day that big finance industries "own the place". The fox guards the henhouse over at Treasury. Wal*Mart is a part-owner in Lincoln & Pryor. Congressional and White House staffs and seats are revolving-door neighbors to lobbying firms – like Tom Daschle’s very enriching influence laundering. We’ve seen the nearly completely-ignored scandal of commentary prepared by lobbyists and industry representatives delivered, VERBATIM, on the floor of Congress and written into the public record as the pandering, false passion of a body bought and paid for by the industries we all hoped they’d protect us from. And let’s not get started on the military-industrial complex – you KNOW they’re leaping for joy over the next moves in Afghanistan. As Iraq did before it, Afghanistan will fabulously enrich those contractors, who will continue to flout American and international law in the process. <strikethrough>Their employees in Congress</strikethrough>Our representatives will do little more than slap them on the hand (Al Franken, G_d love him, notwithstanding).
Wait, that’s not comical. It’s pathetic. It’s what I grew up calling a porquería in Spanish. Our political system has become a racket, a joke, a sham. And those who inhabit the highest echelons of our economic structure – including most of those Congresspeople – are thoroughly enjoying their representation. Because that’s what it is – I mean, seriously, let’s just list the members of Congress for who they really represent: Michael McCaul (R-ClearChannel); Blanche Lincoln (D-Wal*Mart); Evan Bayh (D-WellPoint); Tom Carper (D-Pharma); Chris Dodd (D-Wall Street); Barney Frank (D-Wall Street). And so on. If we did, maybe we’d start to notice that there are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many representatives for one small section of the populace. It’s like Rhode Island having 300 Representatives and 40 Senators, all too damned happy to do a little constituent services. The rest of us are limping along with folks like Al Franken, still D-Minnesota, who must heroically shoulder the plebeian throngs.
It’s time for some redistricting. Want healthcare? Want an end to expensive, poorly-run overseas wars? Want REAL finance regulation? Get the legislative and executive branches out of the corporate trough, or you won’t get anything that serves anyone but the corporations. I don’t know how that’s going to happen, but it must if you want any of the previous items. Of course, Congress self-regulates about as well as the corporations do – because they’re all the same entity.
Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about the judicial branch, at least federally – the Roberts court is the most corporate ever.
I am so fucking tired of hearing how this Senator or that Representative is getting in the way of reform, and attacking them as not a REAL Democrat or not a GOOD Democrat; frankly, the Conservadems and Blue Dogs are just being honest about how most of their salary gets paid, and who owns ‘em. Meanwhile, we’re busy arguing over the party label they hastily slapped over the corporate logo tattooed on their asses.
Wake up, folks. It’s not a government for the people, or by the people, and it hasn’t been for most of my life. We can scream and cry and carry on all the way to hell, but the rich folks still laugh all the way to the bank. Zbigniew Brzezinski knows it. Jerome a Paris nailed it the other day. How the hell is it going to change?