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I woke up this morning wondering whether my understanding of the current events in DC has been all wrong, wether the goal of the extremists in charge of the Republican party may be to bring a government shutdown on, not to avert it.  

In other words, the goal of the bosses of the so-called Tea Party movement may not be to coerce a legislative “win”, but rather to create a situation of chaos, from which it can emerge in a position of greater power.

Is this crazy?  Talk me down below the fold.

Just who is driving the GOP bus?  It obviously isn’t Boehner or Mitch McConnell, or Cheney, or Rove.

It suddenly seems clear to me how central Jim DeMint is to everything that’s happening.  (Is this obvious?)  He was one of the most powerful people in the Senate until he abruptly quit a few years ago to take over the Heritage Foundation (in return for a multimillion dollar annual salary).

Now have a ludicrous loudmouth freshman senator Ted Cruz, of course --  who suddenly seems to be the most powerful Republican in the Senate, who is rallying and leading a breakaway faction of extremists in Congress, and determined I think to bring down the United States government.

But Cruz is not the architect of this - he is a political newbie, and lacks the standing, the relationships, the infrastructure, the conduits of money necessary to control 80 Congressman. DeMint, on the other hand spent a decade building up exactly that kind of power, backed by hundreds of millions of dollars from God knows what sources.

Cruz is the distraction, IMO – DeMint and the people behind DeMint or the real architects.  This is similar to the movement that used W as a figurehead while Cheney assumed most of the real power as a president – only much broader, and much worse.  

I’m a member of a large, professional organization with alot of wealthy people in it – I was shocked to see that our then-President was a big donor to DeMint.  But I think that most of the folks in big cars who write checks may not know what they’re actually buying.

What we’re seeing is an extremist movement, backed by a media propaganda empire and political organization such as the NRA, professional organizations full of Angry White People, and unlimited funds at the top from a handful of billionaires, that is motivated to – and here my vision is less clear.

Just what is the motive?

I think it may be a radical, comprehensive, smart platform, starting with Replacement of Medicare and Social Security with “privatized” programs that can generate unlimited profits.  Just what would be the profit, if you could really finish social security, and force people to put their life savings into the stock market?  

Elimination of environmental laws and consumer protection and labor rules is another priority.   You’d need a strong system of surveillance and changes to the legal system to keep public order.  You'd want to take control of school districts' curriculum and hiring.  You might want to change voting laws to make voting harder, and put in radically gerrymandered congressional districts .

All of this this would require a vast infusion of cash at the local level.  But a shortage of cash is not this movement’s problem.

In other words, the goal of such a movement isn’t to win elections, its  the subversion of  democratic governance itself, and its replacement by a system of power operated by a tiny political and economic elite – in other words the creation a kind of system is existed under Mussolini or Franco – minus the social welfare programs those guys used to keep their supporters happy.

The first target is what's left of the Republican party.  TV pundits get it wrong talk about the risk of "damage to the Republican brand" - the whole point, IMO, is to transform the GOP into something far more extreme than its ever been, and that the principal target isn't Obama at this point, it's the destruction of Repubs who won't grovel like Boehner and McConnell.

You can't win statewide or national elections that way right now, but (ahem) there's a plan for that.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying its all one big coordinated scheme.  But I think we should keep our eye on Jim DeMint, while our TV is “journalists” focus on Cruz’s empty stunt, or the “bickering between Republicans and Democrats”.

But what I think we’re really seeing is the next stage of a battle by a small, focused, unbelievably wealthy minority to gut the already-enfeebled Republican Party, and transform it into animated cadaver that has very little to do with the democratic process at all.

Is this  crazy?  Or am I just figuring out what is painfully obvious to everyone else?

What do you think?

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