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View Diary: House broken: How the GOP legislative machine turned into a doomsday device (176 comments)

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  •  This Is the New Normal. (28+ / 0-)

    Most Republicans and Democrats in DC don't have the interests of 99% of the population at heart, as just about every member of Congress belongs to the top 1%.

    Until this changes, I don't expect much else to.

    The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

    by teacherjon on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:33:39 AM PST

    •  You are correct. Power is shifting from D.C. (7+ / 0-)

      to more state-level and wealthy plutocratic points.

      The reason for this is that the force that allowed the (central) federal government to gain control of the U.S. in the first place was the existential threat of external enemies. With the collapse of the USSR in 1989 this source of legitimacy for the federal government disappeared.

      That force was the basis of forming nations in Europe. External threat required the barons to give power to a central authority - king - to protect the nation. (Polands Barons refused and Poland disappeared as a national government for over a century.) Then the Thirty Year's War proved that large professional standing armies almost always defeated larger Feudal levy's or Mercenary armies. But that required taxing larger geographic areas of subsistence farmers.  Government by bureaucracy was created and expanded to meet this need.

      What force required the local powers of each of the 13 colonies to give up power to a central government? The war against the British. And the first effort - the Articles of Confederation - did not provide enough centralized power to protect the new nation.

      Power in America has always centralized in the face of external threat and decentralized again when the threat disappeared. The latest threat disappeared with the USSR in 1989.

      America is now watching as smaller power centers run wild fighting for supremacy. State governments for the most part have long been dominated by wealthy families. But the banks have become powers of their own, as Wall Street has demonstrated.

      In fact, the Multinational Corporations of all kinds have escaped most national controls everywhere, even in the U.S. which is at present the largest economy not totally centralized. (China is experimenting with letting limited non-government power centers to exist, but it's touchy.)

      You may notice the resemblance of my list to the 2% described by the Occupy Wall Street organizations.

      If you look at the political agenda of the conservatives y the issues are invariably focused on taking power away from the central federal government. Cut the taxes, reduce the regulations, devolve power to the states, eliminate federal benefits to individual citizens and residents. Those are not random issues. They all have a single focus.

      The total conservative movement is focused on "gelding" the centralized powers of the federal government. It's not about efficiency or local (democratic) control. It's about permitting local dictatorships of the type that still exist throughout the South. In a rural county to most powerful person in government is usually the Sheriff. Remember, the state governments are the level of government the 2% can still control. Above that level the government tends to become too independent of the 2% (even with lobbyists.)

      Anyway, Billmon's article here is outstanding. He has always demonstrated deep understanding regarding what is going on along with an amazing ability to write clearly about it. Thanks again, Billmon.

      The US Supreme Court has by its actions and rhetoric has ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

      by Rick B on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:33:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Many good points here - Federalist #10 stuff (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "Remember: the state governments are the level of government the 2% can still control"

        Echoes Madison's argument about why large republics more stable, democratic than small ones: More diverse, so factions balance each other's power.

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