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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Verdict: "Real Populists Fight Corporate Power -- They Don't Hug It!"

"This is our moment!" the voice-over proudly snarls in a video reminiscent of the exact same Republican claptrap that's been shoveled up before, during, and after elections.

Few, however, can match the same cartoonish punch as Mama Grizzly Sarah. 

Just listen to that populist roaring now that GOP, Inc. has overrun our House of Representatives!

Hold on a second.  There appears to be something less than a complete consensus about all this.  Famed populist activist and commentator Jim Hightower has a strikingly different perspective from Tea Queen Palin.

It seems he finds all this hooey, ehhm, unbearable:

"The tea party spoke! Loudly, powerfully and proudly.

But besides, "Throw the bums out," what did it say? And now that the party part is over and the nasty business of governing begins, what does it all add up to? What's its governing agenda? How does it make anything positive out of the disparate mish-mash of issue positions within its own rank and file?

And then there's the big one -- the huge, grotesque, democracy-choking monster that the party invited into the center of its own movement: corporate money. Throughout the election, tea partiers demurely averted their eyes from this ugly dude, for the monster was lavishing millions of corporate dollars on their candidates. But now, whether they meant to or not, they've ensconced it as the unrivaled, controlling power in the new Congress. What will they do as it asserts its selfish interests over theirs, devouring their ideals and their pretension that they are in control?

The media establishment insists on referring to the tea party as a "populist" movement -- but real populists fight corporate power, they don't hug it! The party certainly is a popular uprising, and a successful one, but there's nothing populist about it. Indeed, its leaders and candidates have vociferously opposed the populist ideals of egalitarianism, social justice, cooperative action and the common good.

"Shrink the Government" sounds good as a campaign cry, but its substance, as expressed by many of the most prominent teabag nominees and electees, is to kill Social Security, privatize Medicare and Medicaid, eliminate unemployment compensation, strip away the regulatory reforms on Wall Street's big banks, undo the EPA and the Education Department, extend the privileged tax breaks of super-wealthy hedge fund speculators, cut food stamps, do away with minimum wage, cripple unions, take away the pensions of public employees ... etc., etc.

This reduced the election to a massive, despicable blitz of TV ads consisting of lies, shameless pandering and silliness. It was America's first $4 billion election, with the likes of the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch, the Chamber of Commerce, Karl Rove, Dick Armey and other designers of corporate rule secretively channeling unprecedented, unconscionable (and, I believe, unconstitutional) sums of cash directly from corporate coffers to create a House majority obligated and dedicated to them."

Sounds pretty compelling.  "Rupert Murdoch....and other designers of corporate rule......"  Of course, one wouldn't see any of that in Palin's little fairy tale sound bite.  She's one of Murdoch's employees, after all.

We as a nation have weathered a lot worse than this.  Extremists and opportunists on both sides of the aisle have run amok before.  We'll survive, though, somehow, some way.

Just speak out, walk the walk, stand tough.

If you think the middle class is up against it, shudder to imagine Tea Party/GOP, Inc's attack plan against the working poor.  The images in this video are riveting.

Still, like the Trouble Man, "Ain't gon' let it sweat me, baby....."


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