Day: February 22, 2011

Mainstream Republicans An Endangered Species: Bad Omen For The Future

The Republican Party, in its mad dash to the far right, is about to consume its few mainstream members in the US Senate.

Maine Senator Olympia Snowe is facing a likely Tea Party opponent, and Utah Senator Orrin Hatch was booed at the recent CPAC convention, despite his solidly conservative voting record over the past 35 years.

Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown has lost the support of the Tea Party, which originally was thrilled by his winning of Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat in 2010, and may also face a primary challenge.

But the repudiation in Indiana of Senator Richard Lugar, the senior Republican and foreign policy expert, by his own party leadership, is a major blow to a Senator who could be called more than a politician, instead a statesman.

Lugar made enemies voting for the START Treaty with Russia, opposing a ban on earmarks, and supporting Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court. He has been called Barack Obama’s favorite Republican.

So Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, not a Tea Party leader, is challenging Lugar, although it is believed that Governor Mitch Daniels and Indiana Congressman Mike Pence may stay neutral in the primary race due on May 8, 2012.

Will Lugar get the message and decide to retire after 36 years? It seems unlikely, but his loss would be a major blow to moderate conservatism and the future of the Republican Party image nationally.

The Collapse Of The American Dream: Back To The Gilded Age

We are witnessing, in the present economic downturn, a reversal unmatched since the Great Depression.

And all of the cushions and safety net put into place since then, via the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, is rapidly being lost.

Even the labor reforms that showed up in Wisconsin under Robert LaFollette, Sr. in the Progressive Era are now facing extinction in, of all places, Wisconsin, and the movement against labor unions is spreading to Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, Florida and elsewhere.

We are seeing the return of “slave labor” in the sense that wages are stagnant, and more than ever, part time workers without benefits are becoming the norm in many areas of the economy.

And if one is unfortunate enough to be unemployed, many corporations and businesses are refusing to hire them, as if they are damaged goods.

The attack has begun on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, pension plans, health benefits, and other programs that made life better in America.

Powerful corporations, and wealthy people such as the Koch brothers, are managing to influence the Supreme Court, and are in league with the Republican Party, to set back a century of progress and reform.

This is a battle for survival for millions upon millions of middle class people who are rapidly falling into deprivation and poverty and despair.

The feeling is that there is no future, as life becomes more difficult for working families, but also for young people who have a gloomy view of the future, without an education, or even with a college education.

The Social Darwinist ethic of the late 19th century Gilded Age is returning, that of survival of the fittest, and it is creating an ugly atmosphere in America, as the middle class turns on itself and opposes what other middle class people have, and all this to the benefit of the wealthy and the corporations, who are sitting by and licking their chops as America turns on itself.

This is a very dangerous situation which could lead to a breakdown of law and order, a horrifying thought, as we face a daunting future where economic opportunity seems evasive and scattered.

The political divide in this country MUST be breached, or doom is ahead in more ways than one can imagine!