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Gaming American Democracy: How New Republican Techniques Seek to Change the Political System Itself

This is the first in a series of columns by Mr. Dean, which will examine the new techniques being employed by Republicans to alter the political landscape. – Ed.

Conservative operatives with almost unlimited money (provided by wealthy supporters) have been very busy, over the past few years, changing American political processes and, thus, the way politics and government are undertaken, to favor Republican policies and candidates. So far, they have been remarkably successful and they may even be able to change the political playing field in time for the 2012 presidential election, tilting the landscape to favor a GOP candidate.  There is only one problem with what they are doing, which is the way they are doing it.

Most Americans, unfortunately, are unaware of these activities.

Voters and the Media Are Largely Ignoring the Return of Nixonian Politics, on Steroids

While the so-called Tea Party’s antics always attract public and media attention, the heavy lifting in the effort to change our political processes is being accomplished mostly behind closed doors, through the efforts of experienced conservative GOP operatives.  These men and women have been quietly and steadily going after what they want:  control of the political processes, which they can then translate into greater political power.

To reach their goals, conservative leaders are blatantly gaming the system.  They are going where they have never ventured before, and conducting politics in a way that has never been seen before in America, by exploiting constitutional gaps, working in the crannies and crevices of our system, and proceeding both openly and privately to empower themselves in a manner that would never succeed at the ballot box if it were fully understood.

The story about these activities has been largely ignored, or at most incidentally reported, by the mainstream news media.  While some of this activity is merely hard-nosed, real-world politics at its ugliest, other undertakings are conspicuously abusive, and, indeed, reminiscent of what I saw when inside the Nixon White House.

Watergate ended most of this kind of political activity, at least for a while, but now it has returned with a vengeance.  It’s Nixonian no-holds-barred-style politics, on steroids. For this reason, in this, and periodic subsequent columns, I plan to set forth reports of the remarkable, often unseemly, and at times illegal assault that conservatives have launched to alter our political practices and procedures to favor conservative candidates, policies and programs.

With this first column, I hope to provide an overview and introduction to this subject.  Later columns will examine the details.  So stay tuned.

FYI: I have previously worked out my research and thinking for three New York Times best-selling books in my columns.  Whether this current effort will become a book, I do not know, because publishers are never sure about these types of stories—a fact that I believe encourages this type of behavior.  So I will proceed a step at a time.  Nonetheless, I enjoy writing on topics about which I have strong feelings when others are ignoring the matter, and that is the situation here.

The Reasons This Attempt to Profoundly Transform Our Political System Is Receiving Only Incidental News Coverage

This story—the story of the attempted transformation of our political system itself—has been mostly ignored for two reasons.  First, because it deals with political and governmental process.   It is conventional wisdom among news people (in both print and television journalism), as well as among many mainstream book publishers, that the American public does not care to be told about so-called “process issues.”  This is apparently true, notwithstanding the fact that the political party that controls the processes can control the policy and government.

Authors who have written about process issues tell me that not only have they had difficulty getting published, but if they do, readers are, in fact, hard to come by.  Because I know the importance of process, and its overriding influence on politics and government, I am very interested in these matters, so I do not understand the general disinterest that authors face when they seek to write about these vital topics.

There is a second reason for the disinterest, too—and an even more troubling one.  Today’s mainstream news organizations are largely controlled by major corporations, which are profit-driven like never before.  Most members of corporate management lean toward Republican views, and while top corporate executives typically give their news editors and producers great leeway, news organizations do not go out of their way to annoy their corporate bosses.  The big money that is involved in reshaping America’s political processes has been, and will continue to be, a wonderful source of revenue for these organizations.  News organizations need advertisers, and they love all the disingenuous advertisements that this political undertaking is generating.

Given these attitudes and institutional realities, the mainstream news media could care less about the impact, meaning, and means involved in changing the political processes to favor conservatives.  (Ironically, Watergate, too, was initially a non-story with the national press, and it continued on that way for almost ten months after the arrests of burglars in the Democratic National Committee—because much of the story involved process, at first, and also because news organizations did not want to annoy a mean-spirited sitting president.)

I can think of no better place to start telling the story of how America’s political processes are being co-opted and transformed, than with the Tea Party, which is the tip of the conservative iceberg that is now floating through our political waters.

The Tea Party Facade

I addressed the Tea Party movement in an earlier column, reporting that there is little that is new about the Party’s players, a collection of existing conservative groups who have long resided at the radical fringe of the Republican Party.  They are the authoritarian followers, plus a few of their leaders, who can, together, accurately be described by their personalities and political dispositions as authoritarian conservatives.  (Not all conservatives are authoritarians, but virtually all authoritarians are conservatives.)

The Tea Party is more a rebranding, than a genuinely new movement.  When you study the poll numbers, it is clear that only a small number of conservatives consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement.  These fringe groups have always been fringe groups, but they form the activist base of the GOP.  According to Gallup, 41 percent of Americans consider themselves conservatives; 36 percent, moderates; and 21 percent, liberals. Yet a contemporaneous New York Times poll shows that only 20 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the Tea Party, while 40 percent have an unfavorable view.  And, more tellingly, only 18 percent of Americans identify themselves as Tea Party supporters, with only 4 percent of Americans having ever attended a Tea Party meeting or given money to the Tea Party.

In light of its small numbers, what accounts for the Tea Party’s prominence?  It is the result of the handful of always-camera-ready political figures and candidates who claim allegiance with the movement.  These include Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rand and Ron Paul, Christine O’Donnell, and Sharron Angle—to name a few.

CNN (oddly and inexplicably) recently chose to partner with the Tea Party Express to present a CNN/Tea Party Presidential Debate, a decision that gave the Tea Party added publicity and credibility.  (I was surprised to find CNN so hard-up for a debate partner.)  Former Republican leader of the House of Representatives Dick Armey has been active with the movement through Freedom Works, which appears well funded.  But there is no Tea Party per se, only a disjointed movement that has served, and continues to serve, as a nice façade—deflecting and diverting public attention while true leaders, and the major players in the conservative movement, have plotted and executed their efforts to change the political landscape.

The real story here is not the Tea Party; rather, it is the actions of conservative Republican mayors, governors, state legislators, members of the U.S. Congress, former federal officials (from mid-level and high-level posts) now working on behalf of conservative causes, and of conservative lobbyists and lawyers, both in Washington and scattered around the country.  These people surely find the Tea Party useful as a distraction from what they are trying to do.

The New Conservative Power Game

Contemporary GOP heavies, the men, and a few women, who understand how the game can be played, appreciate that our democracy is fragile, and that it operates largely on the good will of everyone, which makes it easily susceptible to abuse.  As conservative operatives have undertaken nationwide efforts to adjust and change the political processes to their advantage, they have taken advantage of the good will of others, disregarding the regular order and the assumptions of regularity that have long prevailed in America’s politics and governance.  This approach caught opponents flatfooted, totally off-guard.

Interestingly, as best I can tell, these disruptive moves and changes are, in only a few instances, centralized and highly coordinated.  More often, these efforts are simply sua sponte—a case of like minds thinking alike, or noticing what others are doing.  To the best of my knowledge, this is not a conspiratorial undertaking, nor the work of a closed and well-connected network.  Yet these people do appear to keep others who are interested well informed.

For me, understanding what had been going on has been like assembling a jigsaw puzzle without a picture.  So far, I have found no mastermind or master plan, but there is no question that those who are part of this loose coalition are working like beavers, and pursuing any opportunity that arises.  Some of the techniques are old, while others are very new.  What has become conspicuous from this inquiry, so far, is that conservatives are now operating with new political norms, and at levels that were once considered extreme, but are now standard operating procedure.  This does not bode well for our system.

Some Examples of How Extreme Tactics Are Being Adopted by Republicans as Merely Standard Operating Procedure

A few examples from my growing catalogue should make the point:

Conservatives are now demanding and enforcing absolute GOP party discipline, and trying to impose it at all levels of government, tolerating no exceptions. They are willing to shut down any and all government operations if that is needed to serve their interest and get their way.  They recognize no comity or courtesy in any cross-party situations that are not to their advantage.  They have made civility the exception, rather than the rule.  They will lie and mislead to accomplish what is necessary and conservative “thinkers” have abandoned intellectual honesty for the cause.  They are hell-bent on changing as many processes of government as possible to always favor Republican rule, whether they are in the minority or majority.  They are changing the rules by which we elect officials to favor the election and selection of conservative Republicans.  They are making it more difficult for anyone who is not a Republican to vote. They are blatantly engaging in extreme obstructionism to damage any non-Republican incumbent office-holder’s ability to perform in office. They operate behind closed doors whenever possible and always when in power. To accomplish their goals, they are raising and injecting literally countless billions—I repeat, billions—of dollars into manipulating local, state, and national legislative actions and elections to their advantage.  Finally, they have—almost inconspicuously—altered every branch and level of government as they have proceeded.

No one has seriously challenged these efforts, but surely others can see the activities I have noticed, and the pattern they reveal.  Democrats, it appears, have decided to look the other way, and only when public outrage has erupted—as happened in Wisconsin, when Governor Scott Walker’s efforts to change the process became conspicuous—has there been any effort to prevent them from operating outside traditional conventional constitutional boundaries.  So they continue, and in some areas, they are becoming increasingly aggressive.

As I report on such developments in this series of columns, I will share my thoughts about possible countermeasures.  But for many of these actions, there is no easy fix, because those who perpetrate them are exploiting the flaws, and working in the underbelly, of our system.

A Closing Thought:  Federalist No. 10’s Solution Is Not Applicable Here

When you delve into any radical conservative activity, you quickly become drenched in all their constitutional rhetoric, for it is endless.  The GOP’s radical fringe worships our Constitution—or what they believe our Constitution says, which has little to do with reality.  Thus, in tracking their new power plays, I found myself thinking about James Madison’s warning in Federalist No. 10, a warning that contemporary conservatives ignore.  Madison, it will be recalled, addressed what conservatives are now doing when he discussed the threat that factions pose to our constitutional system.

Madison described a faction as “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion or of interests, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interest of the community.” Madison found factions to be incapable of self-restraint, and pointed out that, for them, “neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control.”  He believed that the danger from factions was very real, since they foster “the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished.”

Madison concluded that it was inevitable that factions could not be eliminated, because America could only do so at the expense of freedom itself.  Rather, he believed that the effects of factions would be controlled by the very nature of a representative system, where interests are delegated to representatives, and those representatives then deliberate away from local concerns.  When there are a sufficient number of representatives, who cover a large and growing country, Madison felt, these representatives would be thinking of the greater good.  And, that emphasis on the greater good—the good of the whole nation—would check factional thinking.  Madison’s thinking, however, did not contemplate the arrival of political parties, nor did he conceive of a party’s becoming so tightly controlled that it could operate to serve only a narrow self-interest, rather than the public interest.  In short, we do not have an institutional check, deriving from the Constitution or any other source, on today’s activities.

Nor do I have answers yet, but I am looking.  Actually, I am still gathering facts, and will be doing so for months to come.  If you have thoughts or information about the matters that I have broadly described here, I hope you will share them.  Please tweet me.  Based upon the thoughts and information of a few who are very concerned, we might clarify this matter for all.

John DeanJohn W. Dean, a Justia columnist, is a former counsel to the president.
Posted In Politics
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  • http://twitter.com/bj95432geemale Robert Jolley

    how about the seante  going to the nuclear button now before the 2012 looming disaster to try and move ahead on Dem iniatives

  • Anonymous

    The greatest threat to a Democracy is an uninformed — or misinformed — electorate.

  • Wake Them Up Mr. Dean!

    Dear Mr. Dean, I agree with your observations. I hope you will acquaint yourself with ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) which is a nefarious group supported by the Koch brothers, giving the Republicans their agenda of marching orders across the country. Then check out the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) which is a right wing religious organization with dominionism plans to turn America into a theocracy by getting their people elected everywhere. These are scary times, and I hope you have success in getting media to pay attention to what’s happening under our noses.

  • Anonymous

    Please can we bring up how the conservative movement works through State houses, through the American Legislative Exchange Council.  This is the kleptocracy of the Kochs, Karl Rove and their 300 nearest and dearest corporate cronies.  See @ALECexposed:disqus.org.

    Some of us feel the ONLY way to fight back is at a grassroots level, really getting down and dirty in the streets against Citizens United.  #USDOR #OccupyWallStreet and #OccupyDC are working, working, working to educate, agitate and organize outside The System as is Anonymous.   There is movetoamend.org, moneyouttapoolitics.org, the CoffeeParty and now, People’s Assemblies plus more. We aren’t waiting.

    Our numbers, not the media, is our redemption. And the fact we will like, tweet and share Revolution 2.0 using nonviolent means. ~ USuncutMN

  • iwish92189@hotmail.com

    I never dreamed it would be The Republican Party to take this Country down,I always thought it would be The Democratic Party.Just saying.They have broken our Government by saying NO NO to everything for three years & for a decade gave Tax Breaks To The Rich & Now Our Country is feeling the RESULTS.I was shocked to hear them applaud for Texas killing over 200+ people using Death Penalty @ the last Debate,& Last nights debate,they booed a US Soldier.What is wrong w/these people.The Tea Party has made Them Delusional….

  • Shannon Jacobs

    Few
    significant ideas fit within a tweet, but who knows if you will see
    this? Notwithstanding, I will attempt to be brief on these topics of
    shared interest.

    First,
    I laud your treatment of the Tea Party as a facade, but two points to
    note. One, their cost is nominal to the players who are financing them.
    Two, their primary use is to help tip the scales so the what used to be
    the far right is now perceived as the middle of the political spectrum.

    Second,
    I’ve concluded that one of the most significant things is that though
    there is widespread agreement on various major problems, there is
    apparently almost no agreement on THE major problem. In other words, we
    evidently can’t reach any consensus on the priorities of our
    difficulties. Now I think that perhaps the major problem is the bigness
    itself. What can be bigger than big? Not so much big government but big
    business that both requires and depends upon big government. We have
    seemingly reached a consensus that it is natural for one company or
    organization to dominate.

    Third,
    as a result of this analysis, I’ve concluded we need to reach a deeper
    understanding of the economic history of America. Though I haven’t seen
    it described in this form, I think that America’s economic situation can
    be described in three phases. (1) Wealth through cheap land. (2) Wealth
    through REAL competition when anti-trust laws were powerful and
    effective. (3) Our imminent bankruptcy or eclipse after competition
    disappears in America. From that perspective, what is happening to the
    American political system is only one aspect of a more general malaise.

    Is
    there a solution? I think it would only be possible if American laws
    were rewritten NOT to favor cancerous growth as the norm of business. We
    need something like a requirement for successful businesses to
    reproduce by division, thus creating MORE choice and MORE freedom and
    MORE competition in the economy. Not a penalty for success, but a reward
    of fairly creating new opportunities for greatness.

  • Neolibequlsplndr

    With such havoc abound plunder is still groundless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patricia-Gonzales-Santos/100000974418158 Patricia Gonzales Santos

    Mr. Dean, I don’t Tweet, but I wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts about what is currently happening in our political system. It is a scary time. I look forward to your future columns for suggestions on how we can help to remedy this situation. Thank you. A concerned American.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.north2 Dennis North

    This process has been working unnoticed since 1973, when the American
    Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was formed.  Much of the new
    legislation introduced in at least 38 state legislatures since the 2010
    elections has used bill templates created by ALEC.  ALEC membership
    includes many selected legislators who have are the initiators in the
    individual states.  The organization is no longer shy about its
    activities, which they have posted in detail on their website: http://www.alec.org/.  In its Google entry, ALEC describes itself as  a ” Nonpartisan
    individual membership organization of state legislators which favors
    federalism and conservative public policy solutions.”

    The organization has attracted watchdogs, including:

    alecexposed.org/
    Sep 13, 2011 – The
    Center for Media and Democracy has EXPOSED over 800 “model” bills and
    resolutions secretly voted on by corporations and politicians …alecwatch.org/Letting the sun shine on corporate America’s most powerful political arm.

    http://www.thenation.com/article/161973/alec-exposed-koch-connection

    Jul 12, 2011 – Hundreds of ALEC’s model bills and resolutions bear traces of Koch DNA: raw ideas that were once at the fringes but that have been carved …

    Many liberal members of  Facebook are banding together in special groups
    to oppose these conservative activities by disseminating information
    and and forming volunteer groups in affected states to work on the
    ground.  I am developing one such group concerning voter ID laws and
    anyone interested can message me on Facebook.

  • Al Margulies

    Great essay, look forward to reading more o n this topic

  • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.north2 Dennis North

    This process has been working unnoticed
    since 1973, when the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was
    formed.  Much of the new legislation introduced in at least 38
    state legislatures since the 2010 elections has used bill templates
    created by ALEC.  ALEC membership includes many selected
    legislators who have are the initiators in the individual states. 
    The organization is no longer shy about its activities, which they
    have posted in detail on their website: http://www.alec.org/. 
    In its Google entry, ALEC describes itself as  a ”
    Nonpartisan individual membership organization of state legislators
    which favors federalism and conservative public policy solutions.”

    The organization has attracted
    watchdogs, including:alecexposed.org/Sep
    13, 2011 – The Center for Media and Democracy has EXPOSED over 800
    “model” bills and resolutions secretly voted on by
    corporations and politicians …

    alecwatch.org/

    Letting the sun shine on corporate
    America’s most powerful political arm.

    http://www.thenation.com/article/161973/alec-exposed-koch-connection

    Jul 12, 2011 – Hundreds of ALEC’s
    model bills and resolutions bear traces of Koch DNA: raw ideas that
    were once at the fringes but that have been carved …Many
    liberal members of  Facebook are banding together in special
    groups to oppose these conservative activities by disseminating
    information and and forming volunteer groups in affected states to
    work on the ground.  I am developing one such group concerning
    voter ID laws and anyone interested can message me on Facebook.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.north2 Dennis North

      I have deleted a duplicate copy of my comment,  above, about ALEC from this space.  Read that one, you’ll have missed nothing.  

  • Anonymous

    this article was like a seinfeld episode.  it was about nothing.  it basically said, “I know something is going on, but I can’t find it.  Yet I know it’s there!”

    I feel dumber for having read it.

  • Henrynakk

    If anyone had half a brain politics revolves around supply and demand. There’s  much more of a demand for jobs than there are jobs. Normal everyday citizens worry about paying their bills on a monthly basis, how much the gas prices are, how much food  costs etc..  Mr. Dean is a political hack. Government doesn’t create jobs, entrepreneurism does and look at this country now, there’s no morality, illegal immigration is out of control, gov’t waste, fraud is abundant and socialism is the norm. If you look at all the drivel Mr. Dean is eschewing, the underlying premise is people need jobs, which this administration has failed to accomplish.

  • Noriches

    Agree with others on ALEC. The organization makes it possible for conservative state legislators to introduce far more bills in a far shorter time. ALEC-crafted bills flooded NC this year after the Republican’s took the majority of both houses for the first time in most people’s memory. It’s very tough for opposing legislators to even keep up with the flood.

  • raojenkins

    Apologies if this has already been posted, but wouldn’t the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) be a prime vector for this insidious destruction of American democracy? http://alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

  • James H. Dautremont, J.D.

    You misused the word “disinterested.”

  • raojenkins

    Oops, sorry. I see that several of you already brought up ALEC. Great post, Mr. Dean, and sensible, thoughtful comments. How refreshing to find on the Internets!

  • Reverendmelani

    I’m not so sure that they aren’t more organized than you think.  ALEC has done a good job of getting many state legislatures to pass basically the same bills.

  • tiny elvis

    they are reactionaries
    they are inclined to cooperation with a greater cause
    they must have a class system based on brute force as proof of divine right
    computers are a tool for reactionaries, a cul-de-sac for liberal complaints
    real dissident groups are not built on the intrawebs
    the exception is the anonymous group which is confined to internet actions
    the reactionaries are on the ground and must be met there
    preferably outnumbered in their own venues

  • Brad Gulliford

    Anyone out to win at all costs will take you down unless you start playing by the same rules (or maybe find something more powerful somehow).

  • http://barbtries.blogspot.com barbtries

    thank you Mr Dean. i will follow your upcoming columns closely. you are elucidating here for me that which makes me scream on almost a daily basis as i listen to the “news” on the radio. my opinion is that if the US does not get a fair media restored it will not be a country worth living in any more. it brings me close to despair to see how the people running the country do not care about the people living in the country, yet the media allows them to lie, spin, and obfuscate on and on and on and an ignorant electorate appears to be practically hypnotized by the onslaught. thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Dean, thank you for speaking up on these issues.  Perhaps your voice as a conservative will help wake up some of your fellows.

    I look forward to further posts from you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maggie-Smith/1183556322 Maggie Smith

    We should read this and think about the truth of what is happening in our political system.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maggie-Smith/1183556322 Maggie Smith

    We should read this article and then seriously think and take action about what is happening to our political system.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-E-McKinzy-Sr/100001349874387 Michael E McKinzy Sr

    The knowledge is power, but only if you use the knowledge that your are given!-Born to do battle, drafted at birth.a.k.a.Warrior Breed!-Michael E. McKinzy,Sr.-09-24-2011

  • anti-con

    Us ignorant anti-cons who do not have all the time in the world need people like you to site specific examples of inappropriate activity.   The only way to counter this horrific movement is by volume of fire, and we are way behind.  We need facts and examples.  “They lie and don’t play nice” is painfully obvious, but so what?    

    These people need to go to jail for high treason.  If you’re going to do a series of columns, let’s have some substance.  It’s the lack of substance that the cons love to hear.  It sounds like whining; and no one likes a whiner.  

  • Ted Harvatin

    This is absurb even for the convicted felon Dean. Only 2 years ago. the Democrats had a filibuster proof Senate. a House majority, the White House and 35 Governnorships. And we are supposed to believe that the Republicans are taking over? Hah.

  • R. D. Runcie

    Your article brings to mind observations which I attribute to Gore Vidal.  Don’t know if he coined these observations but I first heard them from him:  America has only one relevant and material party — the business party —  with two right wings, one farther to the right than the other.  There are three de facto branches of government; the judiciary, the media and special interest groups. 

    Concerned readers might want to read up on the rise of similar movements, though in previous disguises, which arose in the Third Reich in Germany during Hitler’s ascendency in the 1930s.  See Mein Kampf, for example.  Most people want to be under the control of a benevolent dictator, not all, but most.  Running scared and looking for imagined protection from the vagaries of existence, especially changes in the “world order.”   Any takers you know of for the position of benevolent D.?

  • http://twitter.com/SerialGramma Serial Gramma

    I enjoy and learn from your writings…  I will say the disinterest in the process is partly because we are told by these conservatives in congress that “Americans aren’t interested in the process”. And sadly there are so many who are concerned with the message of the factions instead of the message of democracy.  Please keep those of us that are interested informed.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peggy-Walter/726423206 Peggy Walter

    This guy worked for NIXON, so he knows from dirty politics.

  • Bonnie B

    One of the most appalling outcomes of the GOP’s lower-than-a-snake’s-belly manipulation of government processes has been the SCOTUS ruling on Citizens United v FEC, granting, essentially, citizenship status to big-money corporations. 

    Because I am actually  interested in “process issues”, I created a petition via “We the People” feature at whitehouse.gov’s site.  I am both dismayed and disheartened that it is not getting many signatures. The petition has to do with H.J.Res.78, which has been sitting in committee since 9/12/11:  
    H.J.Res.78: “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to clarify the authority of Congress and the States to regulate the expenditure of funds for political activity by corporations.”

    https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/reverse-scotus-ruling-citizens-united-v-fec-constitutional-amendment-supporting-hjres78/vWTGSMJX

  • BRIAN

    Just read your article and it was on point!  Conservative  action has been something I have been attempting to follows since the era of Reconstruction and Jim Crow.  Today conservative movements are quit offensive and deserves to be played against in contrast to “turning the other way”.  The problem then becomes how do citizen set-up an alternate defenses to such highly intellectual, ill willed conservative tactics?  I found an admirable suggestion reading from Peter R. Orszag, in the New Republic titled Too Much of a Good Thing.  The idea of polarizing is one possible defense. But I’m am anxious to find other methods that are effective in keeping in check conservative will. 

  • Pingback: Gaming American Democracy: | John Dean | Verdict | Legal Analysis and Commentary from Justia | Revolution

  • David J. Stuckenberg

    Simply put, the cause of the wide spread protests around the U.S. is the
    ongoing economic recession… However, as of now, big labor and special
    interest groups are working to deflect and redirect the disdain of
    disenfranchised people from personalities they support.

    Most
    Americans protesting Wall Street greed either do not understand what is
    going on, or they have been mislead by the pundits and media. The
    bottom line is that they have both a right to peaceful assembly and a
    right to know the truth…

    The inescapable truth – in 2007 and
    2008 the U.S. markets experienced a natural correction resulting from
    unpredictability inherent in a free market coupled with socialist ideas.
    The outcome we have seen is proof positive that these two systems are
    irreconcilable. The housing bubble was fueled by the socialistic
    presumption that everyone in America should own a home. And homes they
    were given – wither they could afford one or not. Unfortunately,for
    many who really could afford homes; when the economy turned, they too
    became casualties.

    Meanwhile, somewhere along the way, we began
    to think that financial success and the growth of our wealth was a both a
    right and guarantee. Is “greed” a strong enough word? Regrettably, in
    late2007, the U.S. Government accepted this view and began to
    artificially force the markets upward. However, the now seemingly
    endless rounds of Quantitative Easing (QE, or “Bail Outs”), have
    introduced an infinite number variables into an already uncertain
    financial climate. And the original market correction that would have
    lasted for a few months to a year is still ongoing. Worse yet, there
    is a very real possibility of a second recession with the entire globe
    now feeling the strain.

    Until the government allows the
    invisible hand of the economy to restore the balance – this vicious
    cycle will continue. Today, the propagation of one simple lie has put
    the entire nation and economy in peril. The lie is that the Federal
    Government has a responsibility to take care of all her citizens from
    cradle to grave, and that regulations solve more problems than they
    create. The origin of this lie is socialism and the end state of
    societies who embrace this ideology is enslavement and servitude.

    Conservatism
    is a system of principals and beliefs that originated with our Founding
    Fathers. Conservatism says, “Opportunity is preserved, but the rest is
    up to you.” These men believed that government could exist without
    oppressing her citizens – Democracy. These beliefs became a reality in
    the Constitution of the United States the highest set of laws in our
    nation. Today, we must hold fast to these principals or they will be
    replaced by a what our founders sought to escape – Tyranny.

    Join
    the conversation at the Center for Conservatism on Google + (David J.
    Stuckenberg) or facebook (Center for Conservatism), or Twitter
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