Saturday, November 22, 2014

Where Do Democrats Go from Here? (Part 1)

Now that the 2014 mid-term election dust has settled, where do Democrats go from here? With the Republicans celebrating their commanding victory and winning control of the Senate, this reality has led to finger-pointing and excuses from status-quo Democrats.Some have blamed the voting machines, while others have blamed the questionable voter ID laws and voter suppression gimmicks enacted by red-state controlled legislatures and right-wing appointed Judges. Of course, the gerrymandering of voting districts undoubtedly played a huge factor in the election. Many Democrats who did vote were angered by the fact that 75% of qualified eligible voters stayed home..See Article

Shortly, after taking this political butt-kicking Senate Democrats assembled to hash out and take an assessment with what went wrong. 

This discussion took place in the old Senate chamber room which led long-time Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein from California to remark,

Old Senate Chamber Room
“One of the things about the old Senate chamber is, you don’t need a microphone. People speak very frankly and very much from the heart, and it was really kind of a heartrending three hours of discussion of what happened and why it happened and where we should go now in the minority.” [See Source]

According to our source, no agreement was identified that pinpointed the problems that have led many Republicans to claim a mandate from the election results. Moreover, there was no plan reached on how the party should respond to this elections outcome. Some Democrats blame the outcome on the unpopularity of President Obama., while others like Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) blamed it on the lack of trust in government that is prominent in today's society.
Sen.Chris Murphy (D-CT)

“And when you have a country that has a deep distrust of government, it creates a problem for those of us who think there are some good things that government can do if efficiently run,” Murphy said.
“That is a real challenge for us going forward,” Murphy added. “How does our party communicate in an era where millions of voters don’t believe that government has a positive effect in their lives? I don’t have the answer to that question. I don’t.”

Progressive referendums win across the country even as Republicans beat Democrats in major races..

The House of Public Discourse would take issue, however, with that premise. The Republicans' victories in the 2014 mid-term elections are evidence of a right-wing ideological mandate for America. This past month's election outcome doesn't reflect public opinion or reflect the public sphere.

In fact, it was the results with strong evidence to back up the GOP's efforts to change the rules of government that gave ridiculous advantages to big business, with the advocacy of many conservative "special interests," throwing vast sums of money at politicians 'gone wild.' Sprinkle in a taste of voter suppression and you have the chemistry for a nightmare come true for Democrats. But while the left was getting a stomping in the election results, Progressive referendum issues won in all regions of the country. This storyline has been vastly unreported by the mainstream media. Some of these referendum issues represent significant victories for Progressive support in all areas of our nation. Impressive!

What should be encouraging for progressives is the place where these victories were won. 

Red and Purple states which indicate the citizens are not as conservative as Fox News might have one think. See Source

So, Where Do We Go From Here?

For starters, 'Dark Money' must go. The Constitutionality of Citizens United must be challenged whenever and wherever a court and Judge will listen. Our research found that 31% of money donated to political candidates and Causes where " under the table," secret money. What is being lost in this debate is that the business of influence peddling in our nations' capital is nothing new. There is a long history of corruption in political campaigning in America. One of the major push backs we often hear is the comment " makes no difference," " both parties are the same." No matter how simplistic, that comment may seem, it has some validity.

What Have Lobbyist Done To My Country?

The Citizens Untied case has given fresh "red-meat" to an already wolfish bunch. However, my research has found that surprising amounts of people do not know just what Lobbying is much less how it functions. On a personal level we all lobby for things.One of the first examples of how lobbying found its way into our public discourse revolves around President Grant. [See Source]
With modern day capitalism in vulture mode, it was the same mindsets back in President Grants' day that set the tone. They[Lobbyist] "bird-dog" President Grant learned his habits and the rest is history, though some dispute this version. Legend would have it that he[Grant] called them Lobbyists. . There is no doubt that President Grant was " spot-on," with this reference. Lobbyists "hang out " in the halls of the Congress and other venues as well.

Lobbyist Are Advocates.

Here are some facts. In the realm in which lobbyists roam, they see themselves as mediators. Lobbying by no means is a new endeavor. The term lobbyist was used in pre-America Europe. The term lobbyist has been very slippery to define. It was not until the Lobby and Disclosure Act of 1995 passed did any real oversight or definitions come into place. This Act was later amended and updated in 2007.
The purpose of this legal instrument was for the government to define lobbyists. This law is necessary because next to lawyers, lobbyists, and the Lobby Industry, have an atrocious image. The lobbyists will get paid from the groups or factions or maybe a Corporation or two. Their goal is to make friends with elected officials who could write favorable legislation for the groups' interest. We The People have been powerless to stop this activity. Moreover, controversial rulings by the Supreme Court have determined corporations as people. Is there even need for further example, for there are many? Over the years, we have seen scandal and a sense of poshness from lobbyists. These stories are legend and too numerous to name. Unfortunately, the operation of the Lobby industry has reached criminal proportions. In fact, one of the very few bipartisan views when polled in this country held by members of both Democrat and Republican parties, is their disdain for lobbyists.

What's dangerous is the Lobbyist is often the writer of the legislation to be presented by an elected official after enormous amounts of money have been spent. This factor is a perfect mix for the perfect political storm. And we have the aforementioned " distrust in government," to show proof thereof. The Corporate Lobby spends billions to ensure their preferred arrangements become U.S. law.

Should We Ban Lobbying? 

Here's where it gets crazy. For a practice so often associated with corruption, it may surprise many that it's a Constitutional right. Within the 1st Amendment, we are allowed to "petition the government for a redress of grievances."  Every large corporation in America has lobbyist pushing their agendas. The Pharmaceutical Lobby is an example. Private Insurance Corporations are heavily involved  in the practice. Big Oil and Gas are mainstays. Defense Contractors like Halliburton have been greasing palms in Washington for decades. Largely unabated There is profit in active lobbying. Don't fool yourself. The money these corporations recoup from actively written law in their favor is " biblical" in terms of greed.  However, the way jurisprudence is constructed around controlling lobbyist it lends itself to loopholes. 

Case In Point.
Politician turn Lobbyist 

    One of the major trends we see are politicians turning lobbyist after their days in Washington. Newt Gingrich  is not considered a lobbyist because of these loopholes. Gingrich has been getting paid to push private agendas forever. We see all too often [in writer's view], politicians who have received undisclosed amounts of money take position with said Lobby firm after their careers in Washington are over. Critics of lobbying fault the system as a reason for the corruption and abuse. The problem we here at House of Public Discourse identify is that current laws are ambiguous. We must recognize and put parameters on activity that can evolve from an honest campaign contribution into a bribe.
The Obama administration have taken steps to curtail this abuse.[See SourceOne thing is for certain; the bills U.S. Senators are passing into law are not being written by the elected officials in many cases, but, by Lobbyists paid to push a particular agenda. Our research tells us that is one truth Lobbyists don't want John Q Public to know.

In closing, Citizens United has just thrown gas on an already blazing wildfire. The mere fact that elected officials recently voted down efforts to do away with Citizens United, against the interest of their own constituents provides prima facie evidence beyond any reasonable doubt for the answers to the question, Where Do Democrats Go From Here? 1. Repeal Citizen United!

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