RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
read more of todays top articles

Frank Rich writes: "Elections are supposed to resolve conflicts in a great democracy, but our next one will not. The elites will face off against the elites to a standoff, and the issues animating the class war in both parties won't even be on the table. The structural crises in our economy, our government, and our culture defy any of the glib solutions proposed by current Democrats or Republicans."

Portrait, Frank Rich. (photo: Brigette Lacombe)
Portrait, Frank Rich. (photo: Brigette Lacombe)

go to original article your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+12 # TomDegan 2011-10-24 12:03
Another one for the ages from Frank Rich!

Not that I am paying homage to Steve Jobs (I'm not) but thanks to his contribution to technology, the revolution WILL be televised.

Tom Degan
+8 # BradFromSalem 2011-10-24 14:42
Actually, Gil Scott Heron got it right. The Revolution will not be brought to you by a Green Giant, or a Lion in your tank. It was commercial TV in specific and corporate media in specific that would be blindsided.

RIP Gil Scott Heron, if only you had stayed with us another 6 months.
+3 # DAH 2011-10-24 12:04
This classroom activity was invented by a very talented high school English Teacher in Indiana, Jerry Maguire. He shared it with 30 fellow educators at a workshop at the Folger Sghakespeare Library the summer of 1988! Since then, it has been demonstrated at conferences, and published in books and online with RARELY acknowledgment as to the author. Is this indicative of their relatively low status of teachers in our country? I think so!
+6 # anarchteacher 2011-10-24 12:06
DemocracyNow.or g Reports:

"Obama Tops GOP Candidates in Wall Street Donations"

New figures show President Obama continues to pull in huge donations from the financial sector, with more money from Wall Street this year than all other Republican presidential candidates combined. According to the Washington Post, Obama has raised a total of $15.6 million from banks and other financial firms, with nearly $12 million of that going to the Democratic National Committee. Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney has raised less than half that much from Wall Street, around $7.5 million. A top banking executive and Obama fundraiser told the Washington Post that reports of Wall Street antagonism toward Obama "are exaggerated and overblown ... [but] it probably helps from a political perspective if he’s not seen as a Wall Street guy."

This is more confirmation of the details outlined in Charles Gasparino's 2010 book, Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance Between Barack Obama and Wall Street.
+1 # Barbara K 2011-10-24 14:04
Anarchteacher, using your figures if "Obama pulled donations of $15.6 million from banks and other financial firms, with nearly $12 million of that going to the DNC"; you should subtract what is going to the DNC and Obama actually got $3.6 million for himself. If $12 million is going to the DNC, it's not going to Obama, but the DNC. See what I mean?
0 # Martintfre 2011-10-24 14:19
I am willing to bet that Ron Paul is at the bottom of the corporate donar list because the wall street/DC Gangsters know he is not their man.
+5 # Ken Hall 2011-10-24 23:40
That may be. He is at the bottom of the progressive donor list because we, also, know he is not our man.
+14 # Adoregon 2011-10-24 12:11
The 1% cannot have what they have without [being able to] exploiting the 99%. If the 99% can slip the grip of exploitation for even a short time, the exploitative capitalist edifice that holds them in its thrall will crumble very quickly without the labor and consumption of the 99%.

Try it. Don't go to work and don't consume for two weeks and see what happens to the [undemocratic]v ertical hierarchy whose heel most of us now live under.

What DO YOU have to lose?
-7 # Martintfre 2011-10-24 14:22
//The 1% cannot have what they have without [being able to] exploiting the 99%.//

verifiability False - Steve Jobes earned his money by making something that the masses volunteered to pay for - calling choosing to buy goods exploitation simply is nonsensical.

However those who did exploit the 99% and did not earn it - used their political pull to get bailed out --
+2 # Capn Canard 2011-10-25 08:55
Martinfre, Steve Jobs is a bit over-rated, he did what many others would've done if they had been in his place. The overwhelming majority of top notch highly educated, highly regarded, highly overpaid corporate financiers and MBAs would NOT HAVE done much of what made Jobs successful. The same could be said of Bill Gates! Both of these men are held up by the ignormai as exemplars of business savy and yet most businessmen disregarded the these tactics... sure, they use such methods now but so does everyone else. At the time they chided them for their foolishness! Remember IBM? They've lost a great deal of market share due to that same arrogance many people seem to worship! If you follow Jobs or Gates it is very likely that you will fail.

re Occupy the fed... I am with you, in fact if you really want to stop creating disposable crap then completely eliminate Fiat Money and the Fed with it. Make it resource based, and not dependent on value based on worthless currency. Our system is doomed to failure, in fact that is exactly what we create. No one has developed a car that will last 50 years because their profit margin would be flat or even negative. The capitalist profit motive only creates failure for consumers and profit for one. it is not about QUALITY, it is about MONEY.
+24 # noitall 2011-10-24 12:56
Pull your money out of the big banks, but more importantly, STOP BUYING SHIT! This is a capitalist system. It depends on people buying stuff. If people can't afford to buy, the system (the corps) suffer. They are greedy, that's true. They are cutting their overhead (and people's wages and jobs) they are producing the same for less=more profit=more bonuses=more rich people=more poor, jobless people. So smother the machine, STOP BUYING SHIT! This is language that they can understand. What if WalMart parking lots were empty except for homeless in their motor homes? Start shopping at garage sales for that crap and rejuvenating a barter system. That, along with going to the street, will send loud messages to the clowns at Wall Street. It wasn't an accident that George W Bush told us to "go shopping" immediately after he crawled out of his spider hole after 9/11/2001. He was afraid that shopping might slow down for a few days. It won't take long for them to notice. A billion here, a billion there and pretty soon your talking about some real money.
+24 # Jane Gilgun 2011-10-24 12:59
Vote for candidates who care for the middle class and the poor. Vote against those who talk in generalities, have nice hair, and pretend to care. Actions speak louder than words.
+8 # futhark 2011-10-24 14:50
Vote against the candidate who is touted as a "constitutional scholar" but doesn't seem to know habeas corpus from "indefinite detention". Don't vote for or support anyone who has promoted or voted for the PATRIOT Act. Don't be swayed by anyone celebrated for his or her rhetorical skills when that politician's actions behind the scenes are to the detriment of the American people and the Constitution.

Stand up for peace, justice, and equity before the law and against drones and other seductively deadly military toys.
+10 # lcarrier 2011-10-24 13:08
Gabrielle Giffords will be undergoing rehabilitation in Asheville, NC, for the next couple of weeks. You've got to love Gaby for her courage and determination after the brain injury caused by a crazy zealot. But her sojourn in Asheville coincides with a $5,000 per plate fund raiser for her friend and fellow blue-dog Democrat, Heath Shuler, who is now in full campaign mode. Shuler's seat is being contested in the Democratic primary by Cecil Bothwell,someon e clearly among the 99% of us because he refuses to take money from corporate PACs; whereas, Shuler has already raised $76,000 from PACs. Just as former President Clinton, now on the party circuit with the Bushes, came to Asheville to ensure Shuler's re-election the last time around, it seems that now Gaby Giffords will be the "poor baby" in Shuler's corporate corner. And guess what? The voters will probably be snookered again by corporate advertising.
+16 # artful 2011-10-24 13:26
But the lack of official reaction is not really that "all-American optimism." It is instead that All-American "I don't care about you" attitude that is now so prevalent. Teabaggers most exemplify this attitude, caring only about themselves. But all officialdom seems not to care a fig about this Great Depression II. The problem is that America seems fresh out of FDR's.
-9 # Martintfre 2011-10-24 14:24
Hey .. If you can't take care of your self -- how are you going to be able to help anyone else?
+4 # mjc 2011-10-24 13:54
What was lacking for the bonus army itself was a leader, one with as much moxy as Douglas MacArthur, who unfortunately was the vibrant "dispatcher" of the army. Occupy WallSt. and other Occupy groups lack that leadership. Barack Obama, IF he had followed through with what looked like the beginning of real democratic agenda for this country, could have harnessed the energy; there was plenty of it in 2008. Obama began with health care and then seemed to have been sucked in to the usual governmental leadership style in our country, corporate welfare first, working class last. Really is difficult to see the Tea Party as anything like the Occupy groups because they seem perfectly satisfied with the strong corporate interest in our government and in fact don't expect Americans to need any social contract or accept any social justice coming from government. Obama defused any movement that might have turned in that direction himself, saving banks, investment houses and reveling in the role of the CIC. Think we are looking for a good men and women who focus the disappointment with our government's handling of the economy in a very vivid way. A real class war would move everything in our society further into some sort of regressive and perhaps fascist state.
+6 # futhark 2011-10-24 14:53
Well, the Tea Party in Boston in 1773 was a mass action, not exclusively non-violent, against the collusion between the British colonial government and the biggest corporation of the day, the British East India Company. I would say that the OWS are the legitimate heirs to the Tea Party tradition of protest.
+3 # mjc 2011-10-25 08:21
Actually, the colonists who dressed up...sort Indians were not many and probably the work of Sam Adams, the black sheep of the Adams family. They were pretty much considered thugs by most of Boston, whether British friendly or rebels. The young people...with a few elders...are nothing like the first tea party fellows.
+3 # Capn Canard 2011-10-25 09:42
mjc, members of the Tea Party seem to ignorant to realize they are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. I would say that in time the Bonus army did work. Even thoug FDR tried to avoid it but some sort of bonuses were eventually paid. Leaderless is the best way to do this... BIG MEDIA, BIG GOVERNMENT, and BIG CORPORATE structures can't deal with a mass of the people. Without a leader said organizations freeze like deer in the headlights. The problems with leaders is that a leader can be co-opted, or worse the powerful can eliminate the leader and claim the "troubles" are over. {Leaders can be easily corrupted hell, this is what diplomacy is for, thus non military aid, loans, WTO, IMF!! DEBT SLAVERY is very effective to way to seize control without a war. In contrast a constant mass of people keeps it all transparent.}

Leaders will often make arrangements to benefit themselves and then the staus quo goes marching on. If that happens then you can prepare for another war, another economic collapse, more bank bailouts, etc etc. The only way to fix the situation is to dismantle the structure which created the situation in the first place. In addition I don't believe that class war would necessitate a movement toward Fascism unless the monetary system is kept in place. Perhaps we don't need no stinking leaders and their worthless fiat currency.
+3 # mjc 2011-10-25 14:38
I grew up with parents who hated MacArthur because of his lack of help to those in the Philippines before the Japanese attack...which everyone knew was coming, and his sacrifice of the Americans there at Bataan; Mac was stationed safely in Australia. It is true we don't have the leadership now that would help us end the strangle hold the corporate world has on our economy and society. I do think we need a leader or two. As to fascism, think we are well on our way unless the OccupyWallSt groups manage to influence some part of our government. As to the ignorance of the Teas, just check out some of THEIR leadership. My God, some of them have no idea how we became a nation nor any real interest in the Constitution.
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-24 14:10
Where has Frank rich been for 40 years? The class War so to speak began many, many decades ago. In fact it began the day one classified it as a Class War.

With all the unHeadlines, Support no one is taking this sten, read.
This is just a joke to GOP/TP. Democrats still have their thumbs stuck up theirs ... as they do not have any momentum or any Clear Statement. Right now the Campaign looks like two idiots running, neither with thought to anyone but their own ego. Good time to get a New Party Started and was the two old windbags out.

Occupy is still going strong...havent seen many off their computers so guess you are still windbagging it yourselves.
Nov 5th coming for investment sweep out, bet you will all have excuses for that also.

Voting...have any of you started Community Action to get a consensus of those who are not on the list, talking to ministers about Homeless? Good to Vote but complaining about Diebold and not doing anything to get the numbers out is why America is in this situation.

I got places to be, matters to take care of and I am under doctor's care....I just do not have time for excuses...
+2 # Capn Canard 2011-10-25 09:44
KittatinyHawk, WELL SAID!
+2 # mjc 2011-10-25 14:40
My approach has been to get to know the county election supervisors, especially the one in my party. They are on top of what is happening locally and on the state level.
+5 # 666 2011-10-24 15:02
Not to flog a dead horse about fascism, but it's worth learning how the outrage given voice by the "Bonus Army" was also co-opted -- not by the left -- but by the hard-core fascist right who saw Hitler and Mussolini and the great hope for the future of this country (of course some of their descendants still do feel this way). The same thing happened to our recent cross-spectrum of dissent that was co-opted into the (neo-fascist) tea party. And Coughlin? as one of the first mass-media priests, he might have ragged on the oligarchs but he was also an apologist for hitler and mussolini. Sinclair Lewis' 1935 "It can't happen here" is based on Coughlin-esque character who helps lead a fascist coup of the US... These are important lessons for the dissent now finding voice in OWS etc.
+3 # Carolyn 2011-10-24 15:43
In regard to the question by Frank Rich, as to whether Obama will be viewed to be more like Hoover or FDR, we can look, in this very moment, at Obama's ongoing bailouts, in his oreferred method of staving off the failure of the financial systems in Europe and the United States, in comparison with the results of FDR's enactment of the Glass-Steagall Act, which saved our country in 1933. What happens with the financial systems in Europe and America will surely give us a clue.
+6 # BradFromSalem 2011-10-24 20:48
How will President Obama manage to get Glass-Steagall or its like to pass the Congress? The Republicans have essentially hijacked Democracy. The Media, main stream and alternative stream continue to miss this point. Until the President (assuming he wants to) can find a way to break this Republican stranglehold on our Democracy in Congress , the Corporations trivialization of the real issues, and the entire media's obsession with keeping score instead of reporting facts; we will not have Democracy.

The Occupiers movement is our only hope.
+1 # kyzipster 2011-10-26 21:25
That's a valid point but as Rich points out in the article, Obama could go to Wall St and speak out for reinstating Glass-Steagall, challenge Congress, bring attention to this issue.

We need bold leadership and Obama has frustrated the country so much with his passive approach that he has lost his base. Most Democrats will still vote for him only because the alternative is so abhorrent. Protest is the only option left.
+3 # Capn Canard 2011-10-25 09:47
Carolyn, given all that Obama has failed to do, is it any wonder that those of us who voted for him do not look to him as our leader?
+5 # stew 2011-10-24 18:13
The Occupy Wall St movement has spread to hundreds to cities and many countries. Its humane message and its very democratic means of reaching decisions are appealing to most people as they become familiar with it. The undemocratic actions by many officials to close down their encampments is enraging many, who haven;t been active before, but are likely to join in now. Maybe, the the same radical movement that led ti the new deal, civil rights laws and an end to the Vietnam War will be duplicated and will result in a truely democratic society in our country. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
+4 # Capn Canard 2011-10-25 09:49
stew, like most people I am encouraged by OWS. But I say we must start the conversation on how we can eliminate the source of all these problems: the Monetary system.
+4 # Capn Canard 2011-10-25 08:28
The Class war has always been the elephant in the American living room! This is a good commentary by Frank Rich. I would say that given all the acts of the elites in the past 30 years, we very well may be experiencing the collapse of Capitalism and at the very least the end of the carcinogenic Fiat Monetary system. I am too cynical to see this system as able to recover from the multiple levels of corruption and the unavoidable failure that is inherent to capitalist economies.
+1 # Fiona Mackenzie 2011-10-26 13:51
How desperate must we become for Americans to step up to protect themselves again? Must we reach the point where we have absolutely nothing to lose--giving everything over to the 1% until we have nothing left and our children are dying?

I thought maybe, having done it that way in the last century, we might learn from experience. Guess not.

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.