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writing for godot

More Things Change, More They Remain. . .

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Written by Mark Albertson   
Monday, 24 December 2018 02:29

Always vote for principle. though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. . . John Quincy Adams.

The 2018 mid-term elections saw 115 million eligible voters head for the polls, topping the 2014 mid-terms by 32 million.  This was the highest turnout for a mid-term election since 1914, according to the U.S. Election Project.

Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, and hold a majority of 232 to 198.  The Republicans maintained a majority in the Senate, 53 to 47.  But, of course, when dealing in statistics, the devil is in the details.

The Democrats took some 39 seats in the House, earning their largest victory since 1974 when Republican President Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace over the Watergate debacle.  But again, a closer look is warranted:

More than sixty new Democrats have now settled in on Capital Hill.  This includes 31 who defeated Republican incumbents, another dozen who occupied seats left empty by Republican retirements; and, another seventeen who occupied Democratic-held seats, again filling voids left by retirement.  And then two--Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley--who, in successful primary bids, took seats from Democratic incumbents.

Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good . . . H.L. Mencken.

In an example of where the next two years could be heading, there was E.W. Jackson, a conservative Protestant minister and FOX TV personality who put forth observations on his radio show, based on reports that Democrats were going to attempt to reverse a 181-year prohibition on head-wear in the House of Representatives.  According to The Hill, Jackson is reputed to have stated, that "the floor of Congress is now going to look like an Islamic republic."  In addition, "We are a Judeo-Christian country.  We are a nation rooted and grounded in Christianity and that's that.  And anybody that doesn't like that, go live somewhere else.  It's very simple.  Just go live somewhere else.  Don't try to change our country and into some sort of Islamic republic or try to base our country on Sharia Law."

Illan Omar, D-Minnesota, recently elected to the House and who wears a hijab, tweeted a reply, "Well, sir, the floor of Congress is going to look like America . . . And you're gonna have to just deal . . . "

It would seem, then, changes are coming to Congress.  That perhaps, thinking out-of-the-box is arriving in the People's Chamber . . . a prospect that is long overdue.  And, perhaps--and this is a long-shot--a return to the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Yet . . .

. . . in spite of a turnover of 25 percent seen among the ranks of Democrats, the old guard, Corporate Democrats, seemed to have retained control of the agenda.  Nancy Pelosi, a 78 year-old, leader of House Democrats since 2002, was elected Speaker of the House by a vote of 203 to 32.  Her deputy since 2002, Stenny Hoyer, a 79 year-old, by acclamation, was chosen to be House majority leader.  The position of House majority whip, saw James Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat since 2006, round out House control of Democrats.

The issue, here, is that Corporate Democrats, again, have--at least for now--subdued the anti-establishment rebels among the ranks, just like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC humbled Bernie Sanders in 2016.  Then, Corporate Democrats were going with a candidate coronated years before, Hillary Clinton, come rain or shine.  For with Clinton, corporate donors would be maintained.  For Hillary was little better than a corporate, war-mongering, Wall Street tool . . . the decided choice of the Neocons.

So as in 2016, anti-establishment Democrats were again road-blocked by Corporate Democrats.  So it remains to be seen what effect this will have on the rank and file between now and 2020.

Where annual elections end, there slavery begins. . . John Quincy Adams.

On another front, since Democrats have taken the House, how will the next two years proceed?  Gridlock could very well be the result.  This despite the Pelosi circle pledging to work with the current occupant of the Oval Office, on such issues as infrastructure spending, strengthening the elections process against foreign influence, prescription drug pricing. . .   Yet it is not to be discounted for a moment, that the Pelosi Mafia has eschewed that notion of trying to split Trump from Republicans.  It is important to be cognizant of the fact that Trump, like Sanders, represents the anti-establishment.  And since Pelosi and her entourage are Establishment, that perhaps machinations are in store to suborn the land developer from Queens and his bid for 2020.

This country and its institutions belongs to the people who inhabit it.  Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their Constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it. . . Abraham Lincoln, first inaugural address, March 4, 1861.

Make no mistake, the coup that has produced the American Corporate State is long over: an effort at political debasement that was as insidious as it was protracted, based on such initiatives as the Lewis Powell Memo, the Wolfowitz Doctrine for Preemptive War, the Plan for the New American Century, Patriot Act, Bush II's 2002 National Security Strategy, Citizens United . . . which have, for all intents and purposes, superseded the Constitution and Bill of Rights. . .   Nancy Pelosi and her Corporate cronies could prove to be that tool which could see to the demise of the Trump regime.  But, of course, this remains to be seen.  Either way, the ultimate casualty here is not so much the American public--many of whom are quite oblivious--as it is to the departed Republic's blueprint for Representative Government and such hallowed precepts as Consent of the Governed.  Tragically such building blocks of that Empire of Reason[1] are fast becoming obsolescent in the face of the rising tide of authoritarianism.

I agree to this Constitution, with all its faults if they are such; because I think a general government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other. . . "All About my Buildings," Philadelphia, May 30, 1787, Benjamin Franklin at the Constitutional Convention.  See page 682, Benjamin Franklin's Autobiographical Works, Vol. 2, Viking Press, New York, 1945, by Carl van Doren.

[1]  "Empire of Reason," a terminology attributed to Noah Webster, to describe the Republic, then being assembled by the Founders at the Constitutional Convention in 1787.  Source:  "A Citizen in America," by Noah Webster, Philadelphia, October 17, 1787.  See page 129, Vol. 1, The Debate on the Constitution:  Federalist and Antifederalist  Speeches, Articles, and Letters During the Struggle over Ratification, The Library of America, Literary Classics of the United States, New York, NY., 1993.

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