If you still think that we still have a “Two Party” system in Congress, Think Again!
1. The Democratic side is now split between the old-guard Democratic members, "Clinton Democrats," and the 83 member ultra-liberal Progressive Caucus. This caucus operates within their own wants and some have even suggested a primary challenge to Obama because he made a deal with “Satan” i.e., the Republicans. The Progressive Caucus remains committed to expansive spending on social programs and raising taxes, mostly on the rich.
2. The Republican side is now split between the old-guard, Bush era holdovers, and the 60 member ultra-conservative Tea Party Caucus. The Tea Party members have no specific allegiance to the GOP and openly oppose compromise with the GOP when it means moving away from their specific agendas. Some Tea Party members have openly declared that there shall be no further taxes even if it leads to defaulting on the U.S. debt. Those positions have led some to be viewed as "political suicide bombers."
3. We now have four distinct factions that rigidly function independently and show little signs or any intention to negotiate away from their philosophical base. In between the extremes are the "Old Guard" of both parties. Thus far, most indicators show that for the most part these leaders are in total denial of the damage they are doing to our nation. And, they are fixated upon finger pointing at everyone else but themselves. The major factions currently are:
4. And, there are even more significant caucuses: Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, Women’s Issues Caucus, Urban Caucus, Dairy Caucus and the Farm States – and the list goes on and on!
5. OWS and other "Occupy" groups - Further review of several of the "Occupy" blogs shows at least one common thread of thought - A deep seated desire to change the current economic paradigm controlled by the few. Frequent wording includes vocabulary like "duopoly" and "plutocrats." Other bloggers express the ideals of "libertarians" and others gravitate towards Marx. Elsewhere on this site we point out that "No matter how one slices it or dices it, there will always be a lower quartile, a lower half – those persons in our national community who do not have the capacity...." Well, that 50% include those who don't earn enough to pay any taxes. That 50% include those who are loosing their homes and jobs. And, it is precisely those 50% are coming together with the specific intent of changing the system. One might want to consider the power of 50% as a "swing vote" even if they don't come to a total political agreement.
Summarizing: We now virtually have a government by coalition. No one faction has sufficient votes to set national policy but have sufficient votes to block progress and compromise. If you have followed international news for any length of time you have undoubtedly heard about other countries trying to "form a functioning government" from various coalitions. That IS us now! The extreme levels of rigidly and hostility is becoming ingrained in these factions even if it paralyzes our government. Dogma has risen to levels Congressional dysfunction.
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