Rep. Ron Paul came in one percentage point behind Rep. Michelle Bachmann in the Iowa Republican straw poll, but – as Jon Stewart has noted – was still excluded from the Big Media’s list of who’s to be taken seriously in the GOP race. The Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland traces the media’s disdain for Paul to his criticism…
Ironically, just as government-spurred technology opened up prospects of greater wealth for all, an anti-government movement took hold, making sure most benefits went to the rich while leaving millions unemployed and the economy a wreck. Michael Winship lists ideas for putting some jobless back to work.
Pretty much the entire field of Republican presidential candidates embraces hostility toward the federal government, driven either by religious fervor or a belief in unregulated capitalism. The GOP hopefuls are appealing to a large subset of the U.S. population that resents the modern world and the lessons of history, as Lawrence Davidson notes.
Exclusive: Ronald Reagan’s anti-government philosophy inspires Tea Party extremists to oppose any revenue increase, even from closing loopholes on corporate jets. Democrats try the spin that “even Reagan” showed flexibility on debt and taxes. But Robert Parry says it is the “Reagan cult” that is at the heart of America’s crisis.
The major U.S. news media is again focusing Campaign 2012 on personalities, gaffes and poll-measured momentum, a superficiality that has contributed to America’s dysfunctional politics for several decades. But ex- FBI agent Coleen Rowley describes her work with an anti-war group seeking to change that dynamic.
Politicians take great umbrage when poor people violate property laws (as in the British riots) but the same leaders readily absolve themselves of guilt over much more serious crimes (like aggressive war in Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands). Such was the hypocrisy of British parliamentarian Jack Straw, writes Robin Beste.
At the heart of the American experiment was always a tension between oligarchy and democracy, with the oligarchs usually holding the upper hand. However, in recent decades, the struggle has taken a curious turn with the oligarchs largely obliterating the people’s memory of the true democratic cause, writes Jada Thacker.
Republican presidential contenders – Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann – profess their Christian fundamentalist faith, but denounce efforts by the government to restrain the power of the rich. The Rev. Howard Bess looks at this enduring contradiction between Christianity’s principles and its alliance with the wealthy.
The ugly scenes of rioting and arson in Great Britain are a preview of the societal breakdown that can be expected from today’s staggeringly inequitable economic/political system, where stock-market sharpies get away with plundering pension funds but the poor get nailed for looting consumer goods, observes Phil Rockstroh.
Exclusive: Wisconsin Republicans lost two Senate seats in recall elections Tuesday but won four others to keep control of the state Senate – and they have a chance to oust two Democrats next week. But the two Democratic victories prove the potential of grassroots organizing, says Lisa Pease.