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Monday, November 14, 2005

No More American Leaders (certainly not in national politics)

As I've written before (somewhere if not here), the next election cycles are Dems to lose and they seem intent on doing just that! Ron Brownstein of the LATimes (and now married to former CNN producer Eileen McMenamin, Arizona Senator John McCain's communications director) writes in his current column entitled "Spoils Go to Party Most Apt to Adapt":

....Democrats have focused more on blocking Republican initiatives than defining their own.

Through the last year, Democrats have proved surprisingly disciplined at resisting many of Bush's plans. What they haven't done is coalesce behind comprehensive solutions to the problems most concerning the country ....

Raising questions about Bush's priorities has worked well for Democrats in 2005. But if Democrats don't adapt to offer more answers about their own priorities, 2006 may not prove as rewarding as they expect.

The real issues are much deeper than the still-superficial focus on winning and losing that Brownstein writes about.

Richard Rodriguez (of whom I'm not a big fan, but can appreciate aspects of his literary talents, though am usually annoyed by his naive, mostly nonpolitical analysis), actually had a more politically sophisticated essay on tonight's PBS News Hour. He took to task the corrupt power holders (including the churches) who no longer have any concept of authentic leadership (service, facilitation, building up, not tearing down others), only of power, greed, self-aggrandizement and the quest for more, more, more -- all at the expense of citizens (followers, believers, etc) who seem more passive than ever if not enthralled and captured by the spectacle of our own debasement by these corrupt powermongers.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Carter's thoughtful essay "This isn't the real America" echoes Rodriguez' themes with some hard, cold facts:

Our government has abandoned fiscal responsibility by unprecedented favors to the rich, while neglecting America's working families. Members of Congress have increased their own pay by $30,000 per year since freezing the minimum wage at $5.15 per hour (the lowest among industrialized nations).
And when he writes 'government', that means the democrats as well as republicans -- there's enough lack of accountability or conscience to spread around. But finally, we're the ones who put them there, so we voters (and nonvoters) must also be held accountable. And as I've previously opined here on these pages: We get the government we deserve.

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