Monday, June 26, 2006

Political Parties Do the Same Sorry Things

(AP) From teaching Bible Study in public schools in Alabama, to withdrawing troops from Iraq, to the insidious corporate insider network both Republicans and Democrats behave rather similarly. Imitation is said to be the greatest form of flattery and despite public appearances both parties operate much alike.

One, they are against whatever their opponent is promoting. The recent Bible Study curriculum proposed in Alabama is endorsed by Democrats and opposed by Republicans. This very same course has been endorsed by Republicans elsewhere. In a rare case where bi-partisanship would seem in order, there is GOP opposition.

Two, troops will be leaving Iraq in some sort of planned effort. The decision will be made in Washington by politicians despite the President’s rhetoric. Of course, then George W. Bush will claim credit for bringing "our victorious" troops home. What neither side mentions in our national debate is the U.N. resolution that allows the troops to be there. Also left out is the fact that the Iraqi government must submit a request for the troops to stay. The key is to appear to be in charge, the ones dictating policy.

Three, both parties are represented in the insidious financial network that runs through Washington DC. From the Republican dominated Carlyle Group to Presidential hopeful Tom Daschle’s Apollo management, ex-pols are more than well represented on private investment houses. The corporate shops specialize in acquiring and growing government contractor businesses from Defense to Homeland Security to Health care products and services.

Imitation runs deeper than Republican and Democratic representation on Boards of major investment houses. Democrats have recently become hawkish. A few retired Democratic leaders came out with the suggestion of knocking the North Korean test missile off the launching pad. Their ties to companies that make guidance systems or to a niche financial company funding defense industry start ups were not revealed to the mainstream news media.

Months ago Democrats said they would run corporate campaign style operations. They would hire consultants to test messages, conduct focus groups and advise them on winning (which obviously involves causing the other side to lose). For those concerned about “the corporatization” of political campaigns and government this came as a huge disappointment.

There is very little difference between our current Democratic and Republican parties when one looks behind the curtain. However the hand puppet show each side is performing just in front of the blue backdrop occupies just enough people’s attention that it is allowed to continue. When will people wake up and pay no attention to the hand puppet actors but the real play going on in the background?

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