"A glance at the 2012 electoral map, or those electoral maps of other recent years, shows a striking pattern. The Red States are primarily those of the rebellious slave-state Confederacy. This core is for the most part augmented by Western regions with significant Mormon populations whose religious founders once allied their populations with Confederates..." Presidential Puppetry: Andrew Kreig
It is easy to see that the US economy is unstable. It is partly because Republicans, insisting on 'modernizing' the banking system thought it would be a good idea to revoke the Glass-Steagle Act which separated brokerages from banks. In their rush to deregulation a lot of financial paper became untrustworthy. Deregulation also produced a carnival of corporate corruption which in addition to the damage from Enron, Worldcom and the others also may have made investors wary..
In spite of their claim that the government should stay out of the market, R's hypocrisy shows brightly now that they are bailing out large investment houses. What most of the media are too polite to say is that 'supply side' economics is not recognized at any university, and is still as much 'voodoo economics' as George the First said it was. Bush Republicans seems to think tax cuts are the answer to any and all economic problems.
Because our economic problems are structural, it is probably not going to be a short-term recession. Republicans have consistently favored union-busting as a way to keep wages down and to improve corporate profits. Through union busting, outsourcing, temping, and unfriendly legislation workers have lost most of their security: healthcare, social security, pensions, and declining wages. The Walmartization of the workplace has also contributed to accelerating income disparity. Additionally corporations found that much lower wages prevail in China or other third world countries. I'm told that Disney pays about $.11 an hour to make clothing and toys in Haiti. Wal-Mart products seem to be mostly from China. So just as in the 19th century, sweatshops have returned as corporate profits soar, only in third world countries. Falling wages and reduced benefits were great for Corporate profits but they also reduced consumer purchasing power, and so it should surprise no one that major purchases like housing are now out of reach of a lot of Americans. Hence the housing crisis. Republicans did it.
The 'stimulus package' as mandated by the
Bushies, was a colossal waste of money. With all of the challenges
facing us, Republicans, with Democratic acquiescence, came up
with a plan to give away money. This is spending with NO value in
return. (We used to call it waste.)
Republicans like Grover Norquist think that the military is the only legitimate function of government. Notice that there is never discussion of the need to trim the military budget. What you will hear about is the crisis in Social Security and Medicare, not just because the R's are contemptuous of New Deal reforms, or that increasing military funding will further reward their cronies, but they actually think these programs are not legitimate. Rereading the Constitution, the defined functions of our government are broader than that. There is good reason the think that R's do not really support our Constitution. They don't like government, and it should be obvious that they are very bad at it.
Republicans did not pay for the wars they
provoked, and, Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph
Stiglitz estimated the cost of the war in Iraq at around three trillion
dollars, but later revised it to four trillion.
Over the last centuries Europeans nearly destroyed themselves in horrendous wars. But they appear to have learned that a head of state who, on his own whim, can make war, can disappear people, can torture, can ignore habeas corpus, or can otherwise act without regard for law is a clear and present danger. After nearly destroying themselves, they have now limited their royalty to mostly ceremonial functions, and their people are clearly the deciders. That's what democracy is about
Bush, on his own, nullified long-standing treaties, overturned laws with signing statements, provoked wars in the Middle East, suppressed information from experts, thumbed his nose at international law, and caused ill-will in a large part of the world. His wars look like a power grab, resource robbery, imperialism, religious crusades, vengeful arrogance, or even war crimes and have no claim of legitimacy. Still, he has not been held to account. Although it is not discussed much, our civil liberties have shrunk dramatically until it is not clear that we have civil liberties or due process of law any more. Since Bush packed the Courts, the system may no longer be self-correcting.
Charlie Savage, a Pulitzer Prize winner, documents much of this in his book :Takeover, The Return of the Imperial Presidency". He quotes Bruce Fein, a conservative lawyer who served as a deputy attorney general in the Reagan administration, who told Congress in February 2006, "The theory invoked by the president to justify eavesdropping by the NSA in contradiction to FISA would equally justify mail openings, burglaries, torture or internment camps, all in the name of gathering foreign intelligence. Unless rebuked it will lie around like a loaded weapon, ready to be used by any incumbent who claims an urgent need."
Bush's claim of a unitary Presidency is a violation of his oath of office, a direct slap at the Constitution, and should be cause for impeachment.
Unfortunately in the US, many Republicans, have forgotten to beware concentration of power. We have an administration that believes it is above the law. It has effectively shredded the Constitution by imposing secrecy on its important policy decisions, so there is little public debate and Congress has been unable to do proper oversight in the absence of information. Those checks and balances no longer function. It is clear that a strong political party can trump the Constitution. We need to rethink the 2 party 'system'.
The Bush administration has also been keen to further concentrate media, and the FCC blatantly disregarded the vast majority of people in allowing even more of it. Of course media takeover is almost as important as election rigging for any coup.
Debates are limited to two candidates and the discussion is diverted to trivial, distracting, personal issues of the remaining two candidates.
Partisans cannot be trusted with warrentless surveillance because it is a threat to the Constitution, nor can they be trusted with privatized vote counting.
Technology has improved though, and as we proceed with a new arms race (mostly with ourselves) the Star Wars BMD program now is producing the means for us to wage war in space, a new generation of nuclear weapons make our destructive capability far more than in former World Wars, and we can easily consider much more thorough destruction than anytime in the past. That's what Republican 'growth' and 'productivity' has given us, and the R's are determined to spend even more on war.
Republicans need to be reminded that
the US was founded on principles that "We the People" are the
deciders, not George the Imperial and that
secrecy, covert agencies, like
concentration of power, are daggers in the heart of democracy.