Do you recall the persistence of corporate media propounding the (false) myth of the equivalence? You know, where they say BOTH major political parties are to blame for the woes in Washington (and in state capitols throughout the country)?
Here is one of several statements Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema issued just within the last few hours,
“A government shutdown is an abandonment of Congress' basic duty, and that’s shameful. Arizonans are angry and I don't blame them. I am angry. Time has run out and both parties are responsible. Every single effort by the House and Senate must be a step towards finding common sense and middle ground.To be fair, here's the rest of the message in the email release Sinema's office sent out.
“Instead of coming together to find reasonable solutions, Congress chose to shut down the government. Governing by crisis is no way to govern at all.
“There’s real work to be done. Congress has wasted too much time. End the shutdown and get back to work.”Now, about the problem statement, "Time has run out and both parties are responsible."
NO both parties are NOT responsible.
I love Representative Sinema to pieces, and very much do recognize her desire to work with "anyone with a good idea." Earlier in the evening, she also said,
While I’ve demonstrated that I work with anyone with a good idea to move our nation forward, I’m not going to let a few extremists hijack our government. (emphasis mine)Working with any of her colleagues with a good idea is NOT equivalent to blaming your own caucus for the obstructionism of House Republicans. She might think it necessary to kiss some Republican tuckus in order to spur them on to compromise. However, all indications are that said Republicans are well beyond reach at this time.
Consider the fact -- YES, fact -- that the Affordable Care Act was passed by both chambers of Congress, signed by the President and declared constitutional by what might be the most conservative (anti-government) Supreme Court in the history of this country. Now, House Republicans want to declare the law by which millions of Americans will finally be able to afford and obtain quality health care coverage null and void -- AFTER an election in which the President who signed that law won re-election in spite of Tea Party opposition.
There is ample documentation readily available in corporate and other (egalitarian) media demonstrating that this is NOT a situation for which both parties deserve equal blame.
Another reading of Sinema's statements (as cited above) along with her votes last night and just days ago -- to delay the individual mandate for one year (last night's vote) and to repeal one of the key measures funding the ACA (the Medical Device tax) -- is that she voted against the interests of her base voters in order to (hopefully) win moderate independent and crossover Republican votes in the 2014 general election. That's sometimes known as Clintonian triangulation. The key word, by the way, being "hopefully."
Now, in an indirectly related matter, the question comes up more often lately as to WHY rank and file Republicans have so often (over the last thirty-three or so years) voted against their own interests.
While it does not explore the "why," Robert Reich's new movie "Inequality for All" does demonstrate very powerfully that they have done just that.
Democratic activists should insist that candidates (including incumbents) for elected offices in Arizona (and throughout the country) view the movie. Here in the Phoenix area, the Harkins Camelview plans to show the movie at least through next week.
Professor Reich said -- and this movie makes it VERY clear that -- “The most pro-business thing you can do is help the middle class thrive.”
“The most pro-business thing you can do is help the middle class thrive,” he said in the film. - See more at: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/about/blog/robert-reich-discusses-new-documentary-income-inequality#sthash.jcJ5oQ0w.dpuf
So, back to the point. For more than thirty-three years, many Americans have been voting against their own interests. They have done so based largely on the mind f**k that doing so will enable them to one day, if they work hard and play by the rules, be able to get ahead.
Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behavior of others through underhanded, deceptive, or even abusive tactics. By advancing the interests of the manipulator, often at another's expense, such methods could be considered exploitative, abusive, devious and deceptive. Social influence is not necessarily negative. For example, doctors can try to persuade patients to change unhealthy habits. Social influence is generally perceived to be harmless when it respects the right of the influenced to accept or reject and is not unduly coercive. Depending on the context and motivations, social influence may constitute underhanded manipulation.It's quite obvious (now, anyway) that Republicans in Congress have gotten away with such manipulation for decades with the complicity of Corporate Media. However, since ALL incumbent politicians want to get re-elected (unless they state otherwise), this can relate to Democrats who pry campaign donations from constituents even though those incumbents may vote contrary to the interests of their base constituents.
So, when the next Federal Elections Commission reporting deadline approaches and you get bombarded with requests from incumbents, remind them that you expect them to vote for YOUR interests, not those of Wall Street bankers or corporate lobbyists. To borrow a phrase from a now obscure Republican candidate, "there's a way to shut that whole thing down."
NO Kyrsten, both parties are NOT to blame for the federal government shutdown. And one of the key compromises they got you to make -- voting to delay the individual mandate for one year -- is nothing more and nothing less than the GOP setting a trap for you.
You think I jest or exaggerate?
If they succeed in delaying the individual mandate, every vote you make will put you under the threat of barrage with claims of being a socialist come next Fall.
Will you be afraid to vote with Democrats on anything controversial? How do you think your base will tolerate that?
Personally, I think it's time to return, at least to some degree, to your roots as a fighter for economic and social justice for your legitimate constituents.
The lessons of history -- as so eloquently set forth by Prof. Reich in his movie -- are on OUR side. Remember, the most pro-business thing you can do is to help the Middle Class thrive.
And that is the OPPOSITE of just about everything the ALEC-owned Republican Party has stood for and propagated in America since the Powell Manifesto was published in 1971.