American Government: Who’s In Control?

When we watch, listen, or read the national news, there’s really NO way to tell who is actually running the U.S. Government. Traditionally it has always been the President in conjunction with the other two branches of government: Legislative and Judiciary. But to most Americans, who is the “Boss” is unclear.

The uncertainty of who is in charge has created certain chaos in the U.S. This generation has only the tragedy of 9/11 to point to as a traumatic national event around which those in government rallied all Americans. And that was almost two decades ago. Those memories are growing dim. Replacing that spirit of unity has so far proven to be unachievable. But, that failure is not a product of lack of effort.

There are many who have stepped to the “Boss” podium who each have claimed power and control of U.S. Government. Each has been met with one common thing, and that is NOT compliance or acceptance. It has been chaos. Division among Americans has reached a fever pitch. And try as they might, failure to gain the support of the American masses sufficient to quell the waves of chaos has swamped each.

Ronald Reagan was the last U.S. President to rally Americans to the drumbeat of unity. Reagan’s government was certainly divided, but the Gipper had the ability to cross the “difference” lines sufficient to draw enough people together to create visible progress in most areas of American life. How could he do that? Maybe it was his successful acting career. Maybe it was that after acting he segued into politics as California’s governor. In that role, he certainly had sufficient communication experience from acting that better prepared him to relate to different groups of people.

Reagan’s VP briefly replaced him in the White House. Bush ’41 was a classic politician. That persona branded him and virtually banished him to just one term. Clinton brought charisma back to D.C. He too as was Reagan was a great communicator with the ability to cross ethnic and social barriers among Americans that resulted in two terms as president. Though his tenure was marred with controversy, he left the White House as (and remains) one of the most popular U.S. presidents.

Bush ’43’s election marked the beginning of the “New” era of American politics. This new era was birthed from the innovation of satellite television, widespread cell phone and internet access for most Americans, and the creation of a new environment which adopted (in large part) the “title” of news organizations that were really just entertainment sources disguised as news. And it has taken almost two decades for Americans to fully realize that.

Obama was the first U.S. president to lead the nation from this new 24/7 information environment. It perfectly complemented his personality and extensive communication skills. No one can reasonably argue that he was NOT a master of messaging in public. Regardless of the accuracy of many things he said when he spoke he easily related to many in his audience. He amassed a strong following in spite of some of his divisive political policies.

And then there’s Donald Trump. His entire political career at age two can be illustrated best — even with his significant governing accomplishments — as “chaotic.” We will not delve into the Trump “detail” in governing that result in egregious responses from his opponents. Those are very obvious and well known. But it is important to point out that in these two short years of his administration, a new syndrome among Americans has been created: the “Chaos Syndrome.”

The “Chaos Syndrome”

Trump didn’t cause the chaos. The chaos caused Trump. What we are seeing is not a temporary spasm of chaos but a chaos syndrome.

Chaos Syndrome is a chronic decline in the political system’s fundamentals. That weakening began when presidential leadership in the U.S. slowly began a slide in its structure. Simultaneously, the U.S. Congress apparently took note and joined in that slide into the abyss called Chaos Syndrome.

It began with the weakening of the institutions and brokers—political parties, career politicians, and congressional leaders and committees—that have historically held politicians accountable to one another and prevented everyone in the system from pursuing naked self-interest all the time. As these intermediaries’ influence fades, politicians, activists, and voters all become more individualistic and unaccountable. The system atomizes. Chaos becomes the new normal—both in campaigns and in the government itself.

The Founders knew all too well about chaos. It was the condition that brought them together in 1787 under the Articles of Confederation. The central government had too few powers and powers of the wrong kinds, so they gave it more powers, and also multiple power centers. The core idea of the Constitution was to restrain ambition and excess by forcing competing powers and factions to bargain and compromise.

The Framers worried about demagogic excess and populist constant changes, so they created buffers and gatekeepers between voters and the government. Only one chamber, the House of Representatives, would be directly elected. A radical who wanted to get into the Senate would need to get past the state legislature, which selected senators; a power-junkie who wanted to seize the presidency would need to get past the Electoral College, a convocation of elders who chose the president; and so on.

So the chaos in government that daily plays out on a national stage is NOT the fault of the U.S. founders. Whose fault is it?

American voters. We elect them. They make and execute every law and policy. And it’s not just whoever serves as President. It’s Congress, too.

The “Terrible Twosome”

Paul Ryan didn’t have a chance. He didn’t want the House Speaker’s job: he was pushed unwillingly into it. And it showed.

But Nancy Pelosi sure did relish reclaiming the Speaker’s gavel after the 2018 midterm election in which Democrats won back the House. Everyone knew what to expect. She had a lot of experience in wielding the power of that position.

Across the hall, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was set to join Nancy in the starting blocks. No, he wasn’t in control of the Senate. But the pair of Pelosi/Schumer knew from experience the havoc that could give to Republicans with their political might and leverage. And they have not disappointed their base in the short time the twosome has been back in those positions. And they’ve only had a few months! They could hardly wait for some time to elapse so they could find devious ways to obstruct the Trump agenda and thwart Republican legislation at every turn. There have been NO two better at that job in Congressional history. They have been the Democrats long sought-after “Terrible Twosome” and the power they masterfully use on behalf of the Democrat Party’s agenda. “They’re Baaack………..!”

Not So Fast

There are some new kids in town! Nancy and Chuck have seemingly met their matches. The 2018 Freshman Class in the House of Representatives has thrown a monkey-wrench into the Pelosi/Schumer plan — especially three of those rookies: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN). They are dynamite — they’re explosive — and they have already become the darlings of the “Millennial-Left!” And Nancy and Chuck are beside themselves.

FOX News published a story describing what the three have already done to hijack the power couple and wrest control of the Democrat Party platform from Pelosi and Schumer.

Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s Twitter bio declares her the “Unbossed Congresswoman” for Michigan’s 13th District. While the moniker has roots in Shirley Chisholm’s successful campaign to become the first black congresswoman, nowadays it also could be seen as a blunt message to Democratic leadership: Nobody is bossing around the class of 2019.

And that’s a problem for party bosses.

On everything from the Green New Deal to impeachment to criticism of Israel, a squad of first-year congresswomen are flexing their muscle and posing an implicit challenge to Democratic honchos like Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Their stridently liberal agenda – and power to steer the national conversation via social media and press attention – has fueled tensions inside the party tent that in turn are testing leadership’s control while stirring political concerns going into 2020.

“All of our problems are caused by three people,” one senior House Democrat lamented.

That would be New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and Tlaib – all freshmen, and all uniquely unencumbered by things like decorum or deference to party elders.

Ocasio-Cortez recently made waves by appearing to warn Democrats who vote with Republicans that they’re “putting themselves on a list” of possible primary targets (though she later denied she intended such a threat).

Tlaib famously made headlines upon taking office by vowing they’d “impeach the motherf—er,” in reference to President Trump. Pelosi this week tried to rein in the impeachment chatter, taking a firm public stance against that route. Yet in the immediate aftermath of Tlaib’s vow, Pelosi downplayed the hubbub, saying she wouldn’t use that language but it’s nothing worse than Trump has said.

Fast-forward to this month, and Pelosi faced another discipline problem – concerning Omar.

Fresh off a dispute that saw Pelosi and fellow Democratic leaders condemn the Minnesota congresswoman for suggesting American allies of Israel were financially motivated, Omar riled party leaders again after suggesting Israel supporters expect or seek “allegiance” to the Jewish state. The statement was widely condemned, including among senior Democrats, as echoing the age-old “dual loyalties” smear against Jewish politicians.

Leaders hastily prepared a resolution to push back on anti-Semitism. Yet after Pelosi faced a rebellion in the ranks amid concerns the measure would unfairly single out Omar, a Muslim, and increase security threats against her (she was recently the subject of an inflammatory poster at the West Virginia capitol falsely tying her to the 9/11 attacks), the resolution was overhauled.

The sequence of events only fed the narrative that party leaders are struggling to rein in freshman lawmakers who are pulling Democrats off message at a critical time, with the 2020 presidential campaign season getting underway.

Tlaib and Omar already have signed a pledge to impeach Trump. And, around the same time anti-Trump protesters were arrested outside Pelosi’s office last week, Tlaib assured them she’ll introduce a resolution this month urging the Judiciary Committee to proceed with impeachment.

Looking ahead, some Democrats stress that it’s critical for the party to maintain focus.

“There’s always going to be distractions. It’s 435 people who are really their own boss, and they’re able to say whatever they want,” freshman Rep. Katie Hill, D-Calif., told “Fox News Sunday,” with regard to recent controversies in the caucus. “So, I think what we have to figure out what to do is to say, okay, this isn’t the views of everybody in Congress … but how do we maintain focus on our agenda as a whole?”

And that’s the million dollar question. None of the Democrat Party leaders in Congress or at the party level have any idea of how to control these three rookies. And the “New Kids” have taken over the Party!

What does that mean?

  • Honor for longtime Congressional leaders in their party is gone;
  • Respect for their party platforms, carefully crafted political measures and the timing for their actions is gone;
  • Democrat tradition developed over decades is gone;
  • Willingness to work with the other party (if there ever WAS any willingness at all) is gone;
  • The ability and desire to reason with dissenters as part of the political process — and not just Republicans — is gone;
  • Basing proposed legislation and party positions on agreed-to thoughts and ideas is gone;
  • Civility in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is gone!

What are Democrats Going to Do?

If wasn’t so comical it’d be funny!

Seriously, it IS comical to watch Nancy Pelosi struggle to find reasonable answers to the obvious questions from the media about that very thing: “What are Democrats going to do?” You can bet Nancy and Chuck stay huddled up somewhere regularly to collude with each other scratching for answers. And just as quickly as they find one, the “New Kids” step up to the microphone and make another outlandish Democrat policy statement that sounds as if it originated from the backside of Mars!

Like:

  1. The “Green New Deal.” Along with that brainstorm came the prophecy that the World will end in 12 years if we don’t implement the plan — for the low, low price of $72 Trillion over 10 years;
  2. “Free College For All.” The “New Kids” all signed onto Bernie Sanders plan or something equivalent that is estimated to cost $95 Billion a year. But we all know that if it’s free, far more students would take advantage of it. What’s $115-125 extra each Billion a year?
  3. Forgive all College Debt. At the start of 2019, 58 million Americans owe a total of $1.56 Trillion in college tuition debt. To forgive that, the Federal Government would have to tax increase Americans tax bill 50% for one year to pay for it. And, by the way, the government would have to somehow raise (through increased taxes) that additional $115-$125 Billion each year to pay for that newly added cost of “Free College for All.”
  4. Raise Taxes: No big deal. The “New Kids” have that problem worked out. How? Simply change the marginal tax rate on America’s rich to 70%. By the way: she just floated a proposed 90% tax rate for American corporations!
  5. It will take every bit of that to pay for the “New Kids” ideas floated above. But we left one out: “Medicare for All.” It is not original with the three — Bernie Sanders floated it first. The “New Kids” love the idea, so it’s a done deal! The cost? $32 Trillion over 10 years.

By the way: economists have analyzed the 70% proposed tax rate for the wealthiest of Americans. You will be excited to know that with that new rate AND the “New Kids” programs listed above, the additional tax revenue would almost cover their costs. It would take care of all but 99% of them!

Summary

In one way it’s scary to believe that power in our government could possibly be controlled by any more wicked than House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer. But in this case, I am scared! We didn’t even mention the problems with those three other than their economic ideas. On social and political levels, they are each off the charts. They make Pelosi, Schumer, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and even David Duke look like Saints!

But you know what is really scary? Many young Americans love the trio. And they love their “progressive” ideas. Never mind the inability to pay for them. Never mind the dismantling of the free market and launching a Socialist nation in its place. Never mind the ridiculousness of trying to implement even one of the above ideas and watching the titans of industry immediately shutter dozens of major corporations putting millions of American workers on the street without work. That doesn’t matter: they’re such good ideas!

“Symbolism Over Substance” is the mantra of the “New Kids.” No, they’re not the ones using that. But Americans who ARErealists, who read and listen, who ask questions and get answers, and who expect reality from their elected representatives understand there is NO THERE THERE — NO SUBSTANCE!

You know what else is good? These three are members of the House of Representatives and not the Senate. That means they can be removed and replaced by voters in less than two years — IF THEIR VOTING CONSTITUENTS ARE PAYING ATTENTION!

 

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