Friday, January 13, 2006
The NeoCon Fantasy becomes Reality: Alito and his clones are coming, coming, coming......until Bush's Moving Day
As the shrill voices of various factions line up across the country urging a filibuster to stop this Bush pick for the Supreme Court, Samuel Alito Jr., one of the most damaging effects of the NeoCon strategy evidences itself, ignored by activists from all factions.
As could be expected, the Left focuses on the likelihood that with this man empaneled, individual choices in life style and the right to abortion for women will be under fire immediately. Libertarians and conscience aware Republicans are beginning to realize that Alito's attitude on presidential authority, enunciated perfectly by Harvey Silverglate in his opinion piece published yesterday morning in the Boston Phoenix, will provide the means for increasing the attacks on those checks and balances still remaining to us.
Both sides make the mistake of ignoring the back story. While they recognize that this looming event has distracted most of us from the use of presidential prerogatives to listen in on our conversations, they continue to put the strategic significance of that on the back burner. Using new issues to distract is a well used NeoCon ploy. We are in the last few acts of a play that started when Vietnam was still being fought; then cooperation existed among opponents of the war, right and left. Today it is different. The lack of effective communication between the Left and Right did not come about accidentally. That disconnect was intentionally encouraged and deepened by the NeoCons. As long as Left and Right do not talk changing America's direction is impossible.
Dividing us was one of their strategies. Just one of them. War has been made on Americans and on freedom and few noticed. Complacency and wallowing in your own limited assumptions can be deadly.
The French were complacent just before Rommel flanked the Maginot Line, buoyed up by what they thought they knew. They were wrong. They did not realize that because of the oil shortages in Germany Rommel had constructed the blitzkrieg to minimize his use of petroleum products; they assumed that there were absolute defenses from attack; that they knew enough to be safe. They were wrong.
Active cooperation, right and left is an essential tool to countering the NeoCon threats to all of us. Together, we know enough and can take effective action.
Bush, Rove and their minions have been planned this scenario in detailed, loving contingencies for many years. Each component and element has been thought out, discussed, and alternatives, seven deep are provided for.
Alito has five more understudies, all whom will do the same job for the NeoCons. When the focus on any other issue gets too hot for those in power yet another threat like Alito will be trotted oout to dissipate the heat. While we filibuster we must focus on the larger game and be grateful for the advantages remaining to us.
Not one of those numbering themselves as NeoCons has even a shred of the real innovative genius possessed by Rommel, Patton or Mitchell. They have used the same strategies over and over again. Recognizing those strategies allows you to be prepared.
Those we know today as NeoCons have a lot in common. Each began with a deep wish, grounded in their own individual emotional inadequacies, to exercise power over others. Each feels that they are entitled to a place in an aristocracy. From that and the impulse of greed they have worked tirelessly to own us and the world. It would be funny if they were still on the school playground; but instead it is a fantasy that may well kill us.
This story really begins nearly 40 years ago with the successful take over of the environmental movement. Bush Senior orchestrated that with two of his old time oil buddies, O. R. Anderson and Maurice Strong using contacts they had made during the early years of the United Nations. Their manipulation of the rules, individuals and the organizations became one of the sources for the strategies Rove would soon be using.
Those early environmental activists who would be displaced by the Bush-Strong take over clustered around Margret Mead; they were inspiring people, determined to do the right thing. But they were also credulous and easily manipulated. They refused to believe that such a take over could happen, and by people who they knew to be venal and self-serving. But it did.
Using just a few hundred thousand bucks Bush and his buddies, working through hired minions, erected a phony movement in front of the leadership of the real one thus ensuring that solar energy would be marginalized as an alternative and their profits would continue to pump. It worked. The possible attrition on the demand for petroleum was forestalled. Many solar patents, then coming on the market, were bought up by the same companies; the oil companies sat on them.
If you celebrate Earth Day in April you were among the majority that were conned by the Bush front group.
Bush Senior soon hired a pimple faced young guy named Karl Rove because he had proven so capable of cheating his way into power in the Young Republicans. Bush Senior recognized the right stuff when he saw it. Rove studied the job done on the environmental movement with excitement and respect. He made copious notes and used them.
At nearly the same time a tiny group of hyper-intellectual guys, able to use obscure intellectual and economic arguments to justify anything that profited them – or their friends – joined the Republican Party and came to the attention of the group around Bush Senior. The senior partner in this 'family business' was Irving Kristol. This is the group that provides us with the appellation, NeoConservative that now applies to the group as a whole.
This group used the bizarre and esoteric blatherings of Leo Strauss to create the justifications for consciously transitioning America from a Republic comprised of states to a centrally organized federal state they could control in perpetuity.
Straussianism is the faith based philosophy on which their cadre depends for justification.
The NeoCons are determined to win no matter what. Strauss had a lot to offer them. He told them that, in a most circularly satisfying manner, that as the self-elected aristocracy of the Coming Age they could do anything needed to make that happen. So lying, cheating, and ignoring the Constitution were actions that were entirely justified. If your prophet ways it is OK then you do not let yourself be worried over the details. Therefore they lie with ease, only angry if called on it.
They know what they are doing and they are not going to stop.
Most people continue to assume that eventually they will be forced to play by the rules that most of us recognize as right. Don't make that mistake.
As is the case with Rove, many of them have been studying politics and applying the rules of strategy relating to war since they were literally in grade school. Karl Rove and John Fund, for instance, were collecting profiles of politicians when they were each around 12. These addicts to power are politically savvy and analyzed the unmistakable trends in voting populations going back to the 50s. They understood the chains of causality; they were prepared to reverse the flow of social progress then taking place.
Women had finally gotten the vote in 1921 and over time this was transforming America. There were problems stemming from the collectivist policies of Progressivism but most people, from all parties, were willing to change when they saw better solutions. Progress had been slow as women moved into the marketplace and continued to work for full emancipation; it was not until 1953 that a married woman in California had the right to her own paycheck. In the 50s the transforming message of Ayn Rand, Isabel Patterson, Rose Wilder Lane and the candidate who relit the beacon of individualism in the Republican Party, Barry Goldwater, excited a new generation to political activism. The message of Goldwater was one of real freedom for all of us. That message changed the Republican Party, bringing in many young people.
Times change, however. By the 70s Nixon's Wage and Price Controls had caused thousands of Republicans to leave the Republican Party, founding the Libertarian Party in December of 1971.
At nearly the same time Bush and his friends were considering how to ensure their profits, now protected for the time being by the hijacking of the environmental movement, kept flowing. They needed a political party.
They did not care which party they used. It was an accident of circumstance and the clever Kristols that made them Republicans.
The Democratic Party had erected draconian bylaws making it impossible to manipulate. At that point in time the two political parties both used privileges enacted through political means to ensure loyalty; both had come to use rhetoric to lie to their voters and to assume that was justified.
However, there were real functional differences. The Republican Party was far less sophisticated, having lived through less internecine warfare. They had suffered a loss in membership through the founding the the Libertarian Party, too. They were vulnerable. In the 1970s one of the reasons for their weakness was the fact that while they endorsed the passage of the ERA the structure of the Republican Party had functionally denied a role to women in their leadership.
It was probably Rove who did the in depth analysis, looking at the probable and possible voting blocks across the country and delivered the bad news. They could control the Republican Party but the cultural changes then transforming the country would make it impossible for them to continue to win elections. They had to replace women as a voting block.
They were nothing if not resourceful. A plan was formulated with both short range and long range goals.
First they had to stave off the changes then taking place and assume control of their chosen tool, the Republican Party. Then they had ensure that through that tool they could control the country. To do that they needed to subvert the checks and balances still in place while ensuring that the State continued its lock on the power of privilege.
In short order Rove and his minions had created out of the low end evangelical churches a cadre of voters who received their orders from the pulpit on Sunday and voted reliably on Tuesday and donated all the time for any of a short list of issues. This took advantage of the obvious appetite of this population of church members to credulously hand over heaps of money to preachers who were obviously corrupt. Most of them came from poor southern, white backgrounds. They continued in their belief that women should remain barefoot and pregnant when not chopping wood.
The Republican Party had championed the passage of voting rights for women in the 20s. As a result the largest, strongest and most powerful political tool ever produced had been forged. That was the National Federation of Republican Women. But times had changed. Younger women were not joining and their membership was aging because women in the Republican Party were treated as second class members with the exception of a few 'house girls' kept around as window dressing.
The NFRW had brought home the bacon for generations. In election after election it had provided the volunteers, grass roots support and a healthy chunk of the cash that put Republicans in office. But the best and brightest of them were growing restive, unwilling to continue their support without finally securing their own rights and the rights of their daughters. They had waited and worked for the passage of the ERA as their great-great grandmothers had worked for suffrage and for abolition.
But if women secured their rights through act of Constitution then the chink in the armor of the privileges provided through government would be breeched. That could not be tolerated and this the NeoCons understood.
Rights, understood as enunciated by Thomas Jefferson, belong inherently to each of us, preceding government. Privileges are granted by government and can be rescinded at will. Ignoring the mandate of the original Revolution had put America into moral bankruptcy in 1799 with its failure to secure the rights of blacks and women. The continuing compromises and justifications had made America vulnerable to the just anger of those whose proper rights had been denied.
If the people understand that each of them brings to life absolute rights that cannot be modified by government then the system of selling privileges instead of rights cannot continue and the gravy train produced through the alliance of corporations and government is threatened. The oil companies understood.
Having secured the Republican Party as a tool their next steps took place within that Party. The ERA was stricken from the Republican platform and a long term contingency plan was put in motion to ensure Republicans could continue in power while work continued on other elements of the plan.
With a bolstering of votes from churches, careful manipulation of ideas, placed through a chain of outlets called, 'think tanks,' the use of individual pundits to recalibrate discourse and work as political operatives the plan began to take form. The media was studied and stock acquired to allow editorial pressure to be brought on formerly independent publications. In a later round Fox would be launched to further skew the popular market in news.
Most people involved with think tanks and policy did not see the big picture; they do not see it today. They can't afford to. They are firmly tied through the salaries that make their life styles possible. Think of this as the 401K Syndrome. Most people will turn down the volume on their conscience when their paychecks are on the line.
Phyllis Schlafly was chosen to persuade women that the ERA was bad for them; that rights would make them less 'womanly.' She defeated the ratification most assumed would be easy. Rove studied her campaign, too. Building specious arguments and using an organization to sell it through your personal contacts with many other organizations is a strategy also used by NeoCons today.
Women like her, living the life of privilege and comfort, had attempted to do this before the granting of voting rights to women as well, delaying the franchise for women for many years.
In the late 80s the Kristols, now well acquainted with Bush and Rove, began a quiet campaign to find the brightest minds willing to swallow the specious nonsense opined by Strauss, that a small self-identified aristocracy was destined to rule in perpetuity.
They took suggestions from men like Robert Novak, who in this way first hired and placed John Fund; first at Evans and Novak in 1983 and then almost immediately into the editorial staff of that other NeoCon tool, the Wall Street Journal. Being a NeoCon was the easy road to riches and fame.
Fund went on to play a significant role in identifying useful individuals within the then hardy Libertarian Party whose ambitions could be trusted to outrun their consciences. Many of these found careers in the NeoCon world.
It was Fund who pointed out how policies intended to increase the power of citizens could be recycled into NeoCon use. Privatization, outsourcing, deregulation, all became standard tools to increase the flow of money to both corporations and government agencies.
The rhetoric of freedom, spoken by Goldwater and then by Libertarians was converted into another NeoCon tool. Bush misuses it nearly every time he opens his mouth.
The political operatives, working in think tanks, as journalists, and as media personalities talked, recruited, wrote, and networked. Organizations were founded. The New World Order came into focus. The fantasy of power born in minds riddled with greed and self-doubt was coalescing.
One of the essential elements for making the plan work had been ensuring that rulings from all levels of federal benches could, with careful placement, bring about the cases that would provide the raw material for overturning the laws based on legislatively mandated privileges. The Federalist Society, one of the organizations birthed to carry out the work of the New American Century, continues today to provide both the arguments that remake law and the candidates to occupy those judicial seats. It provides the arguments in its seminars and uses the prominence of its members as further authority.
All human action listens to the success stories of power. Human action is all too human when privileges are mistaken for rights.
By the late 80s the Republican Party had became a place where the Religious Right, sticking in their toes and sniffing around, could be comfortable. Their welcome was founded in the need for their votes; the NeoCon leadership is, for the most part, agnostic. Prayer Breakfasts became the order of the day. This also worked well to burnish the authority of NeoCon spokesmen who could be tapped to conduct prayer breakfasts and then continue their work as political operatives.
Each issue, identified and used to change the shape and direction of social policy also provided cover and divided the people into smaller and smaller niches as privileges replaced rights. On top of this, through the carefully planned use of the tools provided originally by idealistic Libertarians, government programs and agencies were converted, in many cases, into profit centers. Today the Federal Government takes more money out of Yosemite than it puts in. It is a cash cow, maintained only through the volunteer efforts of organizations like the Yosemite Fund and the Yosemite Association. In ways sometimes too horrible to contemplate, the services our nation owes veterans are also limited. The list is seemingly endless.
The NeoCons had been busy and it is easy to find their work. Through layers of websites and nonprofit organizations the carefully orchestrated manipulation of the New World Order has been delivered. Rove learned the lesson of Earth Day well and it has been repeated countless times in every imaginable application.
The field on which the next round would be played out was ready. The privileges substituted for rights could now be challenged at the highest court in the land; and according to the game plan of the New World Order all rights are privileges.
As Bush, Junior said, the Constitution is just words.
Privileges can be revoked through the Courts even after they are passed by the people. Disappointed and frustrated, the women's movement had settled for privileges instead of rights, raising a generation of women who did not recognize the shell game that had been played right out in the open, under their very noses.
The next round, beginning in 1999, was predicated on ensuring that elections could be fixed in advance. All levels of elections were targeted. The make up of Congress needed to be reliably NeoCon in persuasion. As they knew when devising their plan, impeachment must be impossible.
For the next phase they needed some computer wonks. If you have a back door into the programming that is undetectable then you can control the voting as long as it takes place through computers and through a politically centralized system or registration and vote counting.
In 2002 Fund was released from direct work on the WSJ to take one of the 'recuperative leaves' mandated for those who have let the heady use of power lead them into public scrutiny and scandal – and to write a book on electoral fraud that due to unforeseen circumstances did not work out as well as the NeoCons hoped it would. In that book Fund proposes that people be able to check their vote on line; a double set of books, letting the voter see 'their vote' would have no relationship to the electoral outcome. When Fund planned his book in 2000 that was the reassurance the NeoCons believed would quiet the questions of the American people.
The final answers to what happened to our voting system lie in the identity of those who wrote the original code for the programs that shifted the world from the last century to this one. The deeper the back door the better. Someday we may know. For now we need to stop trying to fix something that contains fatal flaws.
Today with the nomination of Alito we face one problem with devastating ramifications. While fighting that battle we can not afford to overlook the much larger picture. Alito is a tiny shard of ice floating on the surface of a sea filled with ice burgs larger than those that sunk the Titanic.
We must establish new direction. Stopping this appointment is not enough. Defensive war is losing war. To win this war we need to renew the vision of freedom enunciated by Jefferson. We must come together as one people, abandoning our identification through political parties. This time the vision must become reality.
Most Americans ignore politics; it has proven to be a pointless sink for time and money. Most Americans spend their time making sure people are fed, that the Little League field is mowed; that those in need have shelter through the storms life brings.
The real solutions are created through local action. Our focus must be to take governance back directly to the people. Traditional reform will only substitute one group of grasping liarsfor another. We have allowed the divisions of right and left to divide us so that it has become impossible for us accomplish common goals, thanks again to the NeoCons. Our divisions have helped make the NeoCons fantasy a reality.
We need to create a common understanding of the facts as well as the problems; we must affirm individual rights for all and reject all assumptions of privilege for anyone. We need to fix our justice system; justice is, after all, a service lowering the cost of human conflict; it is not a religion; judges and attorneys are not barons but contractors providing a service.
People of good will from all parties need to start talking – and listening across those chasms of understanding and build bridges of trust founded in facts. We need to forge a common agenda and that agenda must include local control of voting and verifiable, paper ballots. We need to get off the grid of power, off the grid of petroleum, and back into our communities. Let politics as we know it today return to the playground.
Stop believing the simplistic stereotypes we all too often accept about the labels each of us carries around. Ideology, gender, race, ethnicity, religion; where they divide us they become problems; where they give us common understanding they affirm our essential, and shared, humanity. Unquestioned beliefs shackle the future we can leave to our children. All human tools have to be properly used to yield appropriate results. Always check your facts twice and make sure you know all sides of any question; remember what credulity has done to our electoral system.
If you are a Democrat go shake hands with a Republican. If you are a Republican hug a Democrat. If you are a libertarian or other faction hug them both.
The vision of America, equality, dignity and freedom is still waiting for us. Its time to make the dream real.