Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Massachusetts a Harbinger for a NEW Independent Third Party

Scott Brown, a little know Republican senator and tea party darling, has managed to steal the prized Massachusetts senate seat that had been held by Ted Kennedy for the last 50 years. It is not that Scott Brown, who in an earlier life posed nude for Cosmopolitan Magazine (see Colbert video below), brings anything new to the table. Rather, his ascendancy indicates the intense frustration bubbling underneath the papering of the economic crisis. What is truly fascinating is that Scott Brown branded himself as an independent, even though he ran under the Republican ticket. According to the New York Times:
Mr. Brown ran strongest in the suburbs of Boston, where the independent voters who make up a majority in Massachusetts turned out in large numbers.“Tonight the independent voice of Massachusetts has spoken,” Mr. Brown told his cheering supporters in a victory speech, standing in front of a backdrop that said “The People’s Seat.” Mr. Brown was able to appeal to independents who were anxious about the economy and concerned about the direction taken by Democrats, now that they control both Beacon Hill and Washington.
Brown's win came not only in an ultra-liberal state where Barack Obama had carried 62% of the votes in 2008, but also in spite of his less than stellar positions on many issues such as support for water boarding and the suggestion that Obama was born out of wedlock (thus hinting at his illegitimacy for Presidency).
Moreover although, Massachusetts represents a huge loss for the Democrats, it should however NOT be construed as a win for traditional Republicans, mainly because Brown contested on an "independent candidate" platform. The real lesson to be drawn from Brown's win is that American's are increasingly disenchanted with BOTH political parties and the movement for a NEW independent third is currently underway.
Both Democrats & Republicans continue to hold the nation in a paralysed state as they engage in traditional partisan bickering and doggedly hold on to outdated belief mantras such as "free-markets" and "unrestrained government support for Wall Street, defense and the military establishment but no spending/help for "main street". They remain completely clueless to the needs of regular Americans, who are suffering from intense joblessness and high indebtedness, who are left with meager assets/savings to tide them over, not to mention the fact that in America if you don't have a job you also do not have access to affordable healthcare.
As a result both the Democrat and Republican parties are fracturing right down the middle - The Democrats having supported Barack Obama's unnecessary wars that the country can ill-afford, coupled with their inability to reign in Wall Street are facing a severe backlash from the progressive liberals within the party. Similarly the Republican party which is left with no effective leadership at its helm is facing a backlash from its fiscally conservative voters. Having failed to rein in fiscal spending and Wall Street excesses they are facing mutiny within their ranks from the conservative tea party folks, some of whom have found refuge under Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and the other Fox cohorts umbrella.
This ground swell movement for an independent third party in 2012 is only going to grow. For now many independents are taking refuge under the Republican umbrella, but look for them to separate once the movement gathers steam.
And oh...we ascribe a very low probability that Obama will roll out of his slumber and take some sensible measures to rein in Wall Street such as 1) repeal Glass Steagall as recommended by Volcker, 2) impose leverage restrictions on banks, 3) impose restrictions on banker bonuses and use that money to build bank capital reserves to protect against future crisis, 4) install a consumer protection agency and 5) impose higher margin requirements on futures and commodity trading to reign in excessive speculation. Instead we fully expect more of the same i.e. short term populist measures such as imposing a financial crisis tax on banks, which will not only fail to address the root cause of the problem but will also be paid for by the shareholders and not the greedy banksters.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Massachusetts Special Election
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorEconomy

No comments: