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Political EarthquakesPosted Sunday, January 24, 2010, at 2:03 PM
The Earth rumbled here in the U.S. during the past week. One quake was focused in Massachusetts, but felt in Washington. And the other struck Washington D.C., in the heart of the city.
The first earthquake happened this past Tuesday. The American electorate proved several points of conventional wisdom. James Madison once stated that every day, the legislature was in session, liberty was in peril.
Modern political commentators have often noted that apparently, the American people prefer divided government and political "gridlock" to efficient government. Thomas Jefferson once stated that the people (collectively) do not often make mistakes, and when they do, they quickly amend their ways.
Virtually all governments, except the United States, are designed to give ruling power to the political party with the majority of members. Most of the world's governments have the power to rule against the will of the people with the only recourse being a no-confidence vote or a decision to give ruling power to another political party at the following election. The people of Massachusetts heard the call of their brethren across the nation and did the unthinkable, voted in a Republican Senator for the purpose of causing "gridlock" in Congress.
There is something about the common American citizen which is inherently distrustful of government. At the very least, they are distrustful of the men and women who step forward to wield power over us. The common American citizen seems to be ever mindful that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
This, however, should not be confused with the notion that the majority of people of Massachusetts, or anywhere else, do not look to the government for the answer to problems. But Americans are ever mindful of the fallen nature of man and have shown that the spirit of self reliance is not yet dead.
The second earthquake happened this past Thursday. The U.S. Supreme Court held as Unconstitutional, and struck down, substantial portions of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act. Two years ago, a movie was released in the style of a Michael Moore film lampooning Hillary Clinton. The Federal Elections Commission ruled that the movie violated the McCain-Feingold Act by engaging in commercially funded political speech within 60 days of an election. The attorney for the U.S. stated, "Yes."
Reports are that most of the justices were outraged by the answer. Apparently, some of the Justices were more upset by the attorney's response than by the effect of the law. Ultimately, it was a 5-4 ruling in favor of the First Amendment's prohibition against regulating speech.
Virtually all campaign finance laws are written with the effect of empowering the people who already hold office and weakening challengers. Therefore, the political class in Washington was knocked for a loop by this ruling. After all, McCain-Feingold had already survived one challenge in the Supreme Court several years ago. Now, anyone who wants to spend their own money to give a political message during an election may legally do so.
Aftershocks from these events may now claim the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Ben Bernanke is the acolyte of former Chairman Allen Greenspan. Greenspan was nominated to his office by the first President Bush, President Clinton, and the second President Bush. He was also known as the "Maestro."
Apparently, the people of Massachusetts and the rest of the nation, are pretty upset by the lack of jobs. If someone's head must roll to satisfy the bloodlust of the vulgate, the person appointed to govern the hated banks makes a good candidate to take to the scaffold and meet the guillotine.
Since the stock market tumbled 400 points Friday on the rumor that Bernanke may be sacrificed, since job growth tends to happen in conjunction with stock market growth, Bernanke just may manage to squeak by. We will all have to sit and wait to see if there are any other aftershocks and what effects they may have.
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