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Reconstruction For Everyone!!: A perspective of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

A POLITICS 24/7 guest editorial by Mike Duminiak
  Bookmark and Share  In 1867, Congress passed the first Reconstruction Act. Its purpose was to force the re-engineering of society in the Southern States and to redistribute the wealth in that region. reconstructionOn the first count, it was entirely a failure and actually resulted in a backlash that undid the progress made in 1865-66 and resulted in a worse position for blacks for nearly 100 years than they had during the immediate post-war period of local reconstruction. On the second count it succeeded, but not in the way the people had expected. Rather than redistribute the wealth to the poor and former slaves, instead all the wealth in the South was transferred to banks and various businesses owned and operated by Northern industrialists and financiers. When the decade of forced reconstruction finally ended, the South was bankrupt, the people were betrayed and the society was driven to social radicalism for the next 90 years.

In 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Its purpose is to force the re-engineering of the economy in the United States and to redistribute the wealth in that nation. Its ultimate outcome has yet to be written, but the beginnings of its implementation may be a strong indicator. It is the banks and large corporations that are the beneficiaries of the redistribution of wealth. To them is going the tax revenue of generations. We see also that it is filled with pork barrel spending on projects that are politically connected to major campaign contributors and businesses with financial ties to politicians.

It is yet to be known whether this new era of Reconstruction will also require the use of troops to force its implementation when the people start to complain that it is doing more harm than good. It is yet to be known whether this new era of Reconstruction will result in the same backlash as the first when opposition forces eventually regain control of government. It is yet to be known just how bankrupt the national treasury will be and how grossly enriched the banks and corporations will be when this new era of Reconstruction ends.

The deciding factors on those issues will be what else this radical Congress pushes through. The radical Congress of 1867-68 passed numerous acts that combined to result in all the immediate destruction and later retribution. If this radical Congress also continues down its current path and adds more fuel to the fire, the damage and the reaction will be all that much stronger. If this radical Congress pushes its agenda to the breaking point of the average citizen as the radical 1867-68 Congress did, this nation could see a massive shift in political power equal to or even greater than the 100 years of single party control that resulted from the first major attempt at re-engineering and redistribution.

While we will all pay the price for the reckless and truly criminal transfer of wealth from the people to the banking and corporate interests, conservatives may come out the big winners. If history repeats itself (and it is doing a pretty good job so far), strong conservatives will capture the government and hold it for a long period. Even moderates on the right may be unpopular as the public will shifts radically away from the policies and ideology that raped their treasury, increased their tax burden, destroyed their economy and curtailed their liberty.

As the economy worsens and the true face of the current actions of Congress becomes apparent to the people, we should all pray that the kinds of insurrectionary vigilantism that cropped up in 1868-1870s are not repeated in the modern era. However, desperate people can often resort to desperate actions. Should the unemployment rate continue to climb and the banks continue to profit off the government treasury, the probability of renegade violence will escalate. Even the current supporters of the radicals now in power are likely to turn violent when the promises fail to materialize, as happened in the first Reconstruction era when the former slaves were left to literally starve to death without jobs, homes or food while banks and corporations raided the various State treasuries under U.S. control. Riots may not be far off when all the impossible promises that fail to materialize combine with worsening economic conditions. We should all pray that violence is avoided, but that may not be enough.

A large segment of the population believed that the “bottom rail was on top” with this past election. Yet, if anything, the bottom rail is being stomped down further by bad economic conditions while the top rail is being elevated with government bail-outs and pork spending. Right now the blinders are still on most citizens, but they are coming off in increasing numbers. When the inevitable inflation comes from the insane creation of money that was done and given to the banks, the true result of the current radical Congress’s actions will be apparent to everyone. The first Reconstruction was bad for everyone except the banks and corporations. This one will be no different except that the whole country will suffer under it instead of just one region.  Bookmark and Share

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Independent Democrat Senator Joe Lieberman

Independent Democrat Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut

Two years ago, despite having been their  Vice Presidential nominee,  Democrat, Connecticut, Senator Joe Lieberman was defeated in his attempt to win the democrat party’s nomination for re-election. A very far left candidate won the nomination instead of him. But Senator Lieberman stayed in the race. He ran as an Independent and ultimately defeated the Republican and Democrat nominees in the general election and held on to his senate seat.

Since then, Senator Lieberman has considered himself an Independent Democrat and aligned himself with Democrats by joining their conference. Because of his caucusing with them, he was given the chairmanship of the senate’s all important homeland security committee.

Over the course of the two past years, Senator Lieberman has voted in line with democrats on most all policy issues. The only exceptions were rooted in our involvement in Iraq and the war on terror.

Beyond policy, Senator Lieberman broke with Democrats and endorsed Senator John McCain for President.  He sees very deep differences with the defense policies of Democrats.  He also sees those differences to be so important and significant, that for the sake of national security, above political loyalty, he endorsed John McCain.  It was a courageous act.  Especially when you consider that electing Republicans to federal office from Liebermans’s home state of Connecticut is a very rare event and not looked upon positively by the elctorate that Lieberman represents.  However, Joe Lieberman put country first and his own politcal fortunes at home, on the line.

Now that the election is over Joe Lieberman, who was not running for anything this time around, might be one of the first victims in the aftermath of Obama’s victory.  As President-Elect, Obama is going to the White House.  His rival, John McCain, is off the hook.  But for supporting John McCain over Barack Obama,  Joe Lieberman finds himself to be a target.

Republicans, in need of any extra warm bodies that they can find on their side, are targeting Joe Lieberman so that they can get what they were denied in the election …a win.

Democrats are targeting Joe Lieberman so that they can achieve something too. Retribution. Retribution for one of their own supporting the opposition.

If Democrats were smart, they would not target Lieberman for retribution. Instead of threatening to strip his committee chairmanship away they should be embracing him. Liberal senate majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada would actually be better off for doing so.

By keeping Lieberman on, Democrats can send a message which states that their leadership does not put petty, partisan politics above service and the national interests. Democrats claim that they are the big tent and if that is the case, how big is that tent if it actually doesn’t have room for someone who agrees with them on everything except for the extent to which we must be on the offense in the war on terror? Are liberals that fearful of one of their own raising questions about their liberal defense policies?

Ronald Reagan once stated that “my 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy” and he was right. For Joe Lieberman to be penalized, for supporting John McCain, would be an act that reveals some fatal flaws in their thinking.

One would be that they are more concerned with the 20 percent of difference that they have with Lieberman than they are with the 80 percent of agreement that they share. Such a view does not help reach compromise nor does it unite people.

The other flaw that would be demonstrated by stripping Lieberman of his post, would be Democrats misguided priorities. It would indicate that they are less concerned with an honest assessment of the issues that allows for all opinions to be properly aired and debated. Essentially they would be showing that, to them, party comes before country. Denying Joe Lieberman his chairmanship would help prove that Democrats are playing games with our security and the war on terror.

On the other hand, if Harry Reid was smart, he would understand that the homeland security committee is quite important and as such it would behoove him to instill some faith in the decisions that come out of that committee by having an independent face leading it.

Reid needs to keep someone like Lieberman on as it’s chairman. The issue of homeland security needs to be tackled by sincere efforts and devoid of partisan politics. As an Independent, Senator Lieberman is just right for that job. On top of that, he is still a member of the Democrat caucus. As such, Harry Reid’s best interests are being served by  having a friendly Joe Lieberman that is as cooperative as possible rather than a disgruntled Joe Lieberman who has an ax to grind.

So if Reid was at all smart, he would sit down with Lieberman and say “you’re gonna keep your committee chairmanship on homeland security, but you owe us”.

On the other side of the coin, leaders of the senate minority, in the Republican senate chambers, have also met with Lieberman and targeted him to make up for some of the multiple losses that they suffered at the ballot box.

That is a smart move on their part.

While being threatened by Democrats and in jeopardy of losing his power, Lieberman could easily become a Republican if they offered him the right incentives.

Democrat Senate majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada

Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada

If they made Lieberman the ranking Republican on the homeland security committee, he would become the leading oppositions to Democrats on the committee. That would make any opposition that Joe Lieberman has to Democrat initiatives regarding homeland security even stronger. Each time a report came out on any disagreements, it will begin with “former Democrat Joe Lieberman challenged Democrat’s proposals to…..”.

Having one of their own ,opposing Democrats, will not help to gain support for Democrat positions .

On top of adding more persuasiveness to Republican arguments regarding homeland security, Lieberman’s presence in the senate as a Republican, would help to demonstrate the fact that Republicans are actually the party with the big tent that respects different opinions.

As for Joe Lieberman personally, he is actually in a good position. If Democrats do the right thing, they will allow him to keep his chairmanship. If they do, Lieberman will not experience any less power or influence than he has now.

If liberals show their spitefulness and dump Lieberman, than he will be one of two independents and the only one not caucusing with either of the two parties. That would significantly reduce his staff budget and legislative influence. If that were to happen,   by caucusing with Republicans, Lieberman could make his voice the loudest one in the room on some key issues and maintain a budget provide by the the GOp and all that comes with being it’s ranking member on the homeland security committee.

Such a move would also embarrass Harry Reid and his fellow democrat senators. At a time when democrats have taken total control of Washington, DC, losing one of their own to the other side, at the onset of the party’s rise to power, will not bode well when it comes to the longevity of their majority status




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