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Circus Shenanigans in Tampa

by Stephen Lendman Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012 at 9:01 PM


Circus Shenanigans in Tampa

by Stephen Lendman

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey calls theirs "the greatest show on earth." Politics in America combines sham with show me the money.

Republicans got first dibs. Their version of politics US-style hits Tampa from August 27 - 30. Mother nature had first say. Isaac's fury claimed day one. Perhaps its message was nyet on three days of hype, bombast, fraud, and promises made to be broken.

The following week, Democrats have their turn. Charlotte, NC hosts three days from September 4 - 6. Growing numbers of Americans reject both parties. A pox on politics serving elite interests only. They're in lockstep on all issues mattering most. Duopoly power controls them.

Perhaps one day these charades will be held and no one notices. Why bother when bipartisan complicity spurns public concerns. Just scrap 'em, say some.

Bush's 2000 and 2004 chief media advisor, Mark McKinnon, said "Four days of speeches? No thanks….Watching the convention is like turning in to a movie where you already know the plot and ending."

Building consensus perhaps heads them for irrelevance. It'll happen when most people no longer care. Ritualistic babble insults more than edifies. Yammering politicians only address themselves and deep-pocketed funders. For many, preaching to the choir no longer cuts it.

US broadcasters used to televise conventions wall-to-wall. CBS and ABC scheduled one hour only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Each party gets equal time.

NBC replicates them for Republicans. For Democrats, it's one hour Tuesday, football on Wednesday, and two hours Thursday.

All three networks plan reruns in prime time. Big money's at stake. Convention mumbo jumbo draws blanks. Low ratings mean less revenue.

NBC news anchor Brian Williams admitted that audiences "have had it up to here" and won't watch.

Cable channels plan more. At issue is who cares. Ringling Bros. entertains. Political versions insult.

US politics are dysfunctional, corrupt, and offensive. At 10%, congressional approval hit an all-time low. It's surprising anyone except the top 1% extends support.

Washington spurns ordinary people. Social benefits are being destroyed. Bipartisan complicity plans it. Public resources go for militarism, war making, and corporate handouts. Tax breaks supplement them. America's super-rich get plenty. Others are left high and dry on their own.

A yearend fiscal cliff(hanger) approaches. Around .2 trillion in sequestered budget cuts are scheduled. Trillions more are planned in out years. Social America is being destroyed. At issue is how much will be front or back loaded given dire economic conditions heading south.

Mum's the word from Tampa and Charlotte. Grandiosity has center stage. Pomp and circumstance substitute for responsible governance. America most often had pathetically little and none now.

Both parties believe America's future depends on greater wealth disparity, ignoring public need, waging war on humanity, silencing truth, and cracking down hard on non-believers.

Perhaps Isaac's fury signaled disapproval. Wait till Nemesis shows up. She's Greek mythology's goddess of vengeance. She also punishes hubris and arrogance.

She's here unseen. She's unforgiving. She's patiently stalking and preparing to make her presence known. She'll announce it saying "only the doomed" see her. Perhaps she has bankers, war profiteers, and corrupt politicians in mind.

She has lots on her plate to address. Fixing longstanding government of, by, and for America's privileged won't happen easily.

Conventioneers are oblivious. They're cocooned out of harm's way. They're bought and paid for to scam others. Political conventions lack legitimacy. Media scoundrels pretend otherwise. Like elections, they're theater. They're hype and pre-arranged duplicity. They mask double-dealing flim flam.

The entire political process is fraudulent. Party bosses, special interests, and media scoundrels play lead roles. Everything is pre-scripted. Secrecy and back room deals substitute for a free, fair and open process.

Candidates are pre-selected. So are winners in key races. Big money decides. Privatized elections control things. Corporate owned, programmed, and operated electronic machines vote. People have no say.

Issues are unaddressed. Horse race journalism and trivia substitute. People are left uninformed in the dark. Media scoundrels manipulate news and information. A truth emergency leaves everything mattering most unexplained. Public trust erodes for good reason.

Partisan politics serve business and privileged elites. Ordinary people are shut out. Independents are ignored. America's democracy is the best money can buy. Duopoly power runs it. Democrats are interchangeable with Republicans. Differences between them are minor. Not a dime's worth exists to matter.

Both sides support imperial wars. They endorse the divine right of capital to exploit workers, gain new markets, control the world's resources, and rule it unchallenged. Beneficial social change, independent voices, and electoral democracy lose out under a rigged system against them.

The entire process was constitutionally flawed by design. Over time, things got worse. Today, it mocks political legitimacy. It's so bad, maybe one day an election will be held and no one shows up.

Why bother without real choices. Candidates sound like cardboard cutouts. Rhetoric features focus group tested pre-packaged slogans, sound bites, double-talk, and promises made to be broken.

Each side highlights its virtues. Opponents are denigrated and marginalized. Debates are worse. Charades avoid issues. Independents aren't invited. Exclusionary rules bar them.

US-style democracy failed. It's too corrupted to fix. Presidents and Congress serve monied, not popular interests. Pretense gets harder to hide.

Direct democracy is an idea whose time has come. It lets ordinary people decide freely on their own. Maybe Nemesis will intervene constructively.

It's high time we had final say. Political chicanery denies it. The only solution is revolution for change. It's possible by reaching out and grabbing it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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