The Government Shutdown Ended. What Now?

Bob Neuman

From PunditWire.com:

 

The shutdown has ended…and now for the showdown.

 

Recent polls show the great majority of Americans are unrepresented in the Congress. And it is time for them to exercise their muscle.

 

The problem is that the hard right and the hard left have an advantage because of unfettered campaign funding in controlling the purchase of advocacy advertising and lavish funding given to candidates of their likemindedness, left and right, far extreme from the center.

 

The Supreme Court’s interference with the normal political process, furthering the power and outcomes of elections national and local by well-moneyed special interests has diminished traditional political campaigns. No longer is it important to rally likeminded grass roots supporters. It is much more important to use expensive computer-generated contacts and voter identification. The Obama campaigns of 2008 and 2012 were masterfully planned and executed. The McCain and Romney efforts were pathetic in comparison.

 

But it cost the Obama campaign hundreds of millions of dollars to win. And it took hundreds of millions of dollars for Mitt Romney to be outsmarted, outpolled and outvoted.

 

Clearly big contributions and special interests influenced the outcomes. Case in point, the Republican presidential primary season of 2013. Newt Gingrich was on life-support from his benefactor in Las Vegas, Sheldon Adelson. Rick Santorum was able to stay in the  campaign only through large individual contributions.

 

What is ahead?

 

The abysmal deadlock in the House and Senate has come to a merciful close; it has had an incredibly deleterious impact on the public perception of our legislative bodies. Record polling lows should wake up the strategists and power brokers of the Republican party establishment… but they are apparently totally powerless in the face of the Cruz-led fanatics who are holding the GOP — and the country’s pride and reputation — hopelessly hamstrung in the eyes of the people of this country, and worse, the world.

 

Is there any way out of this? Can we see any way out of the impasse?

 

 

A great visionary, Doug Bailey, recently departed this world after a life built on trying to overcome partisan gridlock and finding a mechanism for political consensus based on justice and fairness.

 

Doug would be, as are we, appalled with the bitter, petty, mean and insensitive nature of today’s politics.

 

Is it time for the underrepresented middle to show their muscle, to rally behind a consensus building leader?

 

Who is he or she?

 

It could well be Hillary Clinton…or Jeb Bush…or Susan Collins.

 

A frustrated America awaits.

 

Author Bio:

Bob Neuman served as a speech writer and administrative assistant to Rep. Morris Udall. He is a former DNC communications director.

 

Photos: Cherie Cullen (Wikipedia Commons); New America Media.

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