Dictatorship of the Beige Cyborgs

Filed in National by on February 9, 2013

Consider, for a second, the possibility that our sober, “bi-partisan” politicians and various media boosters of “centrist” politics aren’t interested in finding solutions to our problems. Imagine that the people seeking “the middle” are motivated to do just enough to keep getting re-elected and keep the money spigot open – regardless of the long and short term outcomes.

If you’ve entertained these dark thoughts, here is a longer think piece for your Saturday morning ruminations. The premise is that democracy is broken. There’s “a hidden failure mode, we’ve landed in it, and we probably won’t be able to vote ourselves out of it.”

About the Author ()

Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (5)

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  1. bamboozer says:

    Many words to state that the institutions of government are only as good as the men and women who hold office within them, and we’ve got a collection of morons, maniacs and idiots in office. Money is a big part of the problem and thanks to Citizens United it will get worse. As noted there’s a strong chance we can’t vote ourselves out of it, there have been four consecutive “throw the bums out” elections, and indeed scores of bums and bumettes have been defeated. The problem is the replacements are as bad or worse, Ted Cruz comes to mind. But it’s nothing new, read Will Rogers and Mark Twains comments if you need a long sad laugh.

  2. Dave says:

    I disagree that the premise is that “democracy is broken.”

    Our democracy is a representative form of government. It can work quite well, but as the author said the “channels through which concerned people of goodwill who want to make things better enter the political process and run for election are fundamentally flawed?”

    and “Our representative systems almost all run on a party system;”

    He lumps the parties into the representative form of government when that form of government predate the party system. We may have corrupted our democracy with parties but those “channels” through which candidates are vetted and anointed are have their biases on suitability. For Deomcrats, the more centrist you are the better they like you because of the candidates broad-based appeal. A little bit of something for everyone.

    The Republicans’ litmus tests, on the other hand, virtually eliminate the broad appeal of their candidates and the ones that are lucky to be elected track immediately to the middle.

    Think of it this way, you have a very big tent and to appeal to everyone in that tent, candidates tend to become homogenized.

    The important question would be, how would our democracy be different if we had mulitple parties that were on the same level as the Democratic and Republican parties? Would we have better candidates?

  3. jason330 says:

    You disagree, then go on to agree. Outcomes HAVE become divorced from the process. That is the essence of broken.

    Joe Biden’s Iraq war vote as a classic example. For every practical and ethical reason, Biden should have voted against Bush’s vanity war. The ONLY reason Biden voted for it was because there was a VERY slim chance that he could lose his Senate seat for voting that way.

    That very slim chance outweighed all other considerations. In other words, in the post 9-11 world, voting IN FAVOR of a fraudulently conceived and unethical war was the choice “least likely to rock the boat.”

    “…the status quo isn’t an explicit ideology, it’s the combined set of policies that were historically least likely to rock the boat (for such boat-rocking is evaluated in Bayesian terms — “did this policy get some poor bastard kicked in the nuts at the last election? If so, it’s off the table”).

  4. Dave says:

    Well ok, technically you are correct that I disagreed and then agreed. What I was trying to say is that the 2 party system is akin to a parasite that has attached itself to an otherwise healthy host (democracy) and that even the language has evolved where the party (whichever one) cares only about beating the other party. We win, they lose. This open warfare used to cease (or at least be bound by a cease fire) once the election is over and business needs to be accomplished. Now of course this open warfare between the parties knows no bounds and our representatives no longer even go through the motions and pretend they are not at war.

  5. cassandra_m says:

    Voting ourselves out of this is only possible when other credible people show up ready to get in the game. The folks who show up at the last minute with no name recognition, no money (or worse, no messaging strategy) to run a campaign with , and no organization or people who will help get the work done are the folks I’m talking about. Even so, the bar to get in is pretty high.

    You can see the broken in the disconnect for popular issues — the public option, Social Security, Medicare, background checks, limiting magazine sizes — items all with good popular support and yet we’ve a majority of lawmakers who are not even interested in this popular support. They can very obviously get away with not paying attention to constituents, which is the real puzzle to me.

    And this:
    Now of course this open warfare between the parties knows no bounds

    is the usual false equivalence. And a real obstacle to recognizing the problem and to fixing the problem.