Thursday, July 3, 2008

THREE BIG LIES

The Republicans—or maybe I mean the right-wing faction of the Republican Party that has controlled it for so many years and now seems to be extending its control into McCain’s campaign—believe, as I’ve said before, in the power of “the big lie” technique of propaganda, if not originated certainly perfected by the Nazis and Soviet Communists.

They know from experience that if you make a lie outrageous enough—that is, so obviously untrue it seems counterintuitive—and repeat it often enough, most people will begin to accept it as truth. Especially most people in the media, and especially those media outlets controlled by corporations whose interests are often served by these lies.

So here are three more or less recently promulgated lies that have been getting the right-wing repetitive onslaught treatment that makes it clear this is no accident, and which need to be countered by Democrats much more clearly, simply, and repetitively than they are doing so far.

1. IT’S THE DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS FAULT

After totally controlling the executive branch for the past seven years, and congress for six of those seven, and still holding enough seats in the Senate to block any legislature they want to, Republicans and their right-wing media spokespeople and outlets are now repeating the charge that our country’s problems are the result of a “Democratic Congress” which has “failed to do anything” to redress these problems.

This is obviously false. First of all, during the years when the Republicans (controlled by their right-wing) totally controlled our government, no energy plan was passed that addressed our dependence on foreign oil, nor the causes for the rise in gas prices and therefore food and close to everything else, which was a direct result of the policies put into effect by Junior’s administration and rubber stamped by a Congress controlled by his party, including the ill-advised invasion of Iraq.

The mistakes and crimes committed by Republicans during Junior’s tenure are too numerous to even list (it would take days just to type the list up), but the top ones including the invasion of Iraq and the policies set in motion there after the invasion, as well as the response to Katrina and the unrest and corruption in Nigeria (where ten percent of our oil comes from, and the “sweetest” ten per cent, in oil quality terms) and climate change and incompetence among political appointees of this regime, etc. are exactly what the Democrats have been attempting to redress.

The Democrats in the Congress have introduced numerous bills to counteract many of these mistakes and deliberate crimes, but have managed to get only a few through, including the recent Democratic Senator Webb sponsored G. I. Bill for Iraqi veterans (passed despite McCain’s and Junior’s objections and the latter’s threat to veto it, because it got enough other Republican support from politicians afraid to be linked with keeping benefits from Iraqi veterans) and extending unemployment benefits during this supposed “downturn” that to many has been a recession for a while and for many others is already a depression. They’ve also passed legislation addressing the housing mortgage crisis, the flood damage crisis, etc.

The political possibilities, given the narrowest of margins by which the Democrats are a majority in the Senate, makes it impossible to pass any laws that the Republicans set out to block, and therefore, any legislation passed has to be truly bi-partisan, so these accomplishments and more are a sign of a major difference between the formerly Republican controlled Congress and executive branch that caused many of the problems and the Democratic majority one that is attempting to solve those problems.

2. BARACK OBAMA IS JUST ANOTHER POLITICIAN

Because he opted out of federal financing for his campaign in favor of private financing from millions of small contributors and hundreds, maybe thousands of big contributors, and has seemed to veer toward the center now that the primary season is over, Republicans are painting Obama as “just another typical politician” and McCain as anything but.

The fallacy in this one is equally obvious, but people are easily fooled. The main issue that brought Obama to the general public’s attention is the war in Iraq. Just go back and read the speech he made before the invasion to see how prescient he was. (I should have a link here but I’m not that techno adept to find it quickly or even figure out how to find it exactly.)

He predicted what would happen. And it did. That’s the kind of judgment he’s running on, and still is. He has been totally honest about the problems of getting out of Iraq easily, but at least he is focusing on ways to do it rather than defending ways to stay in, as McCain is.

And as one of the three or four most important issues facing this country, the fact that Obama has remained consistent on this one while McCain has been all over the map in the years since the invasion, demonstrates Obama’s NOT being your typical politician, no matter how the right parses every phrase Obama utters as an indication of shifts in policy and the media responds with its usual Pavlovian response.

In terms of any other major policy shifts, Obama hasn’t made any. He has always said he would pick what he thought were the best ideas for resolving problems, no matter whether they came from Republicans or Democrats or Independents or elsewhere. And whether you agree with his recent speech about keeping an altered form of Junior’s initiative to use faith-based organizations to address local problems, there isn’t anything in Obama’s proposal that counteracts anything he’s said before either about his faith or about local organizing.

That may offend some of Obama’s fans, who have a knee jerk reaction to anything involving religious organizations because of the biases of many of those organizations toward homosexuality or other religions etc., but what Obama has made clear, unlike any other politician, is that there are no short term solutions to the economic and health system problems either created by or made much worse since the 2000 complete Republican takeover of the government, and if local faith-based groups can be useful in bringing people some quicker relief, they should be used.

As for the rest of the petty hectoring of Obama’s policy stances, whether stated or implied or made up entirely by the right, the main thing is what I mentioned above, that he continues to be refreshingly honest about the possibilities of actual solutions being achieved rapidly or not, and with or without bi-partisan participation and/or compromise where necessary.

Do I agree with everything he’s saying? Not necessarily, but I haven’t heard anything yet that contradicts the new reality he brought into the public arena with that speech he made at the last Democratic presidential nominating convention in 2004, the reality of ending the blue-red divide, the control of government by extremists (in this case right-wing ones beholden to oil interests etc.) who fuel that divide, and the disputes of the 1960s that no longer apply.

That’s what he said he stood for, and he still does, and I think has been proving it in every speech he makes and every position he takes on the issues.

3. OBAMA IS AN ELITIST

I’m sure you’ve all heard or read by now about Carl Rove’s depiction of Obama as the kind of guy who leans on the wall at the country club dance with a hot date on his arm making fun of the rest of us! I know I know, how could anyone fall for that amazingly impossible scenario (the country club in the town I live in now wouldn’t even allow Catholics into it when my older siblings were kids, let alone Jews and Blacks and Asians etc.)?

Some have tried to parse Rove’s statement as secretly racist, implying that Obama would be the guy in that club who is married but is out on a “date” with someone not his wife, etc. A little too complicated and subtle for most I think, not exactly as blatant as that right-wing ad that hurt the Tennessee “black” candidate (Ford) with a white blonde looking into the camera and telling the happily married Ford to call her.

I think the real implication from pudgy, bald, Porky Pig looking Rove, is that because Obama is slim and handsome and has enormous charisma for people of all races and genders, he must think he’s superior and look down on the rest of us.

It was always part of the right’s undisguised envy as well as anger toward the Kennedys, from JFK to Ted. These are not only handsome, physically fit (until recent years for Ted) and highly attractive people, they’re also obviously really smart and articulate and successful, which undermines many of the basic tenets of the right (whose history includes the idea that the Irish were drunken dumb Papist cultists etc. and blacks were lazy shiftless un-ambitious sensualists—just look up the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Renquist’s early statements, and other Republican politicians over the past few decades).

But most objectionable to the upper echelons of the right, is that Obama has proven one of their basic tenets, that “anyone can succeed in America” through hard work and good character, but that success has not made him forget his roots, any of them, nor have to fake them (ala Junior’s cowboy jive) and obviously that’s a tenet they only subscribe to if the success means money and the person achieving it credits their own initiative or the opportunities in the corporate America “free” enterprise system rather than in community organizing, scholarship, diversity and Democratic Party ideals.

I just hope that the media’s lack of scrutiny of McCain’s regular guy style, as well as of his record, personal and political, doesn’t lead to voters buying McCain’s regular (old) guy image and the “Obama elite” charge as they did the Junior’s just a Texas good ole boy and Kerry the spoiled brat charge (when of course Junior was the spoiled brat and Kerry was the overachieving come from less success story).

Because, let’s face it, Obama has much more in common with almost all of us, than McCain has with almost any of us. Even those who made a branch of the service the focus of their early life and getting elected to and staying in the Senate the focus of the rest of their lives so far, never had the advantage of entering that service as the son of one of the most prominent of its elite, and then leaving the wife who had seen him through his early struggles when she was in need to marry a younger heiress whose worth is estimated at 100 million.

John McCain has no experience of what it is like or ever has been like for the rest of us, (as we will hopefully never have to endure what he experienced as a P.O.W.), but Obama does. That’s the message his camp needs to make clear and get out repeatedly. A lot clearer than I’m afraid I just did.

9 comments:

Butch in Waukegan said...

"Petty hectoring."?

Obama advocates increasing the military budget. Obama advocates increasing the money for "faith" programs.

"In terms of any other major policy shifts, Obama hasn’t made any."?

Obama from February:
The American people must be able to trust that their president values principle over politics, and justice over unchecked power. I've been proud to stand with Senator Dodd in his fight against retroactive immunity for the telecommunications industry. Secrecy and special interests must not trump accountability. We must show our citizens -- and set an example to the world -- that laws cannot be ignored when it is inconvenient. Because in America –- no one is above the law.

Obama from June 27:
But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise . . . [to allow warrantless wiretapping and grant immunity to the telecoms.]

You and I were yutes during the campaign of 1964. I believed then that Johnson was the peace candidate because he said he wouldn't send "American boys to fight for Asian boys." We now know that when he spoke these words during the campaign his government was already planning to escalate.

What kind of plans are Brzezinski, Albright and the rest of Obama's foreign policy gang discussing now?

[Obama quotes cited are from Glenn Greenwald's Salon.om blog. Also of interest there is a discussion of the Democrats' failed "move to the center" campaign strategy. http://dir.salon.com/topics/glenn_greenwald/index.html]

Lally said...

I appreciate your perswpective Butch, but have to disagree, just once (I don't want to get into one of those endless "threads" as they call them.
I stand by what i wrote. To believe that any human being, let alone anyone in the public eye with the opportunity to have some influence on making laws, would not be able to be quoted modifying or even compromising on stated goals, is to be the kind of ideologue that has caused mucc of the toruble this country is in. One of the reasons I admire Obama is because he isn't doing that. As with Iraq. He took the most intelligent, perceptive, and most courageous stance on the invasion of Iraq before we got into that mess, but then altered it once we the damage was done, because it now demands to be addressed not with "I told you sos" or impossible promises, but with the goal of getting out as quickly and as humanely as possible. I trust he will do that and McCain will have a great deal more trouble doing it, if he would even try.
The same with the telecommunications bill. It was going to pass, with or without Obama's support. To help shape it into something less controlling than the executive branch and tha right it represents was going for, and to include in it things the right was against but are better for all of us, seems to me, and I assume to Obama, a better choice than to stand against it which would not have stopped it but would have been easy to exploit as Obama also standing against what's useful to the nation's security about aspects of it etc.
To compare Obama, becuase of that, to LBJ is just silly. Do you really think Obama is going to escalate the war in Iraq to the point of Viet Nam. Your fond of citing the record, well, compare the two wars and try and make that charge. No matter what your politics, giving in to that analogy is surrendering the argument to the right. The better comparison is JFK, not just in style but in substance. JFK had to deal with the real and factual threat of a brand of "Communism" that no matter how justified their paranoia about the USA, was still expanding its reach and through that looked more and more like the possible system of the future as they claimed. To ignore the realities created by the hot and cold conflicts generated by that expansion (I was a very active member of the left for long enough to know how real the expansion of not just influence but control was, being dismayed by the also very real competition and use of duplicity between the Soviet brand and the Maoist one) would have been disastrous, just as foolishly charging in where our presence would only aggravate it (i.e. Nam, or now Iraq visa vis Al Queda et. al.).
Carl Ogelsby wrote, at the time, a compelling analysis of the difference between the "Yankee capitalism" of JFK and the "cowboy capitalism" of LBJ with the conclusion they both should be abandoned, but in the process also demonstarted, with the facts and citations, how on the ground the JFK approach was a lot better for the general populace of the places where capitalism was battling it out with communism.
(Socialism was something closer to the center than, and very successful where it was applied as in the Scandinavian countries etc.).
I believe Obama is our best chance to pull back from the "cowboy capitalism" of our latest right-wing regime and get some balance back into not only practical politics but ideologies and their influence. And that if the right succeeds in getting McCain elected, then we'll have a successful comparison to Johnson, not in terms of promises but in terms of outcome.

Butch in Waukegan said...

I don't want an endless thread either but between planting Lilac bushes I will make a couple of points.

My reference to Johnson did not suggest that because Johnson lied that therefore Obama is misleading us too. My point was - how do we know? By acknowledging there is deliberate "move to the center" to gain votes you are, in a sense, accepting there is deception involved on some level.

Wasn't this Kerry's big problem? He was for the war before he was against it, and then he was going to send in more troops, and in the end voters weren't sure what he stood for. (At the time all my friends and I thought there was no way Kerry could lose.)

And this is my second point. The Democrats base must demand that, on key issues, Obama maintains and promotes the ideas that got him the nomination. Paul Woodward at War In Context , who has more faith in Obama than I, outlines the dilemma clearly:

I don’t subscribe to the theory that the seemingly idealistic Obama was merely a contrivance and now the “real Obama” — a cynical political opportunist — is revealing himself. But in the name of realism and so-called political necessity, it’s easy to forget your core values.

Compromise is an incremental process whose individual steps are never too egregious when viewed in isolation. But the steps aggregate and by the time the sum of the aggregation can be clearly seen, it’s too late to reverse.

There’s nothing wrong with showing that you’re a pragmatist and that you don’t fit into an ideological box, but if it comes at the expense of defining your political bedrock, then eventually no one will know whether that foundation exists.

Tony Blair and Bill Clinton liked to flatter themselves with the cute claim that they were seasoned practitioners of “principled compromise.” In the end though it became clear that they honed their skill in compromise not in conjunction with but rather at the expense of their principles.


[War In Context: http://warincontext.org/2008/06/27/news-views-roundup-editors-comments-june-27/]

Anonymous said...

Dear M:

I too have to take issue with you. I'll support Obama, of course, but with increasingly less enthusiasm as he follows the familiar & regrettable path of "moving to the center" by abandoning some crucial primary positions. I feel very strongly that separation of church and state is a foundational American principle that Bush and the toxic forces of the Xtian right have steadily eroded. For Obama to seek an expansion of Bush's "faith-based initiatives" is, I think, a very sad development for our country.

Likewise, his about-face on FISA is just more of the lamentable Democratic practice of caving in to the right wing, even when the stakes are so high---namely, our right not to be spied on by the federal government, along with the need to hold serious law-breakers (those in the Bush administration who openly conspired to break the FISA laws over the last seven years and the telecommunications companies who collaborated with them)accountable for their crimes. The Democrats almost never fight for anything. They should take a page out of the republican playbook & start filibustering some of these bills (as Feingold & Dodd are saying they will, t.g.).

I think the statement that has most troubled me about Obama was his condemnation of Wes Clark, after the general criticized McCain's claim to experience as a commander (while calling McCain a "hero" and saying how much he admired Mc's personal heroism, etc.). The right immediately started claiming that Gen. Clark was "swiftboating" McCain and dishonoring his heroic service, etc., completely and deliberately distorting what Clark said. And what Clark said is true and should be part of the Democratic argument against McCain. Clark himself was a hero in Vietnam (which he never talks about, unlike McCain), having been shot four times in an ambush, after which he still led his men to safety. Obama should be embracing Clark and pushing the media to clarify what Clark actually said, instead of throwing Clark to the wolves. For me, that is Obama's most disgraceful betrayal thus far in the campaign.

---TPW

Lally said...

Maybe I should write another post clarifying my position here, but in the meantime here's my response to the comments above:
First of all, I disagree that Bill Clinton honed his skills at compromising at the expense of his principles. Of course there are things I didn't like about what Clinton did while president, but experience has taught me to prefer compromise to complete surrender or defeat when it comes to real politics.
Clinton learned from his loss of the governorship in Arkansas when he was still very young, that all the best intentions in the world are meaningless if you're on the outside looking in, or on the sidelines with no practical power.
Yes, those of us not in elected positions can still effect change by organizing, writing, speaking, leading demonstrations, starting grass roots movements, who we contribute time and money to, etc. etc. but that doesn't approach the power of those who are in a psoition to actually lay down policy and make laws and bring about change more quickly and lastingly.
Clinton was undoubtedly way way way way way way (am I making myself clear?) better than Reagan, Bush Senior, and certainly Junior were and have been for working people, or the populace of this country in general, except for the wealthiest and those who hitch their wagon to them.
His presidency was also better for the entire world. His accomplishments were many, and what he prevented a Republican adminsitration to do is evident with what happened after he was succeeded by one. Did he compromise? Yep. Did he not achieve everything he seemed to and actually at times did stand for before elected? Nope. Has anyone ever? No. Because that's not reality. Making policy changes and getting them enacted, or laws, or any other vehicle of governance, is difficult at best and involves a lot of compromising, or, most of the time, it doesn't get done.
The Republicans don't mind governance not getting done in most arenas, because that keeps the government out of their business, which is maintaining power and the power and freedom of corporate America to make profits whether or not at the expense of the rest of us, or the rest of the world for that matter.
And to suggest that Democrats should take a page from the Republicans to get things done is to posit a world we don't live in. Yes, Democrats should be as tough and persistent in their message, keeping it simple (as I and many others constantly suggest) and direct etc., but not by refusing to compromise. That got the Republicans what they wanted—which is a divided government that's less likely to pass anything that would impact oil companies and the wealthy etc. negatively, and a divided elctorate, that wastes so much time defending its positions and insisiting on purity among its representatives, that either nothing gets done or only that which a majroity can bulldoze through. But what has that wrought? Not just all the problems and troubles caused by recent Republican politicians and this adminsitration, but it has also destroyed, at least for the moment, Republicans! As it did Democrats when they did something similar under Johnson.
Okay, on some issues it's worth it to take that stand and never give in and go down with the ship, or party. But not, in my opinion, on the issues raised by the comments above.
Unless I read a different transcript of the FISA bill and its predecessors under this administration and what came before, what Obama has compromised on here is a bill less intrusive than what the Bush adminstration has been doing and they claim the Patriot Act and Homeland Security bills allow, and thus is taking that intrusion down a notch in the right direction, from my perspective. And if a Democrat is elected president with a greater Democratic majority in the Senate, it will be able to be modified more, back to its original intent and enforcement, or even more restricted.
Should Obama just have voted against it and said no way he would ever accept any compromise when it comes to privacy issues, not even in a time of war, thus denoucning even Lincoln and FDR's actions, as well as Truman's, Wilsons's etc. (a lot of which I personally can denounce, but would I have preferred having a Republican instead of FDR so that right now I wouldn't have Social Security to rely on and there would have been no welfare system and unemployment etc. etc. etc. etc. and perhaps we wouldn't have ever entered the war against Hitler and the Nazis would still be running Europe, etc. etc. obviously not) and make the campaign this Fall all about how Obama with no military record and no wartime executive experience has denounced our government's right to defend its citizens using any means necessary short of overturning the constitution entirely, etc. etc. etc.)
Again, I'm not saying I agree with that, but I'm not running for president. When I did run for public office back in 1968 I did pretty well standing on my ideals and defending them, but I also lost, to the right winger who defended God and country etc. I don't regret that, personally, but I regret it politically, because who knows where that might have led and how many things would be different if people like me had been elected to local and state and federal office more widely in the late '60s.
Maybe Obama's making a mistake, and I agree enitrely that he should have defended general Clark more rigorously and in the context of Calrk's comment, but it is obvious he wanted to get that behind him as soon as possible and not make the election about McCain's heroism but about McCain's policies, a disservice not only to Clark but to Obama's image of integrity, I agree.
But I don't see Obama as a Hollywood movie hero, I see him as a flawed human being, like the rest of us, and I believe he will bring changes that are needed more than anyone else out there, and certainly more than McCain or any other Republican. He fucked up on the Clark statement—not by repeating his admiration for McCain's heroism, how can anybody dismiss the ordeal McCain went through, but—by not pushing to make clear the context of Clark's statement and the irresponsibility of the media in taking it out of context and distorting what Clark meant, as well as defending Clark's own heroic record.
But let's also be honest about this, Clark didn't win the nomination for president or any other office he's put himself forward for, because he isn't a good politician. It's like digging poetry that sucks but has a sentimental message you agree with. You can dig it, but don't expect it to win any real poetry prizes.
I want Obama to win. I believe that is going to be much more difficult than a lot of people seem to be assuming, including too many of his supporters, even among his campaign forces. I think he realizes it though, and is trying to avoid the distractions the right keeps throwing at him and the media keeps picking up on. You could see he was frustrated in trying to clarify what he said the other day about Iraq, because the right jumped on it, twisted it into a new shape and handed it to the media to gnaw on like the dogs they can sometimes be.
But as a public performer for most of my life, always with the intention of being as honest and true to who I am am and my beleifs as I can be, I know that not only have I been caught in seeming contradictions, but have also too often responded with outrage and anger instead of calm consideration and explanation. Obama seems to be doing the latter pretty well, maybe too well at times (like Dukakis with the "raped your wife" question, there are times when more passion than intellectual honesty is the compelling and attractive response).
I also can see Obama, when taking spontaneous questions from the press, ruminating on how to avoid seeming condescending or hectoring or angry or any other thing the right and the media in turn will jump all over.
Given the state of our media (either partisan or pretend-objective-unwittingly partisan) Obama has a much tougher row to hoe than McCain. And he knows it. As I'm sure he knows he makes mistakes, and hopefully will recognize he did on the Clark thing and learn from it.
As for the religious based organizations thing, like I said, there are a lot of people out here hurting really badly, people on food stamps, out of work and no longer getting unemployment, etc. who need immediate help. I don't think they care whether it comes from a religious group, the goverment or wherever. There is no way an Obama administration, even with a congress that has a stronger majority, can get help to them as quickly as organizations that already exist and are working with the poor ongoing. I am totally for the separation of church and state, and don't like the idea of government giving money to relgious organizations. I don't even think they should have the tax breaks they do. But.
I truly believe, as a former rights and poor people activist and organizer, Obama knows from experience how slowly the government moves, no matter who's running it, and how well some religious groups do with the work I believe the government should be doing.
I like the way he seems able to work with the realities on the ground and still generate hope for the changes that can bring about better realities in the future.
He seems to me to have some of Bill Clinton's ability to play hardball with the big boys, which so few Democrats seem capable of, along with Carter's character and concern for not just the rest of us, but the world in general.
Carter too messed up, mostly by not responding to the right wing he thought he had defeated and moved to the sidelines. A mistake, as evidenced in the "rogue CIA agents" who contributed to his downfall and the rise of Reagan.
Obama seems to think he can undermine the right by disarming them with his lack of ideological purity. Maybe he's making a mistake and will lose the election because of it. But I suspect he believes, as I do, that sticking to your ideological guns is more of a losing strategy (Kerry didn't lose because he didn't stick to his ideological beliefs, but because he didn't respond quickly and forecfully enough to the "swifboat" and "elitist" and anti-family values claims etc. as well as his badly articulated explanation of his appearing to have drastically altered his stance on the war).
It ain't easy being any Democrat running for president in our times (I know pundits claim it should be since Junior is held in such low esteem as well as the Republican Party, but that doesn't change the media bias that insistently blares any right wing claim as newsworthy and ignores most left wing claims against the right etc.), but a relatively young, non-military or executive background, mostly liberal, African-American one? Give the guy a break.

-K- said...

Wow, I can't pretend that I read all of the above but I did enjoy this:

His [Clinton's]accomplishments were many, and what he prevented a Republican administration to do is evident with what happened after he was succeeded by one.

All I wanted to add was that I've read and heard more than once what might become another Big Lie, that of Obama's campaign somehow as being Bush's Third Term. It's preposterous yet as much as I can tell, it was the theme to a recent Wall Street Journal editorial.

Hikermedic said...

Obama certainly does have a long road ahead. I keep getting emails from relatives that attempt to destroy his credibility or worse scare people away from voting for him as if his islamic connection makes him some sort of terrorit.I would be very amused by them except that I'm afraid a good part of the country will fall for such insanity. When I mentioned this to a relative she asked "did you ever really think the black man would get elected president?"
Well he won the nomination and I can only hope that he goes all the way to the oval office. God help us if there's 4 more years of the G.O.P. I'm constantly amazed by anyone who hasn't been outraged by the last seven+years. I only hope he picks the correct V.P. so we can win back the country!

Tore Claesson said...

hear, hear. t.

Another Lally said...

Separation of Church and State should not be confused with Atheism.

It is in reality the renouncing of any religion's claim to supremacy in comunicating with or propeciating the Creator.

We are, afterall, endowed by our Creator certain rights according to the Declaration of Independence.

Religious groups can be just as corrupt and coniving as any private organization.

What the 'faith based initiative' relies on is the belief that a church, or temple, or mosque has a congregation that makes up a substantial portion of the locale.

In the 'ethnic neighborhood' days, each neighborhood had a 'Boss' who helped people find jobs and places to live. They were stabilizing forces amongst people with no idea of working through the system. Of course there was always a price for the service that could be considered a 'tax' or a 'tithe'.

The truth of the matter is that these 'Bosses' helped to make this country work. The sad truth is that many of these groups became corrupt and what we have come to know as 'organized crime'.

Unions are sufferring the same dilemnas. What was once a helpful almost loving organization has sold out to the Almighty Dollar.

Our elected officials at the most local levels are supposed to have assumed the role of the 'Boss'. They talk the talk and then walk their own often self absorbed walk.

We as voters have to scrutinize the candidates at every level in order to decide if they say what they mean and will at least try to deliver on what they promise.

It has become so obvious that lawyers elected to public office cannot be trusted that some look for honesty among the religious leaders once again.

I could never understand how anyone could want to vote for a lawyer who spends two years of college learning how to convincingly promote ideas that they do not believe in.