Republicans and Democrats: Not enough difference

For as long as any current voter has been alive, United States politics has been dominated by a two-party system, Democrat and Republican. Very occasionally this cycle is broken by someone like Joe Lieberman the former Democrat re-elected as an Independent. At the state level there is precious little more variety, with the odd Reform/Independence Party candidate like Jesse Ventura being elected governor of Minnesota in 1999. In 2003 the Libertarian Party could boast 600 members serving in offices nationwide, though most of these were city and county positions.

It remains at the national level a place of 2-party dominance with machines so finely greased, well tuned and deeply financed that meaningful challenges are difficult to mount. If Ross Perot’s billions have only the effect breaking into double digits without a majority, how much more difficult for a senator or representative to make it with less resources to battle the entrenched larger parties?

Image: pollsb.com

Image: pollsb.com

When then President George W. Bush pushed for the passage of the $700B bailout package, the congress passed it over the loud and angry objections of the people who had sent them to Washington. More recently the Democratic dominated house and senate passed, over the loud and angry objections of most Americans, the Health Care Reform bill that President Obama subsequently signed. With Republicans in control at the passage of “Bail-Out” backlash saw Democrats sweep into power. With Democrats in control now, the G.O.P is hoping for a major reversal in November riding on the wave of voter disgust.

It really does not seem that either party understands how deep the displeasure running through the length and breadth of the country. If not past time, it is at least time for the two party dominant system in U. S. national politics to be broken with a move to a valid multi-party system.

The Washington Post had an insightful article recently regarding the lack of oversight at the expenditures of both national parties. It portrays parties that are rotten at the core and helps shed light on why neither party seems incapable of governing with anything resembling character or integrity. A couple of excerpts:

Both the national Democratic and Republican party committees spend about two-thirds of the money they take in on the care and comfort of committee staffs and on efforts to raise more funds, with lavish spending on limousines, expensive hotels, meals and tips, an analysis of the latest financial disclosure data shows.

Also:

The nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, in an analysis done at the request of The Post, calculated, however, that administrative and fundraising expenses consumed about $60 million of Democratic revenue in this cycle through the end of February, or 59 percent of total revenue that exceeded $100 million. For Republicans, the amount exceeded $74 million, or 68 percent of $109 million in revenue.

Again:

Ken Berger, who runs Charity Navigator, a New Jersey group that monitors nonprofits across the country, said that “the most critical measure is effectiveness.” He said his advice for prospective donors to any nonprofit group that spends as much as 60 to 70 percent of revenue on overhead, including fundraising, would be to “run away.”

Finally:

Including rooms at the Four Seasons Resort, which promotes itself as offering “pampered adventures,” the [Republican] event appears to have soaked up more than $170,000 from party coffers, the data show.

The Democratic Party racked up a similar bill — $176,000 — to cover 14 months of catering at events at the Washington Hilton.

Last month, the RNC spent $260,476 on a single meeting in Hawaii and $14,937 on Dallas Cowboys football tickets, according to its report Tuesday. It also paid hefty cancellation fees to Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons hotels.

The entire article is at MSNBC.com.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

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