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On Partisanship and the death of democracy

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
May 19, 2006


O.K let me get this straight, Eric Roach the "ethical reform candidate" will not actively seek the 50th district congressional seat in 2006, blaming pressures from the nations republican leaders. Citing "You're either with us or you're against us" phone calls from Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, of Illinois and Republican Party Chairman Ken Millman, Eric Roach has abandoned ethical reform for corruption as usual.

Of course I'm not surprised. The Republican Party has become the party of subterfuge and hollow rhetoric, why would Eric Roach be any different?

To quote Roach's campaign website, "We need to restore trust and confidence in our system of government. Real conservatives attack the politics of greed. That's why I say no to the arrogance of government. That's why I say no to PAC money, no to junkets, no to gifts — and no to politics as usual. We need leadership in Washington that stands up for Reform, Integrity and Conservatism!"

Yeah, right.

Stepping aside to give Brian Bilbray, a former congressman and Washington lobbyist, a better chance to replace Randy Duke Cunningham, Roach could not bring himself to endorse Bilbray for anything other than a fellow republican. It seems Roach, along with the corporatist status quo, wants you to vote for Bilbray simply because he is a Republican.

It seems to this amused observer that Mr. Roach's concept of integrity is as superficial as his attempt to restore trust and confidence in our system of government. Proving himself to be nothing more than a millionaire playing at politics, while democracy dies the death of a 1000 cuts. In conceding to national partisan strategists, Roach not only demonstrated his lack of commitment to being a catalyst for change, but Bilbray's role as congressional place holder and political puppet as well.

Sadly, the folks in Washington spending millions to insure the 50th district stays in Republican hands could care less about the day to day lives of us living in the 50th district and the quality of life we take for granted. Does anyone really think Brian Bilbray will be a voice for ethical reform when all his old pals from K Street, past donors, and the Shrub come asking for favors?

Better yet, does Roach?

Since Cheney is campaigning for Bilbray, any sensible person can expect Brian to repay the favor by rubber-stamping whatever Darth Cheney and the Dubya dream up. A vote for Bilbray would be a vote for war in Iraq, the continued occupation of Iraq, and domestic spying. A vote for Bilbray is a vote for George W. Bush.

In a perfect world, democracy is not a winner takes all duopoly where corporations pit candidates, survivor style, against each other for campaign contributions and other forms of graft.

In a perfect world, democratic institutions would reflect the better natures of our culture and communities, where policy is created, collectively, for the betterment of all. Currently American democracy is as noble and high-minded as the playground partisanship of a game of dodge ball.

With the fall and festering of Randy Duke Cunningham, voters of California's 50th congressional district have been shown evidence of how federal representation involves very little representation on the issues that matter most to 99 percent of the population. Like the Dukester, Brian Bilbray has proven himself to be a political mercenary, a career politician, a corporatist, a situational environmentalist, and a Bush party loyalist.

Claiming his mom's address as his own, Bilbray has also proven himself to be a carpetbagger and rank opportunist. There are also the Jack Abermoff and Dusty Foggo connections that have yet to be fully explained. I wonder if this is why Cunningham is being so uncooperative with federal authorities? Randy Duke Cunningham wants you to vote for Brian Bilbray, his silence bodes well for those who have sold their soul to the GOP.

Many believe that this election is about change and ethical reform in Washington D.C. If that were the case, the race to replace the felonious Randall Cunningham, would have been a contest of ideas for governance in the 21st century, not a circling of ideological wagons, and partisan posturing.

Brian Bilbray is a lap dog to power. If people are happy with the way things are, then they should vote for Bilbray, he is as far from political change as a candidate gets. A Republican monopoly in Washington serves only the corporatists in charge.

Want corruption as usual? Vote Bilbray.

Want change? Don't.

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