For the better part of post 2008 election period, we have been deluged with an almost non-stop rant about the failures of “progressive” ideas in America. Some have been so bold, or naive if you will, to suggest that the rise of the Tea Party Movement and the 2010 election have spelled the beginning of the end for “Progressives” and all that they stand for. According to this premise Americans now want to do away with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance, Disability and Workers Compensation, the 40 hour Week, Workplace and Product Safety, Weekends and Holidays Off From Work, Environmental Safety, Financial Reform, ad infinitum. The “people” now want to return to a world where you work 12 hours a day, six days a week for straight time wages, no overtime, no retirement plans and no employer provided healthcare. Moreover, you will be happy to do so and even happier to forgo all of the workplace health and safety standards that you have enjoyed for the past half century or more. The “people” will now look forward to consumer products that are less safe, water and air that is more likely to harm one’s health and rivers and seashores that are far less inviting on a hot summer afternoon due to the higher levels of pollution. Oh and least I forget, the “people” will spend half of their day off so they can go to church and thank God for the end of “progressive” ideas in America and a return to the unrestrained “free market system” that brought you economic inequality and the Great Depression.
Of course, to some extent, I am being sarcastic in the above. But don’t fool yourselves, there are those among us who have completely misread this historic election and are well along the way to furthering their self delusion in the process. What you have just witnessed is the biggest hustle job in American political history. The Tea Partiers are already being shunted off to the side as Boehner and his minions divvy up the committee chairmanships among seasoned and veteran politicos. And let’s not forget all of the outside cash that flowed into the G.O.P. during the 2010 midterms, those donors will be up on Capitol Hill shortly looking for their payback. And this just out: “Michele Bachmann’s Leadership Bid Gets Cool Reaction” -“Self-proclaimed tea party leader Michele Bachmann’s bid for a top Republican post in the House received a cool reaction Thursday from Speaker-to-be John Boehner, an early test of how GOP leaders will treat the antiestablishment movement’s winners in Tuesday’s elections.”(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/04/michele-bachmanns-leaders_n_779290.html)
Thus, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Welcome to two more years of political gridlock, and it’s brought to you by the folks who want to “take their country back.”
Steven J. Gulitti