The Ouroboros revisited

posted at 9:45 am on September 25, 2010 by Doctor Zero

If you see yourself as a moderate, independent centrist, there is an image I would ask you to ponder: a great serpent consuming its own tail.  It is called the Ouroboros, a symbol of eternity.  I’ve written about it before.  You can once again see its outline in recent events.

The Wall Street Journal reports that General Motors is once again handing out campaign donations:

The beneficiaries include Midwestern lawmakers, mostly Democrats, who have traditionally supported the industry’s legislative agenda on Capitol Hill, including Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) and Rep. John Dingell (D., Mich.).

The list also includes Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, the House Republican Whip, who would likely assume a top leadership post if Republicans win control of the House in November.

It isn’t unusual for big companies like GM to spend on political campaigns, but complicating GM’s situation is that the company is majority-owned by the U.S. government. GM is planning to return to the public stock markets later this year, allowing the U.S. to begin to sell off its roughly 61% stake in the company.

Meanwhile, Melissa Clouthier at Liberty Pundits spots the debonair Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, shoveling piles of taxpayer loot at a major Democrat Party contributor:

It appears that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to reward Arcata Associates, a big Democratic donor, a huge no-bid contract on the heels of two separate $10,000 (maximum) donation to the Nevada Democrat party.

Senator Harry Reid, along with his House cohort Nancy Pelosi, promised to drain the swamp when they took full control of Congress. Their behavior since taking office would indicate the exact opposite has happened.

In fiscal year 2010, Arcata won a 1.36 million dollar contract for the Continuous Threat Alert Sensing System (CTASS) according to OpenSecrets.org after spending $50,000 to lobby the Senate. What the site fails to mention are the multitude of Arcata donations to Harry Reid and the Nevada Democrat Party. In addition, Arcata stands to gain another two million dollars in 2011, also a no-bid earmark directed by Senator Reid. The requests for these earmarks can be found here and here.

In North Carolina, we see further evidence of what Ed Morrissey calls “the earmark / endorsement complex.”

Bob Etheridge is now running a TV ad where several of his supporters praise him – but what the ad doesn’t explain is at least two of the Etheridge supporters received ‘Stimulus Fund’ checks, thanks to Etheridge.

Mr. Linwood Parker is an example. Mr. Parker is a partner in a development near Four Oaks and back in August Etheridge handed him a $340,000 check – stimulus funds. Now, in return Mr. Parker has endorsed Bob Etheridge in his TV ad, saying, “Congressman Etheridge did not allow politics to stand in the way of job creation.”

Of course, the fact is, Etheridge’s grant to Parker (and Parker’s endorsement) was nothing but politics.

Plenty more examples of can easily be found.  It’s not an exclusively partisan scandal.  The party in power tends to attract the big payoffs, from contributors eager to turn thousands of campaign dollars into millions in taxpayer loot.  It’s an investment that pays huge dividends, no matter how rotten the economy might be.  As the party dedicated to government growth and central control, the Democrats are more aggressive salesmen, and they can count on general media disinterest, so they can be more brazen.

The sharpest fangs of the Ouroboros are public employee unions, especially the teachers’ union.  Titanic amounts of taxpayer money are poured into the hands of the NEA, and despite generally poor performance, they are politically shielded from reform.  One of the biggest controversies from President Obama’s first year in office was the brutal murder of a popular District of Columbia school choice program, carried out by the Democrats on the order of the teachers’ union.  The NEA buys this kind of influence by donating tens of millions to Democrats each year – over $56 million during the 2008 election season.

These very expensive money-laundering systems have been running for decades, consuming taxpayer billions to stuff millions into the coffers of politicians, who then grab more billions to throw into the machine.  As long as vast sums of money are accumulated in Washington, the politically connected will gather to feast.  Politicians need funding to stay in office, and despite their posturing as selfless public servants, they tend to be greedy and envious… with a strong sense of entitlement to the lavish lifestyle paraded before them by big-money contributors.  They will always lose the battle against temptation to sell their power.  They wrap their sins in self-righteous rhetoric, which they can sometimes convince themselves to believe.  No central accumulation of power has ever escaped corruption on a massive scale, anywhere in human history.

Consider the terrible image of this huge serpent feeding upon itself, and ask yourself: what is the use of a “moderate” agenda that merely causes the beast to chew a little more slowly?  What is the “centrist” position relative to a system designed for automatic, perpetual growth?  Even if the President repaired to the golf course for the rest of his term, and Congress held no further sessions, the growth of the federal government would continue automatically. You can hear the sounds of the serpent’s teeth scraping against its own tail in talk of baseline budgeting, and the term “cuts” used as a curse against reductions in the rate of spending increase.

How will you maintain your “independence” when control over every aspect of your life is fantastically valuable, and politicians have plenty of eager buyers with deep pockets lined up?

It’s not enough to tinker at the edges of this system.  Vast amounts of power must be torn from Washington, and returned to the people.  We must begin the fearsome task of pulling the serpent’s tail from its jaws, or we will all be crushed by its death throes.

“Moderate” voters would be well advised to study the Tea Party critique of our unsustainable government carefully.  As dramatic as it sounds, it’s the truly moderate position.  The Ourboros has shown it cannot be reasoned with, and there are no firm boundaries it respects.  The “living Constitution” is but the tip of its flickering tongue.  Leave it alone for a few more years, and it will teach you the true meaning of “extremism.”

Cross-posted at www.doczero.org.

Doctor Zero: Year One now available from Amazon.com!

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Don’t know what to say! Can this be changed or is it too late?

jeanie on September 25, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Plenty more examples of can easily be found.

huh?

ladyingray on September 25, 2010 at 9:57 AM

It’s not an exclusively partisan scandal. The party in power tends to attract the big payoffs, from contributors eager to turn thousands of campaign dollars into millions in taxpayer loot.

Our appeal to the moderates ought to be, “Since there’s corruption in DC no matter who’s in charge, let’s make DC less powerful.”

itsnotaboutme on September 25, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Not exactly a recommendation to buy the IPO stock is it? That and of course drunk and high Chrysler workers.

slickwillie2001 on September 25, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Republican Party
Democrat Party
Tea Party

It’s never too late as long as we have a free election system in place… The two party system is broken; we all know that. When both parties are corrupted to the point where outside influences own both parties, then the people must take action to clean up the mess. Thus, the Tea Party evolves.

Historical times are here. Be a part of it!

Keemo on September 25, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Very good post. I love the use of mythology in your metaphor. I fear we may have let the serpent chew away for too long. There’s no way to remove the parts it has already ingested without getting bit in the process.

Pattosensei on September 25, 2010 at 10:03 AM

hey Doc Zero, thank you for another informative post. I named my webpage ModerateintheMiddle b/c I am a recovering lifetime Democrat whose party has moved away from me. I am a DLC Dem, fiscally conservative, but I am not conservative on all the social issues.

I think the ‘moderate middle’ in America now IS the right. Not the hard right, like Eric at RedState trashing the Pledge. I liked the Pledge alot. I thought it was smart not to give social issue and specific cuts to the Dems for ammo against the pledge, but the very right social conservatives are a little too right for me, they remind me of the far left that took over the Dem base.

That is why I consider myself ‘moderate’, I am fiscally conservative and socially moderate (almost libertarian on social issues as I get older really)

so what do we call ourselves? I am still listed as a Dem I am waiting to see how everything shakes out with the GOP and I am hop[ing the neoprog hardleft radical libs will be marginalized again within the Dem party after the AXX STOMPIN we the people give them in a couple months, DLC roolz and neoprogs drool

I HATE to agree with Dick Morris (I am a Clinton fan) but he is right what was the middle 3 years ago is now the right, it has shifted much farther right IMO. But I do not agree with this ‘purging’ thing Erickson wants to do. I dont want to be scaring away Indies and all our moderate votes.

So there ya go, lots of self described moderates are IMO to the right of the spectrum, but dont want anymore wars over social issues, the country is coming apart and we need to focus on fiscal conservatism IMO to get a governing majority

ginaswo on September 25, 2010 at 10:07 AM

And also the Tea Party is what brought me to the realization that I am a fiscal conservative. As a Tea Party Patriot I was able to meet and talk with many GOPers I might otherwise not have met, and was able to see my fiscal views are the same as theirs. That is part of the importance IMO of the Tea Party it helped us realize who we were outside of the MSM framing.

ginaswo on September 25, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Lying Liars and the Lies that they lie about.


THROW ALL OF THEM OUT OF OFFICE NOVEMBER 2nd.

Let’s start all over. A new crop couldn’t be any worse (Side note to Warren Buffet (and his advice to stop whining about Taxes)…..pound SAND you Progressive Globalist scum).

PappyD61 on September 25, 2010 at 10:21 AM

I think the hard part for me, as a social moderate, is having to see the social issue agenda again. In the best of worlds, we’d see fiscal discipline, small but effective government programs, and an end of nationalization of social issues.

AnninCA on September 25, 2010 at 10:23 AM

earmarks the source of all corruption

tarpon on September 25, 2010 at 10:28 AM

They will always lose the battle against temptation to sell their power. They wrap their sins in self-righteous rhetoric, which they can sometimes convince themselves to believe. No central accumulation of power has ever escaped corruption on a massive scale, anywhere in human history.

Term limits. Learn it, love it, live it. Given the truth of the corrupting influence of power, there is no down side to enacting these limits.

Extrafishy on September 25, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Until we are ready to discuss the main enablers of Government expansion, all this is — well, somewhat more substantial than rearranging the deck chairs; perhaps redecorating all the ballrooms.

Civil police are the enforcement arm of statism. You can’t prohibit things without an enforcement arm to beat up on violators. They also require, and therefore enable an elaboration of, a top-down view of Sovereignty that violates the original concepts of the Founders.

The function of a jury is to declare the accused innocent of wrongdoing whether or not statutes have been violated. Combined with the use of precedent as a guide to the law, they serve as a check on enforcement of arbitrary and/or unjust laws. Yes, you get an occasional OJ Simpson out of the system; every system has inefficiencies. A panel not aware of that responsibility is not a “jury” within the meaning of the Constitution.

Those two factors enable delegation, the ability of the Congress to avoid its responsibility by assigning non-elected officials to write “enabling regulations”. It is perfectly possible for you to lose everything you have without even a trial, because what you have violated is not called a “law”, simply a “regulation”.

No repair is possible without addressing those three factors.

Regards,
Ric

warlocketx on September 25, 2010 at 10:38 AM

ginaswo on September 25, 2010 at 10:10 AM

You are a good example of why the Tea Party must remain focused on fiscal conservatism. Driving social issues to the forefront will only splinter what is a fragile coalition.

Without reductions in central government power, all the arguing in the world about social issues won’t matter as this grand experiment in self government collapses.

GnuBreed on September 25, 2010 at 10:43 AM

ginaswo on September 25, 2010 at 10:10 AM

I enjoyed reading your post and getting your perspective. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

DrStock on September 25, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Thanks Doc. This is even worse in the state of California. I’m not a political scientist, but Cal. could be case study of union control.

Cal. is a pretty balanced red/blue state, with most of the blue in the cities and the red everywhere else (generally speaking). But California is solid blue politically because of decades of union control, along with districts that have been changed to benefit Dems, and the CA GOP being ineffective. You can’t fault the CA GOP too much though, the unions funnel an incredible amount of “mula” to the Dems.

If Meg Whitman is elected, then great. But she needs a legislature that can watch her back. I think the people of Ca. can be persuaded, but she’ll need to be strong and persistent (a la Chris Christie) to do it.

cranbone on September 25, 2010 at 10:45 AM

The corruption by Obama and his thugs is breaking every law on the books. You would have to have an Attorny General who had a clue what the word law actually means if there was any chance the laws would be enforced. If the demorats heep the House and the Senate, the rape of our nation will continue unabated.

volsense on September 25, 2010 at 10:50 AM

I went to the Nashville Tea Party Convention and the one thing that stuck with me, almost more than anything else from all the speeches, was an anecdotal story told by Judson Philips.

I am paraphrasing but he recounted how a few years ago he had met a young man running for the House of Representatives. Judson liked what this man said and what he stood for, cleaning up corruption, conservative values blah, blah, blah, and Judson backed and campaigned for this bright young man.

His candidate won. Judson called him two weeks after he left for Washington and the new Representative told him something like, you just don’t understand, I’m a “rock star” here.

His warning to us, his question, how long does it take DC to corrupt our bright young politicians?…

It can take as little as two weeks.

We are awakened but now we must also be vigilant.

Oh yeah, I was a moderate, swing voter and have seen the light. Layers upon layers of bureaucracy, needless, confining and restrictive laws and trillions of wasted tax dollars.

Fallon on September 25, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Attorney General Holder has no intention of enforcing the law unless it is for political reasons. That is why Obama appointed him. Its who they are.

volsense on September 25, 2010 at 10:52 AM

I think we should follow Britains lead and automatically send all our paychecks to Washington and let them deduct what they think is fair.

percysunshine on September 25, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Tell it, Doctor!

disa on September 25, 2010 at 11:34 AM

I think the hard part for me, as a social moderate, is having to see the social issue agenda again. In the best of worlds, we’d see fiscal discipline, small but effective government programs, and an end of nationalization of social issues.

AnninCA on September 25, 2010 at 10:23 AM

How does that actually come together? Those three things are incompatible in modern times with the expansion the Federal Government has taken since Woodrow Wilson forward.

ginaswo on September 25, 2010 at 10:07 AM
and
AnninCA

When you say nationalization of the social issues,or just social issues, what issues do you mean? Medicare, medicaid, social security, welfare, unemployment benefits? If it is these how do you not nationalize them as they are paid for by taxpayers? I am definitely a believer in getting the midterms over and done with on fiscal responsibility and even 2012. You cannot dodge those issues when trying to be fiscally responsible, can you?

What are the other social issues, if not these, you are talking about and can also dodge fiscal issues Not a fighting post here, I am curious.

bluemarlin on September 25, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Keemo, if Mr. Coates’ testimony yesterday proved anything, it is that we do not have a free and honest election system in place. This is why I am recommending that everyone here sign up as a poll watcher, and take concealed video and audio equipment with you to every stage you can. If possible, it should stream to a server elsewhere. The fraud must be documented.

SDN on September 25, 2010 at 11:45 AM

bluemarlin, I suspect they are referring to abortion, government funded obscene / blasphemous art, “hate crime” laws enforced against such things as the backers of prop 8, etc.

What fiscal conservatives need to point out is that cutting out the power and spending of government will eliminate a lot of those things naturally. Don’t like abortion? We may not back making it illegal, but we’re fine with the government not paying for it. No NEA. No Education Department to override your local school boards.

SDN on September 25, 2010 at 11:49 AM

I’m as anti-Reid as anyone, but since when to Senators award contracts?

I’ve had some experience with defense contracting, and that’s not how the process works.

commodore on September 25, 2010 at 11:50 AM

My sense is that many “hot topic” social issues are immediately “nationalized.”

Muslim center in NY, gay marriage bill in CA, O’Donnell’s 20-year-old idea of fundamentalist Christianity (*haha), abortions, etc.

I wish government would get out of giving any monies to organizations that are remotely involved with such issues. That way, nobody has a darn excuse for discussing it anymore.

You don’t want to donate? Don’t. But the thread that always seems to give everyone an excuse to pile on is tax dollars and court cases.

AnninCA on September 25, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Meaning, I did note the marriage stuff in the GOP pledge. I think that just lost a bunch of independents who feel quite strongly that politicians are the LAST people who should be providing leadership about marriage.

AnninCA on September 25, 2010 at 12:09 PM

By small but effective programs, I mean a real shake-up, top to bottom. Look at programs in states that are working well. Pick the best ones. Those because the blueprint for the Federal government auxillary programs.

CA fights fires better than anyone. Look at how they did it.

Emulate. Discard the old departments and structures. They are totally outdated and ineffectual.

Which industry is really doing a great job on consumer safety right now? Emulate. Eliminate the FDA entirely. Start over. Agriculture, ditto. Education, ditto.

Don’t just sling slogans around. I’ve been hearing about eliminating the Dept. of Ed for my entire life. Let’s actually eliminate the parts we see are ridiculous and debate what does look to be working or not working. Dismantle it smartly.

AnninCA on September 25, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Finally, don’t think fiscal responsibility is outsourcing. The private industries tried that in the 90′s, and it’s been a corporate fiasco in 99% of the cases.

Why repeat a losing model?

AnninCA on September 25, 2010 at 12:14 PM

The Ourboros has shown it cannot be reasoned with, and there are no firm boundaries it respects. The “living Constitution” is but the tip of its flickering tongue. Leave it alone for a few more years, and it will teach you the true meaning of “extremism.”

Bravo Dr Zero. You have nailed it

I caught De Mint speaking with Levin this week. I came in late into the conversation, and the words of the man I assumed was one more caller to the radio program were dead serious. When I realized the identity of the speaker, I felt a cold wind of emotion. DeMint is being pounded from all sides. It is all about earmarks. He needs all the support he can get, because he is fighting to separate power mongers from their power source

Our nation has reached critical mass. We are in a battle for national survival

These folk long ago sold out, although they all have rationalizations for their deep need to the money. Only a few are able to admit to themselves they are crooks

Anyone who comes between these leeches and the money sluice will face the wrath of the Serpent

The General Motors saga should be a scandal but the one who would have to investigate are too busy reaping the harvest

GM has the bucks to pay off politicians and not bondholders?

I am not sure of the final bankruptcy settlement numbers. Last time I read 5 cents on the dollar for bond holders, 75 cents on the dollar for UAW pension funders, and 87 cents on the dollar for the Treasury.

The sharpest fangs of the Ouroboros are public employee unions, especially the teachers’ union. Titanic amounts of taxpayer money are poured into the hands of the NEA, and despite generally poor performance, they are politically shielded from reform

Why did stimulus go to keep paying teachers their full salaries and benefits, instead of the unemployment the serfs get when their boss goes broke?

The pols hit a gold mine and play the Save the Children song everytime anyone tries to put a tourniquet on the hemorrahge. Teachers unions have one goal: to continue the plunder

We need no proof the love of money is the root of all evil. This love supercedes love of your fellow man.

The Ouroboros is a perfect description of what we face. The Ouroboros does not care or notice it is killing itself.

Thanks Dr Z. for a great write

entagor on September 25, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Just another wingnut fatuously infatuated with the Constitution, eh?

/s

AZfederalist on September 25, 2010 at 12:22 PM

That photo of Obama and Trumka reminds me of the old joke,
“You know something isnt right when you are having a prostate exam and the doctor puts both hands on your shoulders.”

mrt721 on September 25, 2010 at 12:28 PM

The Ouroboros doesn’t notice it’s eating itself because it is being cheered on by millions.

Mojave Mark on September 25, 2010 at 12:29 PM

I think the hard part for me, as a social moderate, is having to see the social issue agenda again. In the best of worlds, we’d see fiscal discipline, small but effective government programs, and an end of nationalization of social issues.

AnninCA on September 25, 2010 at 10:23 AM

As a Conservative, I say the Federal Government has no right to nationalize social issues. Social Issues should be left to the people. Local control is what our founding documents intended. Let us go in that direction, away from Big Government in all it’s forms. Liberty and diversity would thrive! Our founders expected Americans to vote with their feet also. We do now, The Citizens of San Francisco are 180 degrees apart from the Citizens of Omaha NEB. Let the Citizens of San Francisco have any policies they desire (10th amendment) let them also bare the whole burden financially and socially. It is wrong of the Federal Government to take from all Americans to share the burden of social policies of some. If the Federal Government had followed it’s Constitutional Duties only and followed the 10th amendment we would not be in this crises. This can not be changed in a day, but we can peacefully force the Federal Government in that direction by voting. Not just this year, but for the rest of our lifetime. Every election,especially Local elections. Our Liberties depend on it.

IowaWoman on September 25, 2010 at 12:39 PM

I live by moral & ethical standards many think archaic. People pay a price for immorality, no matter what the laws are. Federal government should not be involved in most of this – if our society is immoral, laws won’t change it. If the obvious consequences, such as despising yourself, don’t influence people in their individual lives, laws won’t either.

To me the question is whether our society is REALLY willing to return to self-reliance and responsibility. The bottom line is entitlements. Before the govt. got involved, the poor, elderly, etc. were cared for by families, and churches of all faiths. Both have been so disrupted that I wonder if they could fill the breach.

Yes, some fell through the cracks. They still do. The social and moral consequences of entitlements are awful, in my mind, but I doubt we can let go of them. As long as we insist the government teat be there, there will be multitudes to suck it. If we can’t find a way to wean ourselves, we’re stuck.

jodetoad on September 25, 2010 at 2:18 PM

bluemarlin, I suspect they are referring to abortion, government funded obscene / blasphemous art, “hate crime” laws enforced against such things as the backers of prop 8, etc.

What fiscal conservatives need to point out is that cutting out the power and spending of government will eliminate a lot of those things naturally. Don’t like abortion? We may not back making it illegal, but we’re fine with the government not paying for it. No NEA. No Education Department to override your local school boards.

SDN on September 25, 2010 at 11:49 AM

I agree with you and was waiting for that point. You cannot stay away from nationalizing abortion since the courts stepped in and made it national law due to the liberal pressure. It should have been left with the States. Gay rights/marriage, should be in states hands, again has been made national by the courts and liberals. Not funding abortions Federally is already law and the only reason it comes up is because the liberal agenda keeps trying to circumvent that law. Hate crimes laws, who proposes them? Who basically pushes these issues on to the American electorate? It is not Conservatives that bring these issues to the fore it is the liberal side and Conservatives have to react. So basically I am trying to understand, from AnninCA and ginaswao why Conservatives get blamed for having to defend their own principles from people who say they are fiscally conservative and socially not. They should be able to see the difference or is it the same old , shut up and agree with us on this. I say that for most of these social issues maybe not all.

bluemarlin on September 25, 2010 at 2:57 PM

IowaWoman on September 25, 2010 at 12:39 PM

I agree with you, the government does not need to be in these programs or issues at all. AnninCA gets close to this but then says emulate a state program that works good and move it Federal and then I shiver. That is the problem and you are correct, different state and regions are notthe same all over.

bluemarlin on September 25, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Knowing that every dime I pay in taxes keeps this corrupt machine running has completely killed my desire to earn money.

I started working at 14. I love to work.

But being a slave to these crooks and their blood-sucking dependents is not something that I’m willing to do any longer.

For the love of everything that America once represented, please, please vote in November.

Then the hard work starts.

I hope it is not too late.

painesright on September 25, 2010 at 3:10 PM

It’s an investment that pays huge dividends, no matter how rotten the economy might be.

It is usually an extremely good bribe investment. Some have estimated that the payoff is 10 to 100+ times the the bribe investment.

Luka on September 25, 2010 at 5:14 PM