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.

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