Independent’s Eye by Joe Gandelman
You’ve heard of the winter of discontent? Welcome to the autumn of mutinies. In the United States and beyond rebellion is in the air and those who aren’t rebellious enough could be forced to walk the political plank.
The Republican Party is facing a mutiny and a counter mutiny. It’s 2011 Cain mutiny is led by Godfather Pizza’s likable former CEO, conservative Herman Cain, who zoomed to the top of Republican Presidential nomination polls and who has (for now) won the hearts if not yet completely the minds of Tea Party members. He is de facto leader of a spontaneous movement rejecting not just Republican establishment candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney but also the unlikable Texas. Gov. Rick Perry, who was declared darling of the Tea Party movement by many in the new and old media before he even jumped into the race.
So far the campaign-contribution- rich Perry is as much of a turnoff to Republicans as he is to independent voters. Perry recently morphed into a birther — rebelling against serious political thinkers while wooing the GOP’s Twilight Zone/Fantasy Island vote. If moisture oozes from White House walls, it’s Barack Obama drooling as he watches Perry trying to claw his way to the nomination…
So The GOP Establishment Strikes Back, trying to oust the new emerging Captain Cain: Republican political maven Karl Rove appeared on Fox News complete with whiteboard to list how Cain “created an image of him not being up for this task” for being President. Many believe Rove wants Romney and reflects Bush family views.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama’s declaration that the Iraq War will be definitively over by the end of the year sparked a Republican rebellion. Arizona Sen. John McCain blasted the total withdrawal as “a harmful and a setback for the United States in the world” that would be considered “a strategic victory for our enemies in the Middle East, especially the Iranian regime….”
McCain’s political best bud, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, then charged Obama with formulating Iraq and Afghanistan policy “out of Chicago,” suggesting policy decisions were hard-ball Chicago style politics. Obama does Chicago style politics? Since when is patty cake Chicago style?
Across the globe, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is rebelling the against billions of American dollars poured into the Afghanistan war and the 1,694 American military lives lost that helped prop up his drug-dealer-enabling regime.. He announced that if war broke out between the United States and it adversarial ally, Pakistan, Afghanistan would side with Pakistan. Your tax dollars at work — and our martyred soldiers disdained.
And then there’s Occupy Wall Street. The original Tea Party was a grass-roots, libertarian-dominated conservative people’s movement rebelling against big government as perpetuated by both major political parties until it was co-opted by the Republican Party. Occupy Wall Street is a leftist movement rebelling against inequities and the corporations that bought both political parties and Democrats hope to co-opt it. What next? An Occupy Tea Party movement?
With all of these mutinies, the big question is whether in November 2012 voters will mutiny against one party — or both. Or will Americans view the political scene akin to the Titanic and jump on lifeboats to escape the party they feel will sink America? Or will they conclude that both parties truly sink?
Copyright 2011 Joe Gandelman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Joe Gandelman is a veteran journalist who wrote for newspapers overseas and in the United States. He has appeared on cable news show political panels and is Editor-in-Chief of The Moderate Voice, an Internet hub for independents, centrists and moderates. CNN’s John Avlon named him as one of the top 25 Centrists Columnists and Commentators. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and can be booked to speak at your event at www.mavenproductions.com.