Executive Intelligence Review
This article appears in the May 21, 2010 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

The Mass Strike Is Taking Scalps

by Harley Schlanger

[PDF version of this article]

May 16—The decisive defeat of two prominent Congressional incumbents last week, which sent shock waves through the nation's "political class" and media babblers, would not have been a surprise, were they not in denial about the deep and still-developing anger in the American population. This anger, over the accelerating disintegration of the nation's economy, and the erosion of hope for a better future, is now being turned into votes, as a new political dynamic has emerged, one which threatens any incumbent who supports the continuing bailout of bankrupt financial institutions; also targetted are those who did not aggressively fight against Obama's Nazi health-care policy. American voters are quite riled up, and are now looking for scalps.

The scalps taken last week were of three-term incumbent Sen. Robert Bennett, a conservative Republican from Utah, who is part of the Senate GOP leadership; and a 14-term Democratic U.S. Representative from West Virginia, Alan Mollohan.

In normal times, neither of these two politicians would have had trouble being reelected. Both have deep roots in their states, with fathers who held their seats before them. Both had more than adequate money for re-election campaigns, and the support of their party's leaders

But these are not ordinary times, and the standard political rules no longer apply. Both incumbents were crushed, with Bennett winning less than 26% of the vote at the Utah Republican nominating convention, and Mollohan winning only 44% in a two-way Democratic primary. When Bennett attempted to address the convention, he was greeted with derisive chants of "TARP, TARP, TARP" from the delegates, a reaction to his continuing support of the $24 trillion-plus bailout; while Mollohan's defeat stemmed from his vote for the Obama health-care plan, and his backing for the anti-scientific cap-and-trade legislation. It should be noted that Bennett was also running in a political environment heavily influenced by LaRouchePAC's highly visible, long-term intervention in Utah.

What these results demonstrate is that the present situation can only be understood in the terms used by Lyndon LaRouche to describe the phenomenon overturning politics as usual: The U.S. is presently characterized by a "mass-strike" phenomenon, in which a significant section of the population has been propelled into political action by the depth of the existential crisis it faces. Voters are no longer motivated by "normal" concerns, such as "going along to get along," or loyalty to party, or gratitude for the ability of an elected official to "deliver" constituent services, but by something which the political establishment describes as an "irrational" force, and has tried to dismiss.

After the results of last week, those incumbents who remain in denial about this mass-strike force, will do so at the risk of the survival of their careers.

The Transformation of the Mass Strike

This growing anger against elected officials of both parties, has been building since the days of the disastrous Bush-Cheney regime, as the wars undertaken by that regime, and the open celebration of speculators and swindlers of the City of London and Wall Street as the "new wealth producers," turned whole sections of the U.S. population, which has suffered from the results of these policies, against them. With the collapse of the housing bubble—which Bush, Cheney, and Greenspan had promoted as proof of the virtue of their "free market" policies—and the subsequent recognition that the hundreds of trillions of dollars of financial derivative obligations, including mortgage-backed securities, were, in reality, toxic assets, with little or no value, the anger grew.

It exploded for the first time in September 2008, with the announcement that the Bush Administration, with support from both parties in Congress, was creating a fund of more than $750 billion, the so-called TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) fund, to bail out those financial institutions which had profited from the speculative bubble, which had grown at the expense of what was left of the nation's physical economy. Congress was bombarded with record numbers of calls from angry constituents, and initially voted down the TARP funds.

But the swindlers prevailed, and TARP passed on its second vote. But instead of "merely" $750 billion, the bailout was augmented by as much as $24 trillion in additional bailout funds, through the Federal Reserve and Treasury, mostly out of sight of regulators, and the American people. Despite the defeat of the Republicans in the 2008 election, the newly elected Obama Administration continued the bailout and, in fact, expanded it.

Adding to the anger was the effort, ultimately successful, by the Obama Administration, in 2009, to force through Congress, a so-called health-care "reform" package, modelled on Adolf Hitler's 1939 genocidal "useless eaters" policy, in which spending for actual health-care services is cut, while a flow of funds, including from the government, is channeled into the coffers of the HMOs, the drug companies, and private insurance companies. Congressional town hall meetings held during the Summer of 2009 to discuss the health-care legislation, turned into boisterous, often unruly affairs—not because sinister "right-wing radicals" were manipulating ignorant and frightened Americans, but because a growing number of normally apolitical citizens had been jolted into action by the blatant threat which the Nazi Obamacare plan represented, and rallied to demand that their Constitutional rights be protected.

The Obama Administration's dismissal of the protests as the reaction of a small group, funded by the insurance companies, reflected not just the aloofness of the President, but his cynical hypocrisy as well, as the insurance companies were on his side! But his "aloofness" not only confirmed LaRouche's characterization of Obama, at an April 11, 2009 webcast, as a narcissistic Nero figure, but led to a groundswell of support for LaRouche's, and LaRouchePAC's, call for his impeachment.

The response of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to this upsurge of the mass strike against the policies they were ramming through the Congress, was to denounce participants as a lunatic fringe, and cancel all further town meetings. Such willful blindness has earned Reid and Pelosi support levels in national polls in the dismal 8-15% range.

Yet, the media tried to give them cover, reporting that the anger in the population has subsided, while neglecting to report that the town meetings, which had been the most visible visible sign of the evolving mass strike, had been canceled by Members of Congress, terrified of facing their constituents.

Political Rout Underway

But, precisely as LaRouche forecast, the anger had not disappeared; instead, the mass strike was showing up in different forms, sometimes in protests, or, on the Internet, and, eventually, at the ballot box. In November 2009, the incumbent Democratic Governor of New Jersey, John Corzine, was defeated. The embrace of Corzine by Obama was a decisive factor in his defeat, though the Administration, and a compliant media, rejected any connection, arguing, instead, that it was "local issues" which led to his defeat. That same day, the Democrats lost the governor's race in Virginia, a state which had voted Democrat in the Presidential election in '08 for the first time in years.

The next big shock occurred on Jan. 19, 2010, in the special election in Massachusetts, to fill the Senate seat of the late Edward Kennedy. A Democratic seat for decades, the election was won by a Republican State Senator, Scott Brown, despite a furious effort by President Obama on behalf of the Democrat, Martha Coakley, and an infusion of money from corporate interests behind Coakley.

As in New Jersey and Virginia, voters defied expectations, to send a message—no more bailout, no to Nazi "health care." Again, the deniers were out in force, blaming the candidate, trying to wish away the factor of the mass strike on U.S. electoral politics.

On March 2, 2010, an even clearer message was sent, this time by Democratic voters in Texas. In the 22nd Congressional District, LaRouche Democrat Kesha Rogers, who campaigned for the impeachment of President Obama, won the Democratic primary, with 53% of the vote, defeating a party-backed candidate, who blathered on at campaign events about how he was the candidate "not for the impeachment of Obama." He received only 26% of the votes cast.

A New Reality

The phenomenon identified by LaRouche as the mass strike continues to dramatically reshape politics in the United States. In addition to the election "upsets" recounted above, there are many more indications that insiders are aware of this process, but afraid to speak of it publicly. Consider the case of leading Democratic Congressmen who have chosen to retire, rather than face the humiliation of defeat. To name a few: Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), an architect of the bailout, who was told his reelection was impossible; Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.); Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.); Michigan's Rep. Bart Stupak, a so-called moderate Democrat, whose deal with Obama to bring some "Blue Dogs" into support on the health-care legislation led to his decision to retire; and Democrat Rep. David Obey, who has represented his district in Wisconsin since the 1960s.

Republicans also face the same reality. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has dropped out of the race for the Senate in that state as a Republican, and is running instead as an Independent, as he is running far behind in the polls in his party. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell's hand-picked candidate for Senator from Kentucky is running well behind the insurgent campaign of Rand Paul, son of Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul. And there is even talk that Utah's other Senator, Orin Hatch, may be in trouble in 2012.

This new political dynamic must not be limited to a "throw the bums out," anti-incumbent mobilization—though there is good reason to support such a cause. As LaRouche has emphasized, since he first identified the emergence of this dynamic, the mass strike must be "educated," so that this historic moment may serve as an opportunity to return the nation to Constitutional principles of the American System of physical economy.

Taking the lead in doing this are the three Congressional campaigns of the LaRouche Youth Movement: Rachel Brown in Boston (challenging Barney "Bailout" Frank), Kesha Rogers in Houston, and Summer Shields in San Francisco (running against Speaker Pelosi). These three campaigns are deployed to make sure that the present energy in the population to remove the scoundrels incorporates, simultaneously, the fight to rebuild the world economy, beginning with Senate passage, this week, of the Cantwell-McCain amendment for a return to Glass Steagall banking regulation.

Subscribe to EIW