Next for the Occupy Movement: Target and Drive Corporate Shills Out of Congress

Just read this re-post from Op Ed News on the #Occupy Wall Street: New York City General Assembly website.  I couldn't agree more, that the teeth of this movement need to sink themselves into Congress.  The politicians that do the bidding of corporate interests can only operate if we 1. put them there; 2. allow them to stay.  It makes sense that Congress is the most vulnerable link in the chain of execution for continued consolidation of corporate power and control in our flagging democracy. 

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The author, Michael Payne, is an independent progressive activist who writes articles about social, economic and political matters as well as American foreign policy. He is a U.S. Army veteran. His major goal is to convince Americans that our perpetual wars must end before they bankrupt our nation. His articles have appeared on Online Journal, Information Clearing House, Peak Oil, Google News and websites around the world.

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The Occupy Wall Street movement is approaching a critical crossroads; while it’s gaining momentum it’s time to expand its scope and clarify its objectives. It’s time to use its growing power and go after the corporate shills in Congress, brand them as traitors to this democracy and come up with strategies to drive them out of this government.

This movement, the beginning of a people’s revolution, has been very successful on Wall Street and around the nation but it cannot continue to confine its actions to street demonstrations and facing off against overly aggressive police who are waiting for any excuse to use their batons and pepper spray; if these demonstrations lapse into violence that could severely damage the movement and bring it down. It’s time for new innovative thinking to take this great cause to a new level.

There is not the slightest doubt that Corporate America and its Wall Street subsidiary, with the aid of politicians in Washington, are the major reason why such a great inequality of wealth exists in this country. But don’t expect to see this collusive combination change its tactics and strategies based solely on pressure from street demonstrations. It’s time for the members of this movement to take the fight directly to the command center of those who represent the wealthiest of Americans; it’s time to focus their energy on those low grade politicians, the corporate shills in Congress, who have become no more than agents of the top 1%.

The movement needs to use an effective strategy to concentrate its growing power on those members of Congress who have shown by their actions that they are fully controlled by the corporate world. In thinking about the problems that this nation faces because of these gross inequalities it is my opinion that it can never be remedied unless this ongoing incestuous relationship between Congress and Corporate America is ended once and for all.

The worst offenders within both the Republican and Democratic Parties must be singled out as the primary targets to be expelled from the Congress by the power of the people’s vote. It should be understood that this cannot be done overnight, that it will be an ongoing process but much can and should be done in preparation for the 2012 elections. This cannot be a scattershot effort; targets must be carefully chosen and aim taken against those who have the closest ties to corporations and wield the greatest power in Congress.

The Occupy Movement would need the help of seasoned organizers to help develop an effective plan and come up with funding to fuel the process. In turning the spotlight on the worst offenders, there is a wealth of damning evidence available on video clips and interviews documenting their complicity in promoting the agendas of the most powerful corporations in America.

These corrupted politicians, the ring leaders in the GOP, the Tea Partiers and many of the Blue Dog Democrats must be shamed, they must be labeled as the political slime that they are. As has often proven to be the case in these kinds of difficult situations, if the ringleaders can be purged, it strikes fear into the rest of the group and can cause them to change their ways.

The movement must move into Washington D.C. and keep a growing presence on the steps of Congress and on the streets; it must use its power and creative public relations strategies to influence all forms of the national media. If done effectively, coverage would come from progressive TV and radio news organizations and their hosts. These media outlets are heavily on the side of this movement and are waiting for the opportunity to further its cause. But, they are also anxious to see the demonstrators come up with a more specific agenda.

Suggested, specific tactics for the next phase of the Occupy Movement

*Occupy areas near the legislative buildings where Congress members come and go; get into the halls or offices and confront the targets. Have groups of protesters follow them wherever they go, asking questions and demanding answers.

*Enlist the more friendly and objective media, MSNBC, CNN and other news outlets so that they film these peaceful confrontations and spread them across America in order to build the support of the people.

*Organize and energize occupiers in states and districts that the targets represent and recruit strong challengers, individuals with higher standards of ethics and integrity; those who share the Occupy Movement beliefs and would be motivated to help clean up this polluted Congress. This must be a grass roots effort if it is to be successful.

*Confront these targets relentlessly, pressure them constantly, and show the American public the extent to which this political process is under control of corporations and their congressional facilitators.

Once there is fresh blood in this Congress, and it might take several successive elections to bring about substantive change, then sanity can return to the legislative process. We might see the destructive filibuster rules changed so that rule by the majority is restored in the Senate. We could once again see members on both sides of the aisle find ways to work together for the good of their country; we might even see the enactment of reasonable and effective rules and regulations over this nation’s financial and business sectors.

Who knows, we might even see a new breed of politicians who could muster the courage to create new legislation to reform this nation’s campaign finance laws. That should be the most important priority in ending the corruption in the Congress. Once the temptation to accept campaign contributions in return for votes is eliminated, this Congress could, conceivably, once again become a branch of government where the problems that this nation faces could be addressed and solved. How great would that be?

The real strength of America comes from its people, not from the corporate world. But the vast resources of the working people of America that once fueled our manufacturing sector and our economy have been shoved to the side in the quest for more and more profits. This current, badly tarnished Congress needs to be completely overhauled if the foundations of this nation are to be restored; and the way to do it is through the Occupy Movement and the power of the people.

So, the corporate shills currently remain entrenched in both houses of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, fully intending to continue following the script issued to them by their corporate masters. In turn Corporate America thinks it is above the law, that in fact it now controls the legislative process and there is no force that can stop it. And yet the Occupy Movement, if supported by the people of America, will have the mandate and the power to break the iron grip of Corporate America over this nation.

Is there any other way that this massive inequality of wealth in America can be remedied? If this kind of strategy won’t work, then what exactly will?

Michael Payne

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Next-for-the-Occupy-Moveme-by-mich...

Views: 98

Comment by Suzanne Daigle on November 26, 2011 at 2:28pm

Currently reading Republic, Lost  How Money Corrupts Congress -- and a Plan to Stop It.  by Lawrence Lessig.  Coming from Corporate America, having worked with many good people at all levels of the organization, I realized then that what seems is not always as it appears. Lessig's book provides similar insights leading me to realize that blanket statements about Congress and about the corporate world and making everyone there the enemy will not serve any of us. I do not have the answers. Rather than charging the hill to destroy, I feel myself drawn to create the new ways and in that place of positive energy, it is my hope that the old will peel away.  Sounds naive perhaps, but from experience, I have lived the shift from bad to good (yes in corporate America) and it has always amazed me to see it happen and to see the people who I initially saw as the enemy come aboard. 

Comment by Lindsay Newland Bowker on November 26, 2011 at 2:54pm

Hey!!!~ That's what I just said.

What I have been saying

and what we all must do

Would be so great to see people in mass demonstrations carrying big photos with the names of the worst in congress..with a list of their worst misdeed on our nickel..acting supposedly for us and with our consent.  Wold be so great!!!

Comment by Jitendra Darling on November 26, 2011 at 3:45pm

I agree completely that there are good people—heroic people—in both Congress and the corporate world.  I suppose I read between the lines and assume that the people/entities we're pointing toward are those that are selling democracy down the river.  Those people, on all sides of the ball, that are mercilessly strategizing the disenfranchisement of, we, the people need to be exposed and expunged from their illicit influence.  

Let us not lose our fierceness. For those that are stealing people's rights and freedom are, in fact, merciless.

Yes, we retain our heart and compassion and devotion to non-violence, but our spines are strong and keep us upright to lock the gaze of those that act without compassion and empathy—so they know we see them.  

There ARE countless good people as well.  I think that we, the people, are the one's that have fallen short in not supporting those with power and influence that have sought popular support to help stem the tide that is encroaching.  Let's take advantage now of this perfect storm of awareness and action to clean up this mess we've overlooked and enabled.

Comment by Mark E. Smith on November 26, 2011 at 3:45pm

 

Sure sounds easy. Just target the worst offenders in Congress and drive them out with the power of the people's uncounted, miscounted, unverifiable, and easily overridden vote.

Ignore the fact that in 2006 the Democratic Congress under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, seated at least six Republicans who hadn't been elected, by refusing to even look at the submitted evidence, no less investigate, the Federal Election Contests filed with Congress by the six Democrats who had sufficient prove their electiion had been stolen and were mavericks enough to challenge the Democratic Party by filing complaints.

That, of course, is why Congress couldn't allow them to be seated, since they were also maverick Democrats who had won their races to pledging to support the impeachment of Bush and Cheney, which most Democratic Party voters wanted, but which Pelosi and the Democatic Party leadership had taken off the table. The Democrats much preferred to seat the Republicans who at least would stand by the Democrats in protecting Bush and Cheney from impeachment, investigation, or prosecution for war crimes.

Since the Constitution, Article 1, Section 5, grants Congress the sole power to judge the "elections, returns, and qualifications" of its Members, all Congress has to do is swear in a Member before a stolen election can be investigated, and then only Congress itself has the power to remove that Member, something they've never done. 

I know! Maybe we get a Constitutional Amendment to change Article 1, Section 5, of the Constitution, to allow us the right of recall at the federal level, so that we wouldn't have to rely on an unwilling Congress to remove Members who betray and fail to represent their Constituents. Most voters don't agree with Pelosi that it is more important that they be represented than that they be represented by the candidate or party they'd voted for.

So now all we need to do is target and drive out the majority of Members of Congress so that we can get Congress to allow a Constitutional Amendment that would allow us to directly recall Members of Congress. We can do that with the power of our uncounted or overridden votes, right? Oh, wait, first we need an Amendment that allows us honest elections where our votes have to be counted and can't be overridden. So all we have to do is target and drive out the majority of Members of Congress, so that we can get the right of recall at the federal level that voters have in California at the state level. Of course it hasn't worked at the state level because the corporations spend millions of dollars to target the good people for recall and frustrate attempts by the public to target the bad people for recall.

No problem. All we need is a Constitutional amendment to get corporate money out of Congress. So all we have to do is use the power of our uncounted, unverifiable, and easily overridden votes to drive out the majority of Members of Congress who rely on corporate campaign donations, so that we can use our uncounted, unverifiable, and easily overridden votes to elect new Members who aren't tainted with corporate money.

OpEdNews, like most large and popular alternative media sites which label themselves liberal or progressive, is a tool of the Democratic Party. It is engaged in getting out the vote. Rob Kall not only banned me from posting there, but created a rule that said that anyone who mentioned anything about not voting would also be banned.

Okay then, all we need to do is restore the Fairness Doctrine, so that people who are smeared and attacked by Democrats and Republicans will have the opportunity to defend themselves in the same forums in which they were smeared and attacked. Easy. All we have to do is use the power of our......oh never mind. Every time I explain it, the Democratic Party sends another few expert operatives over here to grab everyone's attention with their reasons for voting. Why waste my breath aga

Comment by Lindsay Newland Bowker on November 27, 2011 at 12:26pm

Jitendra,

 

Just to expand on this idea a bit...how a bout in adition to the outing of the worst, log jamming every single bill they try to scurry by ( like the one legalizing unlimited detention without trials or charges) and massive shows of support on moves which "befoul" the workings of the 1%..like in support Tammy Baldwins Resolution forbidding criminal libaility immunity for  bank of america and others or the 28th ammendment which would invalidate Citizens United..hit hard and en masse on every single item the 1% tries to sneak by.

In the corprate world a takeover is often accompanied by a demand for resignations of all key players in the company being taken over..the take over company then decsudes who it wants to keep and on what terms.  Maybe we need something as radical as that and right in the middle of the run up to the 2012 primaries.

Maybe we need to demand an en masse recall of every single presently sitting member of both houses.through a massive "no confidence vote" name by name.  Every name with millions of signatures on a vote of no- confidence.

 

Why not?

 

Why not launch an en masse camapign that refuses support(votes) for any party nominated candidate(that includes green party, liberal party, etc,).hundreds of milliion of signatures on such a pldege up front before the 2012  could dramatically change the face of the 2012 elections and the run up to them.  

Why shouldn't we take a stand if we are the 99% and we are united and moving together at demanding a completely clean house to occupy in 2012.

Comment by David Eggleton on November 27, 2011 at 2:47pm

"It makes sense that Congress is the most vulnerable link in the chain of execution for continued consolidation of corporate power and control in our flagging democracy."

I would like to hear more about that, Jitendra.  Is it the total number of members that makes Congress the most vulnerable link in the chain?  That and more?  Something else?

Comment by Mark E. Smith on November 27, 2011 at 5:05pm

Lindsay and Jitendra, the framers of the Constitution made sure that we could never "throw the bums out," by giving Congress staggered terms so that they all wouldn't come up for election at once, making Congress itself (Article 1, Section 5) the sole judge of "the elections, returns, and qualifications" of its own Members (in accordance with this, although they've never done it, Congress could even "judge" than an election had taken place when it hadn't, and then "judge" that the results had shown that a candidate who hadn't even run in that mythical race had won). The framers also made sure that voters had no right to have their votes counted and that the popular vote could always be overturned by the 1%. The framers stated clearly that their intent was to ensure that those who owned the country (the 1%) would always run the country.

Because the farmers were able to foresee a time when more people might gain the franchise and a majority might resent rule by the rich, they ensured that it would be impossible for the people to have the final say in elections. 

 

Comment by Mark E. Smith on November 27, 2011 at 5:06pm

*framers (not farmers, although many were slaveowners with large plantations)

Comment by Lindsay Newland Bowker on November 28, 2011 at 8:32am

Mark & Jitendra

There are actually many rseolutions floating aroynd conress at the moment for a no confidence vote in  many different individuals ( including one we should support on Tim Geithner)..

Starting with the worst ( as Jitendra suggests)..naming them. citing the vites avctions and ties with corporatocrcy the logical way to bring that to light is via a resolution for a vote of no confidence with millions of signatures.  the way to express  intolerance for any creature of the corporatocracy is via a resolution for a vote of no confidence.

It almost doesn't matter whether there is any way to actually get such a resolution on the floor let alone brought to a vote..but it is certainly the most power expression of disapproval.  A the state level I know a certain number of itizens signatures can force something onto the floor.  Are you sure that is not possible at the Fedeeal level as well?  If it is not that is one immediate fix that needs to be put in place.

Comment by Mark E. Smith on November 28, 2011 at 12:50pm

 

Since the Constitution does not guarantee that our votes need to be counted, and since our government does not allow public opinion, as expressed through petitions or any other way, to influence its policy decisions, the 1% will not recognize any "vote of no confidence" in the political puppets they spend billions of dollars putting in office to represent them.

Our choice is to continue to choose among those puppets, to refuse to choose among the puppets and cast ballots that count only towards the total turnout that legitimizes those puppets, or to withhold our consent from those puppets by not voting, so that they cannot claim the consent of the governed.

 

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