09/08/2010 12:19 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Third World-Style Kleptocracy - Or Not? The Real 2010 Election Choice

In many third world countries, political historians lament that progress eludes their nations because every change in their country's elected leadership is nothing more than a new iteration of the legend of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves.

Here in America, our votes on November 2nd could determine whether we will return Bush-Cheney and their 40 thieves back into power; and whether our country risks becoming a permanent third world-style kleptocracy.

Kleptocracy is defined as, "government by those who seek chiefly status and personal gain at the expense of the governed." If Republicans again regain majorities in Congress, and are able to extend the Bush tax cuts for the mega-wealthy, we will be repeating history - Bush-Cheney history that is.

The great failing of Democrats facing the 2010 midterm elections is that they have not understood fully that these midterms are a "blame" election. The writing has been on the walls for all to see: the Great Recession capturing the public debate and crowding out every other issue; unemployment and underemployment hovering close to 17%; millions facing imminent foreclosures; small businesses that can't get credit; but with the specter of Wall Street still feeding itself mega-bonuses -- and the Bush TARP bailout funds being used to puff bank profits.

Democrats have woefully failed to establish blame for the economic crisis where it justifiably belongs: eight years of Bush tax cuts; unpaid for GOP spending; high-risk Wall Street speculation in toxic assets; and GOP collusion with Big Oil and Big Coal.

Unfortunately, Democrats - as the party in power - now own the rage that voters feel. Without a clear message for the voters defining what is truly at stake in the midterm elections, the right wing kleptocrat-enabling candidates will win, and the super-rich will accomplish an extension of the Bush tax cuts, thereby increasing the disparity in incomes for decades (which began in earnest during the Reagan years). Now, that's a kleptocracy!

Republican Leader Boehner has staked out the ground for the new kleptocracy by endorsing the Paul Ryan budget plan, which would privatize Social Security, turn Medicare into a voucher system, and cut taxes in half for the wealthiest 1% of Americans.

Democrats must link the Congressional Republican candidates to the Bush-Republican Wall Street Giveaway, the Job-Outsourcing Tax Credits for corporations, and the disastrous Paul Ryan budget plan.

Democrats should focus the debate with the message that "Democrats fight for every job" vs. "Republicans fight for every CEO bonus."

By October, Democratic candidates must successfully define their kleptocracy-enabling opponents as the candidates who plan to address unemployment by giving Wall Street billionaires the biggest tax cut in history; just as they promoted Wall Street's outsourcing of millions of American jobs for eight years under George Bush.

The effective message contrasts between Democrats and the Republican-kleptocrats are:

  • Bush and the Republicans derailed the economy, now they want to rip out the tracks.
  • The Democrats taxed Wall Street bonuses. The Republicans tried to block it.
  • The Democrats expanded Iraq and Afghanistan veteran benefits. The Republicans shielded Halliburton, Blackwater, and the war profiteers.
  • The Democrats enacted financial consumer protection. The Republicans tried to block it.
  • The Democrats stopped the Wall Street jobs outsourcing loophole. The Republicans tried to block it.
  • The Democrats cut taxes for 95% of working Americans. The Republicans tried to block it.
  • The Democrats extended unemployment benefits. The Republicans tried to block it.
  • The Democrats invested $800 billion in job creation and layoff preventions. The Republicans tried to block it.
  • The Democrats just stopped hundreds of thousands of teachers, firefighters, and police officers from being laid off. The Republicans tried to block it.

The Republican-neo-kleptocratic plan is to fight for Wall Street, and to go back to the "trickle-down" faux prosperity that wrecked working families, yet bought Ferraris and yachts for the Wall Street gamblers and scam artists.

If Democrats start talking about the real consequences of a Republican victory, they will retain their majorities in Congress. If not, the Republicans and their neo-kleptocratic policies will win - or to put it another way, the Republican "economic arsonists" will have succeeded in making the Democratic "firefighters" the culprits for not putting out the conflagration that the GOP started.