Paradigm Shifts and Flying Mud

Thomas Kuhn defined a paradigm shift in his 1962 book, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” as “… when one conceptual world view is replaced by another.” Swiss Watch International Men's Limited Edition Automatic Chronograph Stainless SteelOne of the classic examples is the Swiss watch industry. Until the mid ‘70s the Swiss dominated the world market for watches. The Japanese approached the Swiss with a new concept in watches, digital vs. analog devices, in plastic cases and with few moving parts. They were extremely low cost, unrepairable and basically throw away watches. The Swiss demurred. The Japanese returned to Japan and introduced the “Swatch” and many follow on digital models. The Swiss watch industry was nearly wiped out.

Of course, there are countless examples that have occurred throughout history. Makers of buggy whips and manure shovels never thought much of the future of the new noisy, gasoline burning vehicles, much to their surprise and dismay. And, no one can deny that the PC and the Internet have changed the world forever.

With the elections in the US less than two weeks away we are left to ponder whether a paradigm shift in American politics is about to take place. For decades now the US has drifted toward a more socialist/statist government, culminating in the election of Obama and the dominance of the left wing of the Democrat Party in Congress. As the Democrats rushed forward with their agenda of pushing the US further toward a socialist economy with the pork laden stimulus bill, the take over of the auto industry, the unpopular health care law, take over of the student loan business and cap and trade legislation, voters reacted with alarm and anger.

Rick Santelli, CNBC business commentator, is widely given credit for striking the match that ignited the Tea Party Movement. As thousands of Tea Party groups sprang up around the country, many professional politicians of both parties ignored the movement and the liberal mainstream media sneered. Later, as the movement gained momentum, some Democrats, fearing disaster, retired and some complacent, “moderate” Republicans got booted by the Tea Party candidate in the primaries. Entrenched lifetime GOP politicians Lisa Murkowsk of Alaska and Charlie Crist of Florida refused to go quietly and are running against the Tea Party candidates that won the Republican primaries.

Many of these TP candidates are new to politics and come with military experience and business backgrounds and are, thankfully, not lawyers. Some are weak candidates and easy targets. In another surprise, boatloads of money flowed into these campaigns from motivated citizens around the country.

As the polls started to suggest a rout for the Republicans on November 2nd, the alarmed Democrats and their left wing allies have swung into action. Incumbent Democrats found themselves unable to tout their votes for wildly unpopular legislation and instead have resorted to personal mud slinging attacks on their GOP opponents. Of course, American politics has always been a brutal blood sport but I suspect, that this election will be remembered as one of the nastiest. That’s saying a mouthful.

Those of my vintage may remember the “Daisy” commercial run by Lyndon Johnson’s campaign against Goldwater. It featured a little girl in the foreground picking daisies while an atomic blast occurred behind her. The implication being that Goldwater was such a right wing nut job that he would use the bomb if elected. He was not. More recently, you might recall the James Bryd ad run by the NAACP against G. W. Bush suggesting that Bush condoned dragging blacks to death.

The list for this election cycle so far is long and if you are curious you can consult the blog site, The Daily Beast, and their “Hall of Shame”. Two stand out for me:

Meg Whitman California is an economic basket case with a $19 billion dollar deficit (probably more since they have pushed some debt into the next fiscal year) and some $50 to $100 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. The state is hemorrhaging jobs as businesses flee anti-business taxes and regulations. A company in a similar situation would call in a “turnaround CEO” to straighten things out. Enter Meg Whitman, the highly successful former CEO, who grew eBay from startup to mega company. She’s running against Democrat Jerry Brown, a 40-year career politician and former governor, who was dubbed “Governor Moonbeam” (for obvious reasons) by Mike Royko, Chicago’s famous columnist. (RIP)

Whitman, a Republican in a notoriously “blue” state, was doing pretty well against Brown so the Democrats trot out her former maid in the company of Gloria Allred, a publicity hound liberal lawyer. Allred’s claim? Whitman had knowingly hired an illegal alien and worse, mistreated her. It turns out the maid, Nicky Diaz, had been hired through an agency and Diaz had used a phony social security card and drivers license. The poor girl had “only” been paid $23/ hour for cleaning Whitman’s house… pretty good pay for menial labor. The whole thing was a sham to drum up sympathy in the large CA Hispanic community. Of course, there is much more in the way of negative ads against Whitman and now she looks like a long shot. California will likely get Brown II and continue its decline into the toilet.

Without question the prize for the most offensive and despicable ad came from Florida Democrat Congressman Allen Grayson. His ad against his opponent, Dan Webster, called him “Taliban Dan” and selectively edited his statements to make it look like he was saying something he never said. Should we be surprised? Not. Grayson is the same guy who stood up in front of the House and declared that the Republican plan for health care was to let old people die. If there is any justice in this world the liberal bomb thrower Grayson will be sent packing.

Once the voting starts and the counting begins the mud slinging will end and the corruption will begin. If history is any guide, we can expect lots of “irregularities” in this phase of the struggle. Remember the governor’s election in Washington State between Rossi and Gregoire? (The first one.) Rossi won on the original count and the recount but the King County (Seattle) election officials kept digging for votes, finding some in a closet and some in a car trunk and voila, Gregoire, the Democrat, finally won [in a hand-recount, no less]. Whew! The Democrat lawyers pulled the same stunt recently in Minnesota putting clown Al Franken in the Senate. And, let us not forget the vote counting fiasco in Florida in the Bush/Gore Presidential election of 2000. The Democrats have lawyers standing by to fly to any close election to contest every vote. They do. You could look this up. The dirty tricks have already started. In Illinois some counties failed to send out their military ballots on time as required by law. They say these votes may now not arrive on time to be counted. The military votes traditionally favor the Republicans. Coincidence? Hardly.

While I still have doubts that the GOP will win enough senate seats to take control there, it seems more than likely that the personal attacks will not sway enough voters to prevent the take over of the House by the Republicans. However, they will be on a short leash. If they betray the Tea Party they will incur their wrath in two years. A paradigm shift is coming and those that fail to recognize it are going to be swept away.

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Filed under Election, Obama, Politics, Tea Party, Whitman

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