[Photo from Cosmos magazine - it depicts coal sludge in Tennessee)
In the latest issue of Sierra magazine (September/October 2011), Carl Pope, the former executive director of the Sierra Club, writes the following in an article titled "Hostile Takeover of the GOP - Polluter cash sets the Republican environmental agenda."
After eviscerating several of the so-called GOP candidates for the Republican nomination for president in 2012, he says:
"The sad fact is that the GOP has been subjected to a hostile takeover by the oil-and-gas industry--and particularly by Koch Industries, the conglomerate owned by ultra-right-wing brothers Charles and David Koch. It wasn't grassroots fear of solar cells that turned Republican candidates into boosters for climate change. Instead, think tanks funded by the Koch brothers, ExxonMobil, and others took advantage of the decline of fact-based media to transform climate change into a partisan issue.
"The virus that has undermined the GOP and is weakening U.S. democracy is corruption. Our Supreme Court has made the United States the only democratic nation where bribery is constitutionally protected, where corporations have the privileges of citizens but none of the obligations, and where money is equated with speech. Dirty Energy has bought the party of Lincoln and now calls the shots."
I agree with Mr. Pope but would argue that the GOP was not so much corrupted in a hostile takeover by the oil and gas industry, as it was a willing participant, offering its soul for the cold, hard cash that slithered into its bank accounts.
In addition, I would say that while the Democratic Party remains the only standing member of the
Decency and Common Sense Club in Washington, too many of its adherents have also succumbed to the wiles of filthy lucre.
Change is desperately needed. Change can come only when money is removed from the political equation. Unfortunately, that's likely to happen only when an imaginary hell freezes over!