After I wrote String of Pearls a commenter showed up and led me to this Larouche webcast featuring Harley Schlanger, Gerry Rose, and Robert Beltran.
Beltran has been the Invisible Man, popping up at the most opportune times. I have wondered just how tight a leash Harley has him on and now, after listening to the broadcast, I suspect that there isn't any, for reasons that will become clear.
What we learn is that Beltran is an idealist, first and always. He has been spending his time with the LYM and lobbying elected officials. I can totally get the idealism and the lobbying, and I can even get the time spent with the LYM if it gets them engaged with the world in a sensible manner vs drinking Larouche's Kool-aid. Unfortunately, there is Kool-aid in abundance and they have taken a page from Larouche's playbook, and possibly The First Shrub as well.
Beltran and the LYMers are determined to engage in what can best be described as a campaign of "shock and awe." He tells a story that exemplifies this; meeting with a local Congressman, Beltran demands to know how Speaker Pelosi can defy the Constitution and declare 'impeachment is off the table.' The beleaguered Congressman hems and haws, referring to other priorities, which Beltran dismisses. Sitting as I do in the midst of the maelstrom, I differ with his take on the situation. I don't know if the story he tells reflects his own naivete, or an unwillingness to confront political reality.
Our Congress is beset by partisanship of the sort I don't ever recall seeing until The First Shrub gained the White House. The lack of leadership, across the board, is staggering. Congress, notoriously late with budget, fell to a new fiscal low when the decision was made to run the country on a Continuing Resolution (CR) for the entire Fiscal Year 2007. We are now on our 3rd CR, and no end in sight for FY08. I fear a replay is in the works. Given the choice between a budget and impeaching Cheney, I vote for the budget. Fiscal discipline is important. Getting the VP under control is important. Of the two, the budget is a higher priority at this point. If impeachment were a serious option, it should have been done much earlier in the year.
Beltran fails to recognize the need for fiscal discipline and the long term impact if we don't get Congress in line on that issue. VPs come and go, but the budget will be with us, always. Cheney got away with so much because Congress turned itself into his doormat.
There was also discussion about the current foreclosure mess and an effort underway by a Congressman to declare a moratorium on foreclosures for a few months. Those are fighting words since there are many folks who practiced due diligence, bought what they could actually afford, and were not seduced by efforts to get them into questionable loan programs. They are not facing foreclosure. Predatory lending practices were in play and those using such practices need to be held to account. However there are many who simply failed to do their homework. I don't believe the rest of America needs to bail out everyone who lives beyond their means.
Beltran ought to consider fine tuning his idealism and focusing on the political realities. Without a doubt the people need to remember that the Constitution begins with "WE THE PEOPLE" in BIG letters. But politics is also the art of the possible and of compromise. If he is going to play in that game, he needs to remember that.
Beltran carries the same idealism as the LYM, so Harley doesn't need a leash. He just needs Beltran to keep on doing whatever it is he is doing. And making public appearances as needed. At the very least it seems we are to believe Beltran is IMPORTANT since, after a long absence, the LHL Powers That Be have deigned to include him in a webcast. It also gives Beltran an opportunity to plug his own activities and confirm that he is in fact contributing. I hope he matures, politically speaking, or he will be forever disappointed in the outcomes.