Wednesday, April 20, 2016

After losing 1,000 federal and state political offices with their uninspiring, corrupt, and anti-New Deal agenda, the Democratic Establishment tells Bernie Sanders supporters, "You're going to hurt the party with your criticism!"

(President Roosevelt at a CCC camp in Virginia, 1933. FDR and his fellow policymakers inspired Americans with a New Deal. Today's Democratic Party, on the other hand, has thrown inspiration out the window. Instead, they tell us, "You better hold your nose and vote for us! You don't want a Republican in there, do you??" Photo courtesy of the FDR Presidential Library and Museum.)

Over the past several years, the Democratic Party has lost about 82 seats in Congress, 12 governor's mansions, and 910 state legislative seats (see, e.g., here and here). After getting pummeled at the ballot box in 2014, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, said, "Our party has a problem." Two years later, without batting an eye, she threw her support behind predatory lenders who had given her campaign cash. Gee, I wonder what the problem with the Democratic Party is.

We also know that President Obama has refused to criminally prosecute well-heeled white collar criminals; has negotiated the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement with the assistance of Corporate America and the exclusion of workers; has brought in Wall Street insiders to manage the government and the economy to their benefit; and that the Democratic Elite (including Obama and Hillary Clinton) regularly rake in campaign cash from an industry that has engaged in record-setting fraud (big financial institutions).

At the same time that they are doing these things (and at the same time that the Fortune 400 is adding tens, even hundreds of billions of dollars to their already-bloated fortunes), the Democratic Establishment has poo-poohed the ideas of universal health insurance, free public college, massive infrastructure improvements, etc., as pie-in-the-sky foolishness.

In short, the agenda of the Democratic Establishment consists of watered-down goals and a criminal protection racket that, essentially, tells the super-wealthy, "Look, as long as you keep contributing to our political machine, and as long as you're willing to pay a fine here and there, you can run your frauds on the American people. We won't prosecute."

This uninspiring and corrupt agenda has kept many Democratic voters home on election days. Others, like me, have left the Democratic Party altogether. I will not team-up with the financial institutions that have worked so very hard to make my life more difficult than it has to be, and I suspect there are many others who feel the same. (See "Democratic, Republican Identification Near Historical Lows," Gallup, January 11, 2016.)

And so now we are hearing some interesting things coming from the Democratic Establishment. Hillary Clinton's campaign manager has recently issued a statement that reads, in part, "The Sanders campaign's false attacks have gotten out of hand. As Senator Sanders faces nearly insurmountable odds, he is resorting to baseless accusations of illegal actions and poisoning the well for Democratic candidates up and down the ticket. Instead of trying to convince the next generation of progressives that the Democratic Party is corrupt, Senator Sanders should stick to the issues [as if campaign finance is not an issue] and think about what he can do to help the Party he is seeking to lead."

Yes, after the Democratic Establishment has lost 1,000 federal and state political offices through its uninspiring and corrupt agenda, they have the gall to tell Sanders, "Oh my goodness, you're going hurt the party!!"

And the talking heads are brow-beating Sanders' supporters too. In an op-ed ironically titled, "Liberals Losing Perspective," former White House policy analyst Jeff Schweitzer scolds Sanders' supporters with this amazing statement: "So fellow liberals, stop moaning about Obama and be grateful for his courage... And we must stop this ridiculous and I must say childish rant that we won’t support the Democratic nominee if he or she is not our first choice [he means Clinton]. Let idealism guide your heart and realism guide your vote."

Wow! So, if we don't support the rigged nomination process, and if we don't support a Wall Street financed candidate [Clinton]--after Wall Street has done so much to wreck our finances--and if we don't support a candidate who has voted to make bankruptcy more difficult for struggling Americans; and does not support the re-implementation of Glass-Steagall to limit bank gambling; and has hesitated on expanding Social Security--even as her corporate buddies are gutting fixed-pension plans; and has a militaristic worldview; and is keeping her statements to Goldman Sachs secret; well, we're just being "childish."

The Democratic Establishment wants us to vote out of fear - fear that if we don't vote for their candidate, a much worse Republican candidate will win the presidency. Investigative journalist Robert Parry has said, "So, if Clinton’s eventual nomination is inevitable, the Democrats will be putting up a candidate who is broadly disliked by the American people. That means a Clinton candidacy will require massive spending on negative ads to make the Republican candidate so frightening in the eyes of most Americans that they will vote for Clinton out of fear, not hope."      

I say, don't give in to fear, and don't vote for someone who is backed by so many people who have worked so diligently to rig the economy, and the criminal justice system, in their favor. If that means a Republican president, so be it. As FDR said, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." And so, during what will be, admittedly, dark years, we should leave the Democratic Party and create a truly progressive party (and, let's be honest, for millions of us, these are already dark years - we can take a little more).

Finally, to reemphasize my main point, remember that the Democratic Establishment has lost 1,000 federal and state political offices as they've gotten in bed with Wall Street and told the rest of us to be "practical." Do you really think that's a winning strategy?

1 comment:


    "Following his 1928 defeat by Hoover, the Democratic Party Presidential candidate, Alfred Smith, FDR's earlier sponsor, turned bitterly against Roosevelt. Smith was furious that FDR had won the 1928 New York gubernatorial election, while he had been overwhelmingly defeated in New York State by Hoover. FDR had also refused to give Smith hands-on control over his top Albany appointments.

    Even more to the point, Smith had already been coopted by the powerful J.P. Morgan banking interests, which were among the City of London's flagship assets inside Wall Street. Smith was installed as a top executive of the Morgan-financed Empire State Corp., which built the Empire State Building, and became a witting tool of the Morgan interests, who had other, equally powerful hooks into the Democratic Party.

    Following the disastrous 1928 Hoover victory over Smith, the Democratic Party had fallen deep into debt. The party owed an estimated $1,600,000—a considerable sum of money in those days. To bail out the party, Morgan asset John Jakob Raskob stepped in to loan the party over $370,000. In return, Raskob, who had managed Smith's failed Presidential campaign, was named chairman of the Democratic Party. He, in turn, appointed another Morgan man, former Democratic Congressman Jouett Shouse, as the party's executive director. Just months before taking over the party, Raskob had lamented that he was not able to vote for his favorite politician, Calvin Coolidge, for President in 1928. Raskob had been a life-long Republican up until that point."

    As you can see from the example above, this has been a problem before. FDR and his campaign manager Louis Howe had to wage a nasty fight to wrest control of the party in order to gain FDR's nomination in 1932 based on his work as New York's governor in dealing with the Depression. The video I linked to is from a fight that my friends and I waged in California to get the Democratic party to quit sitting on its hands at a time when the state was being openly robbed by Bush cronies at Enron and the drive for invasion of Iraq was then approaching, no thanks to the spineless Dems. In comparison, Sanders is refusing to take on Obama for his war crimes. Obama, his neocon sycophants, and his Saudi allies have turned the world into a war zone and instead of taking a principled approach and demanding impeachment or the use of the 25th Amendment, he's been deferential and unwilling to speak against him.