Monday, July 25, 2016

Dear Fellow Progressives: Let's stop being suckers for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Establishment, and form our own party (or vote for the Green Party)

Above: Unlike Hillary Clinton, President Franklin Roosevelt was a true fighter for progressive values. And, perhaps even more importantly, he surrounded himself--and listened to--other, even more progressive fighters - his wife Eleanor, Harry Hopkins, Harold Ickes, Aubrey Williams, and many more. Many liberal groups today don't fully appreciate the combativeness of New Deal policymakers. For example, according to a New York Times piece, naively titled, "Could Hillary Clinton Become the Champion of the 99%," we learn that "The Roosevelt coalition [the Roosevelt Institute] agreed by and large with the direction of Sanders’s economic program, but they regretted the crudeness of his exposition." I find it ironic that the "Roosevelt coalition" regretted the crudeness of Sanders' exposition, when FDR himself famously said of organized money, "I welcome their hatred!" FDR's crudeness towards those who sought to manipulate the government with money (as Hillary Clinton's bankster buddies are doing today) was just as forceful, if not more so, than Sanders' crudeness. Why? Because sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.   
Everyday, I read stories about progressives trying to influence Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Establishment - trying to make them more progressive. And every day, I think more and more, progressives are being played for suckers. They should, instead, realize that the Democratic Party has been irreversibly changed to the party of Wall Street, and they should therefore form their own party and/or vote for Green Party candidates.

Here are some points to consider:

Wall Street Friendly VP Pick: Clinton chose Tim Kaine to be her running mate, despite pleas from progressives to pick someone more, well, progressive. Tim Kaine is a Wall Street Democrat who will work harder for the banksters than workers. That's why he supported anti-union "right-to-work" laws when he was governor of Virginia, and that's why he supports the anti-union, and anti-democratic, TPP. (See, e.g., "Tim Kaine Has a Troubling Record on Labor Issues," The Nation, July 22, 2016)

Clinton Rewards Wasserman Schultz For Rigging The Primaries: Spitting in the face of progressives, Clinton hired Debbie Wasserman Schultz to be the honorary chair of her campaign, after leaked emails showed Wasserman Schultz used her position as the DNC Chair to manipulate the primaries in favor of Clinton.  In effect, Clinton has rewarded Wasserman Schultz for rigging the primaries against Sanders & progressives by giving her a prestigious job. Other folks at the DNC apparently contemplated using Bernie Sanders' religion against him. I wonder how Hillary and the DNC will reward them? (Also see, "DNC Leaks Reveal Party Insiders Promising Access to President in Exchange for Cash," Common Dreams, July 25, 2016) 

An Assembly Line of Centrists: To replace Wasserman Schultz, the DNC picked Donna Brazile, another pro-Clinton centrist Democrat.

The Democratic Establishment And Their Bankster Buddies: Despite progressive calls to re-instate Glass-Steagall, Hillary remains adamant that she will, under no conditions, prohibit her bankster friends from gambling with depositor funds and taxpayer money.

Wasserman Schultz And Predatory Lenders: Debbie Wasserman Schultz--the chair of the DNC for heaven's sake--supported predatory lenders after they gave her campaign cash.

Hillary's Secret Speeches: Despite progressive calls to release the transcripts of her secret speeches to Goldman Sachs, Hillary has thumbed her nose at progressives and, in effect, said: "I'm not releasing them, because you suckers are going to vote for me anyway - because Donald Trump."

The False Promise Of The Party Platform: The Democratic Establishment has resisted progressive changes proposed by Bernie Sanders' folks on the Party Platform Drafting Committee. Not that it matters anyway because, as I pointed out in a recent blog post, the Democratic Establishment has no qualms about blatantly betraying their party's platform when Wall Street tells them to. The granting of five picks to Bernie Sanders, for the drafting committee, is a sham.

And these points are just a continuation of the un-progressive and bad decisions that Hillary, her husband (who will be "First Man" should Hillary win), and the Democratic Establishment, have made over the last quarter-century. From seeking to privatize Social Security, to voting to make bankruptcy more difficult for struggling families, to supporting middle-class-destroying trade deals, to voting for the Iraq War--and thus wasting hundreds of billions of dollars that could have been spent improving America's crumbling infrastructure--the Clintons and the Democratic Establishment are a neoliberal horror show.    

Above: FDR brought fighters into his administration, like Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior and head of the Public Works Administration (PWA). We can be sure that Hillary, should she win, will not bring anyone into her administration that will offend Wall Street. They will all be corporate-friendly centrists like Tim Kaine. Above scan is from a personal copy, used here for educational, non-commercial purposes

By continuously trying to change the Democratic Party--a party that has nothing but contempt for them--progressives are embarrassing themselves. They would be better off devoting their energies to better coordination with each other (the progressive movement is extremely disjointed) and then forming a new political party and/or voting for the Green Party.

The Democratic Establishment is an utterly corrupt and unethical cabal of insiders who think progressives are fools to be manipulated. Don't let them get away with it.

"And so you start to think that the game that the Clintons play with us, where we vote for them because we have nowhere else to go--you know, it’s a two-party system, it’s a duopoly, and there’s... a sort of political economics of how we the voter are manipulated in this situation, and they’re very, very good at playing that game. And so people like you and me, who are on the left, are captured, basically; we don’t have anywhere else to go, and they play us in a certain way."

--Thomas Frank, historian and political analyst, in "Thomas Frank and 'The New Liberal,'" Huffington Post, March 18, 2016

(Image used under license.)

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