Remove the Blinders, Dems; Both Parties Are Elites
Years ago Buffy Sainte Marie reminded us that “if the Bad guys don’t get you, the good guys will.” referring to Senator Bill Bradley’s initial attempts to help restore the Black Hills to the Sioux tribes, and his eventual withdrawal of his bill under minimal pressure.
It’s becoming more evident daily that there aren’t many Good Guys left working for us in Washington, and that the Democratic Big Tent brought in more neo-Liberal Money Junkies than most Dems would like to acknowledge. Democrats Good, Republicans Bad themes are still far too ubiquitous across the ‘liberal’ blogosphere and other media.
This week even D.C insider Matt Stoller, former policy advisor to Rep. Alan Grayson, has gone public with the theme in a comment he posted at Yves Smith’s Naked Capitalism blog. What he said is not uncommon, but as Yves points out, it’s important because he’s a well-known D.C. insider.
Citing Jimmy Carter’s administration as the beginning of Democratic elites ‘financializing the economy’ and ‘breaking public sector unions’ (deregulating the airline industry), Stoller continues:
“Obama continues this trend. It isn’t that he’s not fighting; he fights like hell for what he wants. He whipped incredibly aggressively for TARP, he has passed emergency war funding (breaking a campaign promise) several times, and nearly broke the arms of feckless liberals in the process. I mean, when Bernie Sanders did the filiBernie, Obama flirted with Bernie’s potential 2012 GOP challenger. Obama just wants policies that cement the status of a[n] aristocratic class, with crumbs for everyone else (Republican elites disagree in that they hate anyone but elites getting crumbs). And he will fight for them.
There is simply no basis for arguing that Democratic elites are pursuing poor strategy anymore. They are achieving an enormous amount of leverage within the party. Consider the following. Despite Obama violating every core tenet of what might have been considered the Democratic Party platform, from supporting foreclosures to destroying civil liberties to torturing political dissidents to wrecking unions, Obama has no viable primary challenger. Moreover, no Senate Democratic incumbent lost a primary challenge in 2010, despite a horrible governing posture. Now THAT is a successful strategy, it minimized the losses of the Democratic elite and kept them firmly in control of the party. Thus, the political debate remains confined to what neoliberals want to talk about. It’s a good strategy, it’s just you are the one the strategy is being played on.
A lot of people think that Obama is a bad poker player, but they miss the point. He’s not playing with his money, he’s playing with YOUR money. You are the weak hand at the table, he’s colluding with the other players.” [snip] (bold mine)
GeorgeWashington’s blog yesterday repeated Bernanke’s statement that the Fed will not help failing states and cities with loans, while continuing to throw massive amounts of money at the Big Banks, both overtly and covertly. The list and amounts add up to an obscenity.
Many of the comments are great, in terms of further analysis and restructuring a People’s economy from the ground up. In the interest of brevity, I’ve deleted some from this piece I thought were helpful economic blueprints that bypass federal initiation, but you can scan the comments on your own.
This from commenter Scraping By is short and instructive:
“Historically, the best hope for massive change is when a oligarchy gets cheap with its mainstay support. Say, police unions getting busted. Soldiers being crippled and thrown out on street, literally. The lawyers who led the American Revolution are no help; they’ve been selected for amoral greed. They’ve already made a policy of betraying the intelligence officers. Who are the enforcers who will be one disposal too many, whose patriotism becomes their downfall? Time will tell.
This seems to be the precipice we’re now approaching: when the Oligarchy is about to reach one step too far in dismantling any semblance of safety for average Americans. Much of the other garbage this administration has brought us in terms of war, renditions of prisoners to torturous regimes, further erosions of our civil rights and rule of law, and likely soon a corrupt way of ‘fixing’ the mortgage fraud debacle won’t tip the scales. It will be Financial Fear for ourselves and our families and our neighbors, and we can’t let just Republicans be blamed. Dems have to open their eyes, and give up their Obama fantasies. We can either take over the Democratic Party, or as many of you wish, create a third party. At the very least, Obama needs a primary challenger, and massive support from us, and all the Democrats we can wake up. As Buffy says, “We’re dying from their gravy spills.”
Update: Rayne reminds me to clarify that Stoller and I are speaking of Federally elected Dems once they are in office, and not neccessarily local or State officials, and certainly not all Democratic voters.
‘Bailout Nation’, by express permission of Anthony Freda; www.anthonyfreda.com