The Democratic Party’s Deadly Dead-End

Exclusive: By playing for centrist and neoconservative votes, national Democrats have left the party floundering with no coherent political message and creating a daunting challenge for democracy, says Nicolas J S Davies.

By Nicolas J S Davies

The most encouraging trend in the otherwise bleak landscape of Western politics is the success of the “new kind of politics” unveiled by Bernie Sanders in the U.S., Jeremy Corbyn in the U.K., and parallel movements, parties and candidates in other countries.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking to one of his large crowds of supporters. (Photo credit: Sanders campaign)

In their recent campaigns, Sanders and Corbyn laid out specific progressive policies to address the real-life problems facing their constituents and their countries and to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations to fully fund healthcare, education and other vital public services. This represents a dramatic U-turn from the vague, deceptive talking points of “center-left” Democratic, Labour and Socialist politicians of the past generation, under cover of which they quietly sold out their constituents to corporate, plutocratic and military-industrial interests.

In 2002, when Margaret Thatcher was asked to name her “greatest political achievement,” she smiled her best cat-that-swallowed-the-canary smile and purred, “Tony Blair and New Labour.”

The true measure of the Reagan-Thatcher counterrevolution was not how Reagan and Thatcher changed their own parties’ policies but that they remade their opposition in their own image and thus marginalized progressive politics for a generation in both their countries, clearing the way for the neoliberal transformation of society.

Reagan and Thatcher launched a race to the bottom that politicians in France, Germany, Japan and the rest of the developed world soon joined in with. They slashed taxes on the wealthy and corporations, cut funding for everything but weapons, war and debt, privatized public services, and abandoned the principle that the wealth and power of wealthy countries should benefit all their people.

Western experts also fanned out across Eastern Europe to impose neoliberal “shock therapy” that caused soaring unemployment and shocking declines in living standards and life expectancy.

The DLC: the U.S.’s New Labour

The corporate-funded Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), which took over the leadership of the Democratic Party between the 1988 and 1992 elections, was the U.S. equivalent of Blair’s New Labour in the U.K. But unlike New Labour, the DLC downplayed its takeover of the Democratic Party instead of dressing it up in a splashy rebranding campaign.

President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 1997. (White House photo)

Lax campaign finance laws already left the U.S. political system wide open to corruption, or “legalized bribery” as former President Jimmy Carter has called it, through lavish fundraising, political advertising and corporate lobbying. The DLC Democrats launched a campaign to match the Republicans in fundraising from the wealthy and corporations, and “Slick Willie” Clinton sold the DLC’s new model of “center-left” corporate politics to the public, veiling the radical nature of his plutocratic agenda behind talking points drafted by corporate-funded think tanks and spin doctors.

It has tragically taken three decades for a majority of Americans to wake up to this plutocratic corporate buyout of their political system, first by Reagan’s Republicans, but then, decisively, by the Democrats who dropped the other shoe and left the public at large effectively unrepresented and marginalized.

Hillary Clinton’s dramatic 2016 defeat by one of the most unpopular figures in U.S. political history should have been a clarion call to the middle management of the Democratic Party — members of Congress, senior Congressional staff, and local and state party leaders — that the DLC model of politics had run its course.

Nobody in the Democratic Party more explicitly symbolized the corrupt DLC political model than the Clintons. Bill Clinton was the DLC’s fourth chairman from 1990 to 1991, and his election as President in 1992 cemented the DLC’s control of the Democratic Party. The first six chairmen of the DLC were all Southern men in the Clinton mold, and the DLC was never chaired by a woman in its 26-year history. (The DLC closed its doors in 2011.)

But Hillary Clinton’s defeat was hardly the first signal that the DLC Democrats had had their day. Corporate Democrats suffered a bloodbath in the 2010 midterm election. Even as the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) enjoyed a net gain of four seats in the House in 2010, 36 percent of non-CPC Democrats were tossed out on their ears, losing 67 of their 185 seats.

The CPC was founded in 1991 by Sen. Bernie Sanders and five progressive Democrats, and it has grown to be the largest Democratic caucus in Congress, with 73 current House members representing the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

If the 2010 election should have woken the Democrats from their complacency, the public disillusionment revealed by record low turnout in the 2014 mid-term should have rung the alarm bells off the wall. As Bernie Sanders repeated in almost every stump speech in 2016, “When voter turnout is high, Democrats and progressives win. When voter turnout is low and people are demoralized, Republicans win.”

And yet the overwhelming majority of Democratic members of Congress, including most members of the Progressive Caucus, still backed Clinton over Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary. Despite repeated and increasingly dire warnings, culminating in political suicide in 2016, the Democratic Party still refuses to repudiate or reform its failed, corrupt DLC model of politics.

Like other aspects of neoliberalism, the Reagan-DLC model is so entrenched and so successfully insulated the political class from accountability to the public that they just can’t believe the game is up.

After the election, Progressive Caucus co-chair Keith Ellison ran for the chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), on a platform to reform the party and restore integrity to the DNC, which flagrantly pulled strings for Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary. But right-wing Democrats led by Haim Saban opened their wallets for an ugly campaign to smear Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress as an anti-Semite and dig up the votes to defeat him. When Saban and Company’s new DNC chair Tom Perez joined Bernie Sanders on a so-called “Democratic Unity” tour, he was booed from Maine to Miami.

As Claire Sandberg, Sanders’ former digital organizing director told Vice News, “The (Democratic Party) Establishment is like a doomsday cult; no matter how thoroughly their predictions (are) refuted by reality, they just dig in deeper in their incoherent worldview, with devastating consequences for the rest of us.”

Jon Ossoff v. Harry Truman

The latest Democratic fiasco is Jon Ossoff’s defeat by a 3.8 percent margin by Karen Handel in a special election in Georgia, despite spending $30 million on a campaign that broke the record for legalized bribery in a U.S. House race. To add insult to injury, Karen Handel is the former vice president of the Susan Komen Foundation who resigned over its support for Planned Parenthood in 2012. How much more self-inflicted humiliation can the Democrats stand?

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Great Britain’s Labour Party.

On the same day, fellow Democrat Archie Parnell did a bit better than Ossoff, losing to Republican Ralph Norman by a margin of only 3.2 percent in an equally Republican-leaning district in South Carolina, despite only spending $500,000 and being all but ignored by national Democratic Party power brokers and fundraisers.

Could a share of the millions fruitlessly lavished on Ossoff have put Parnell over the top? We’ll never know. Or is the corporate Democratic Party machine now so toxic that its coolness to Parnell actually helped his candidacy?

If that is the case, it raises questions about the very purpose and existence of the Democratic Party. Could the Dems be doomed to go the way of PASOK in Greece or the Socialists in France, former ruling parties suddenly reduced to single digits by recent elections? Is that what it would take to revitalize U.S. politics? Should Sanders and progressives inside and outside the Democratic Party start a new People’s Party, as “Draft Bernie” activists at the recent People’s Summit in Chicago were calling for?

While Ossoff was a well-connected former Congressional staffer, a young celebrity candidate hyped by party leaders, Parnell was a self-deprecating retired tax attorney who ran as his own man, staking out straightforward policy positions that appeared to reflect his own judgments of what was important to his neighbors in South Carolina, not the calculations of career political consultants.

Parnell is a former Goldman Sachs executive, not a Sanders- or Corbyn-style democratic socialist, but he followed Sanders and Corbyn’s model of politics in the sense that he responded to the concerns of working- and middle-class voters in his district and vowed to take on powerful corporate interests.

The first issue on the “Issues” page of Parnell’s website was “Taxes and Big Corporations.” He promised to, “use his decades of experience and detailed knowledge of the tax code to make big corporations pay their fair share. He knows how to close the loopholes that allow big companies to stash trillions of dollars overseas (Parnell worked for Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong), and will use that revenue to strengthen our infrastructure and create jobs here at home.”

By contrast, the “Priorities” page of Ossoff’s website began with a section on “Our Economy” that dodged any commitment to take on powerful interests, parroting the corporate Democratic line with non-committal strings of focus-group-tested buzz-words like this: “Jon will stand up in Congress for a dynamic, forward-looking, fiscally responsible economic policy that maximizes opportunity for entrepreneurs, workers, and investors.”

Besides not committing Ossoff to doing anything at all, this kind of nonsense maintains the pretense that politics can please everyone, rich and poor, without confronting conflicting interests or power disparities between different classes or sectors of society.

In practice, corporate Dems and Republicans alike have used this kind of vague, non-committal language as a smoke-screen for the concentration of more and more power and wealth in the hands of a ruling class that is oblivious to the lives and problems of the rest of humanity. In a televised debate with Handel, Ossoff pledged not to bite the hand that feeds him by raising taxes on the wealthy, and came out against universal publicly-funded healthcare.

The Ossoff fiasco illustrates the dead-end into which the DLC Democrats have driven their party. As long as their primary goal is to raise the money they need to run corrupt multi-million dollar campaigns, their party can never honestly address the real concerns of the people whose votes ultimately decide the result. Once the public finally caught on to the corporate Democrats’ deceptive game, the Dems were bound to reap a whirlwind of righteous popular anger.

As President Harry Truman said in a speech in 1952, “The people don’t want a phony Democrat. If it’s a choice between a Republican and a Republican in Democratic clothing, they’ll take the genuine article every time.” Truman understood that betrayal and outrage are more potent political forces than arguments about which party’s policies are more evil than the other’s.

The Corrupt “Middle of the Road” 

Because the Democratic Party has become first and foremost a fundraising and bribery machine, the only thing that Democratic leaders seem to have gleaned from Bernie Sanders’s success is that his presidential campaign raised millions of dollars in small donations from working- and middle-class people. So, corporate Democrats have latched onto grassroots fundraising as an element of Sanders’s “political revolution” that they can embrace – not issues such as universal healthcare, free college tuition and a $15 minimum wage. Now they are worried that Ossoff’s defeat may have killed that golden goose.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

What anyone without a vested interest in the Democratic Party could have told the party bigwigs is that Bernie Sanders’s fundraising success was not a gimmick that could be replicated in isolation from other aspects of his campaign. It was the result of a public upsurge of support for a refreshingly honest, independent and perennially marginalized politician who offered concrete solutions to the real problems of American politics and society — problems largely created, swept under the rug and ignored for a generation by a corrupt political establishment.

As on so many other fronts, the corporate Democrats are caught in a trap they have set for themselves with their deceptive, monetized model of politics.

In 2008, they fabricated a myth that Barack Obama had raised a record share of his funding from small donors. But an apples-to-apples comparison of official records showed that he only raised 24 percent of his funds from donors who gave less than $200, about the same as both Kerry and Bush in 2004.

A well-publicized study by the Campaign Finance Institute (CFI) kept the Obama small donor myth alive by treating people who donated to both his primary and general election campaigns as if they were two different people, magically transforming many who gave more than $200 into twice as many smaller donors and boosting his small donor percentage from 24 percent to 30 percent in the primary and 34 percent in the general election in the CFI study.

Now the CFI has backtracked and cites the 24 percent figure. By contrast, both Trump and Sanders really did raise more of their funds from small donors – 44 percent for Sanders and 58 percent for Trump, compared with only 22 percent for Clinton.

The real danger of the Ossoff fiasco is the same one the corporate Democrats keep creating and recreating for their party, that their slick, deceptive brand of politics is so tainting their identity that it will undermine real progressive Democratic candidates in 2018 and beyond.

After a generation of corporate politics, it is vital that both journalists and the public learn to tell the difference between corrupt corporate Republicans and Democrats on the one hand and genuine, well-motivated grassroots candidates on the other. This distinction may ultimately be more important to the political future of the country than the choice between Republicans and Democrats, and telling the difference does not require an advanced degree in political science. A quick look at any candidate’s website can usually tell us most of what we need to know.

I already contrasted Archie Parnell’s promise “to make big corporations pay their fair share” of taxes with Jon Ossoff’s pledges to his wealthy benefactors. Ossoff also fully embraced Ronald Reagan’s tired old saw that the government should be “run like a business.” His so-called “accountability plan,” which aimed only to trim government waste, not to hold politicians accountable to their constituents for their policies or their corruption, included a section headed “Bringing the Government up to Private Sector Standards,” a classic theme of pseudo-technocratic “centrist” politicians.

Despite or maybe because of working on Capitol Hill for five years, Ossoff didn’t seem to understand that the federal government’s most critical responsibilities involve public services like healthcare, education, social welfare and infrastructure, for which the neoliberal “business” model has proved to be damaging and dangerous.

Ossoff’s political posture appeared to be calculated to position himself directly between the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and the Southern conservative “Blue Dogs,” a throwback to Bill Clinton’s “triangulation” strategy from the 1990s — even though the Blue Dogs have been reduced from 54 seats in Congress in 2008 to 18 now.

As Texan progressive activist Jim Hightower says, “There ain’t nothing in the middle of the road but yellow lines and dead armadillos.” The center in “center-left” has always been a euphemism for pro-big-business, and American voters have had 30 years to judge the effects of this calculated, cynical kind of politics on their country and their lives.

Americans are now divided, not so much between the deceptive pitches of corporate Democrats and Republicans, but between desperately hoping for a new kind of politics that honestly addresses the reality of their lives on the one hand and giving up on “politics” altogether on the other.

Moral Bankruptcy on War and Peace

Nowhere is the moral bankruptcy of the Democratic Party more evident than on questions of war and peace. Americans chose Obama over Clinton in 2008 in large part based on Clinton’s vote for the Iraq War authorization and Obama’s decision to speak at an anti-war rally in Chicago in October 2002, in which he called the illegal planned invasion “a dumb war.”

Saudi King Salman bids farewell to President Barack Obama at Erga Palace after a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

But in his book, The Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote that he hesitated to speak at that anti-war rally because, “on the merits I didn’t consider the case against war to be cut-and-dried.”

In fact, military-industrial power brokers like Chicago’s Crown family had backed Obama’s political career right from the start and knew him far better than the general public, who were meeting him for the first time through his award-winning marketing campaign. The Crown family were among Obama’s top national fundraising “bundlers” in 2008 and former General Dynamics’ CEO Lester Crown, the patriarch of the family, hosted an elite fundraiser for Obama at his home in Chicago.

Once elected, Obama dropped more bombs and missiles on more countries than Bush, and expanded the violence and chaos of Bush’s “war on terror” to Libya, Syria and Yemen. Obama spent more money on weapons and war than any president since World War II (even after adjusting for inflation), and rewarded General Dynamics with a steady stream of profits from expanded production of Virginia class submarines ($2.5 billion each), 39 new Arleigh Burke destroyers to be built over 20 years ($1.8 billion each) and three new Zumwalt destroyers ($7.5 billion each, including development costs, more than an aircraft carrier).

Obama and a Democratic Congress ordered the Zumwalt destroyers in April 2009 over the objections of the Navy, which called the Zumwalt, “a ship you don’t need,” as the program had already become an operational, engineering and procurement nightmare.

Admiral Jay Johnson, the former chief of naval operations who had championed the Zumwalt program, was by then Vice Chairman, and soon to be CEO, of General Dynamics. The Zumwalt destroyers are vulnerable to modern anti-ship missiles, and the first ship launched, the USS Zumwalt, had to be towed out of the Panama Canal in December 2016 after its propellers jammed and it ran aground.

As a major supplier of bombs and ammunition, General Dynamics has also profited handsomely from the U.S. bombing of Iraq and Syria, which is now the heaviest U.S. bombing campaign since the bombing of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, with over 84,000 bombs and missiles dropped since 2014.

The various Al Qaeda splinter groups tearing Syria apart have all been armed with some share of the thousands of tons of weapons the Obama administration and its allies flooded across Syria’s borders since 2011. These include thousands of howitzers, rocket launchers and other heavy weapons, and over 315 million rounds of ammunition, as Gareth Porter expertly catalogued in a recent article.

Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has introduced the “Stop Arming Terrorists Act,” which would prohibit any further U.S. arming of Al Qaeda-linked terrorists in Syria or anywhere else. But only 14 of her colleagues have co-sponsored her bill and eight of them are Republicans. The six progressive Democrats who have signed on are Welch, Lee, Conyers, Khanna, Rush and De Fazio.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii.

In the Senate, Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, has taken the lead in opposing arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the U.S.’s despicable role in the Saudi-led war on Yemen. The bill Murphy sponsored with Senators Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, and Al Franken, D-Minnesota, to stop a small part of the latest Saudi arms sale failed by 53-47, thanks to five Democrats who voted with the Republican majority: Donnelly, Manchin, McCaskill, Nelson and Warner.

Senator Bill Nelson, from my home state of Florida, has long been known as the “Senator for Lockheed Martin.” But it is a new low, even for Nelson, to prioritize profits from U.S. arms sales over the dangerously precarious lives of the starving and cholera-stricken children of Yemen.

In its markup for the 2018 national defense authorization, the House Armed Services Committee has approved consideration of Barbara Lee’s amendment to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), the legal fig-leaf with which Pentagon and White House lawyers still pretend to justify the rivers of blood shed in the name of September 11th and the “global war on terror.”

Barbara Lee was the only member of Congress in either chamber with the wisdom and courage to vote against the AUMF in 2001. How many will stand with Barbara Lee this time to consign the AUMF to the garbage can of history?

Predictably, neither the Ossoff nor Parnell campaigns offered any new or progressive positions on U.S. war policy. Ossoff’s website had a long-winded statement of unconditional support for Israel, with no mention of human rights, occupation or settlements, nor any word on the plight of the Palestinians at all, and he threw in a threat of destabilizing new sanctions against Iran for good measure.

This kind of blatant pandering to the Israel lobby is another cynical staple of the DLC model of Democratic politics. Ossoff touted his five years as a national security staffer but avoided specific policy proposals, while Parnell’s website promised only to keep the local Air Force base open and support military veterans.

The U.S. has been at war for over 15 years. Its wars have killed hundreds of times the number of Americans killed on September 11th. No country destroyed by the U.S. war machine has yet emerged from the violence and chaos unleashed on it, making them all fertile ground for Al Qaeda and ISIS recruiters, who flaunt their capacity to keep striking back in surprising places, from San Bernardino and Manchester to the Philippines and West Africa to the heart of Kabul’s fortified Green Zone.

Yet no Democratic Party leader has presented any proposal to deescalate an increasingly global asymmetric war that keeps spreading and spinning farther out of control. As the Trump administration looks only to dangerous and potentially catastrophic escalation on every front, where is the Democratic alternative?

Beyond Inverted Totalitarianism

Gabbard’s bill on Syria, Murphy’s initiatives on Yemen and Lee’s AUMF repeal bill are all tests of whether the Democratic Party can become relevant again to the future of our country and the world. Bernie Sanders’s campaign got a shot in the arm when Gabbard joined him on the campaign trail and took on the questions of war and peace that he had timidly avoided.

A sign at a Bernie Sanders rally in Washington D.C. on June 9, 2016. (Photo credit: Chelsea Gilmour)

Sanders’s continued silence or even quiet support for U.S. war policy is a dangerous and disturbing element in an otherwise honorable progressive stance, and the position he has earned as America’s most popular politician gives him both a platform and a responsibility to address critical foreign policy issues as well as domestic ones.

Sanders would do well to have a serious discussion about foreign policy with Jeremy Corbyn, whose progressive views and expressions of concern for the lives of working people and their families do not stop at the borders of his own country. Corbyn’s domestic and foreign policy positions therefore form a coherent and consistent whole that makes sense to the public, who keep rallying around him despite regular predictions of catastrophic defeat by both his Tory opponents and Margaret Thatcher’s pride and joy, the New Labour/Blairite wing of his own party.

In his 2006 book, Democracy Incorporated, Sheldon Wolin described our present neoliberal political and economic system as “inverted totalitarianism,” differing from classical totalitarianism in that, instead of just abolishing the tools of democracy, our rulers have coopted them to use for their own purposes.

Wolin observed that the inverted form of totalitarianism seems to be a more palatable and therefore sustainable way to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of a privileged ruling class than the classical totalitarianism of the Twentieth Century.

But the genius of inverted totalitarianism is also its weakness. As long as the institutions of democracy still exist, even in their present hollowed-out and corrupted form, the wealthy and powerful face the danger that the public will one day discover its voice and its power, stop voting for corporate-backed celebrity politicians like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and develop a “new kind of politics” that offers real solutions to our most serious problems, from poverty, inequality and for-profit healthcare to war, terrorism and climate change.

The refusal of the Blairites and Clintonistas to see the writing on the wall for their 1990s brand of politics is costing the people of the U.K, the U.S. and the world very dearly. But the sleeping giant of democracy is stirring beneath the astro-turf of the American dream.

The Sanders and Corbyn campaigns, Podemos in Spain and connected movements around the world may be the first green shoots of a just, peaceful and sustainable future — but only if we recognize that it is up to all of us to both nurture them and hold their leaders accountable on the critical questions of our time.

Nicolas J S Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.  He also wrote the chapters on “Obama at War” in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.

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123 comments for “The Democratic Party’s Deadly Dead-End

  1. Charles Misfeldt
    July 3, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    I was a life long democrat until I came to understand how conservatives and their policies control the democrats. I bit one last time to vote for Obama under the belief that he was running in the center but would govern left of center, when he went radical right wing that was the last straw. If democrats stay conservative I will not vote for them. I believe that all of the candidates running for office are hand selected to represent the conservative ruling power elite, the war profiteers, Zionism and world dominationists, I do not believe one inch of our voting system is fair or honest. Little by little American democracy has been corrupted to the point where a small minority of rich conservative criminals controls us for their benefit at our cost and I see no light at the end of the tunnel. What America has become is immoral and this will not end well.

    • Realist
      July 3, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      What they say in the campaign and what they do once in office are totally different things.

      I think the author was trying too hard to find the slightest reason to praise some Democrats. Murphy and Frankin may have voted to oppose some arms sale to Saudi Arabia, but that was most likely their Zionist reflex kicking in. Besides, they are both irrationally and dangerously Russophobic. Really, there are few Dems in office that I can continue to support.

      No one on earth could have predicted the massive shift of the Democratic Party to the right and towards unvarnished warmongering only five years ago when Obama ran his last campaign of mass deception. All those useful idiots have accomplished the task given them by the cons and the neocons and now they can expect to lose their political offices to genuine Republicans. But they really won’t mind as they will continue to be paid “deferred compensation” by the power elite who will reward them with lobbying jobs and exorbitant speaking fees.

      American politics is just a racket, an orchestrated “reality show” put on to distract the lazy unwitting public. As Beavis and Butthead used to say… “words, words, words…” totally unconnected to their supposed meaning. Why is it so hard for the Dems to accept the obvious bitter truth? They lost to Donald Trump, a maestro of “reality television,” because his opponent was Hillary Clinton. I’ll repeat that for the mentally challenged, Hillary Clinton elected Donald Trump (not the Russians!). Any other interpretation is just self-serving hog wash that any fool can see is just a lame excuse right up there with “the dog ate my homework.”

      • Cal
        July 3, 2017 at 5:47 pm

        DITTO

      • bernie
        July 4, 2017 at 9:26 am

        Realist, i just read the terrific summation by Davies. It encompassed, again, pretty much all we know of the current state of USA political realitiy.

        But your comment was, what i think, most of us on the far left and those that have been following politics here, already know. It was concise, ‘got stains out fast’.

        I moved to the Green party voting the first time Nader ran – and have never regretted my votes.

        • Emm Vee
          July 4, 2017 at 1:52 pm

          Me too. I voted for Jill Stein and all Green Party candidates on the ballot and felt so liberated afterwards. I’ve never regretted my vote for a second

      • Homer Jay
        July 4, 2017 at 1:11 pm

        Good stuff…especially your last paragraph. I couldn’t agree more…love the Beavis and Butthead reference. That show (at times) was the first “Black Mirror” for America. Thanks.

      • Emm Vee
        July 4, 2017 at 1:50 pm

        Agreed

      • dimitris solomonidis
        July 5, 2017 at 10:31 am

        No one on earth!??? I am sorry my friend but you are being american. Do not assume that the rest of the world is like your back yard. All you needed to do back before obomber was elected for the first time was check who was bank rolling him (and then use your nut of course). Lots of people on earth knew back then that lockheed martin, citigroup and the rest did not give him money to shower the john does with bread and butter.

        • July 6, 2017 at 5:06 pm

          I totally agree. If they had done just a little homework regarding “Oil Can Barry”, his transition to DLC politics should have surprised no one.

    • turk151
      July 3, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      Forget this phony left / right paradigm, it is no longer relevant and is a sub-issue at best; there are plenty of good people on the right who just want to end the corruption and wars too. This is about a ruling aristocracy, organized crime, weapon sales, oil and bloating the military budget.

      • jo6pac
        July 3, 2017 at 7:33 pm

        Correct, as member of the far left and my neighbors true conservatives they are always amazed how close we are.

      • Homer Jay
        July 4, 2017 at 1:16 pm

        Agreed. The binary structure/paradigm keeps an equally divided proleteriat fighting each other while elites rob them all blind and give them “safety” in exchange for their liberty. Anyone, on either side steps out of line, they lock you up.

      • Gene
        July 4, 2017 at 2:22 pm

        Phony left-right paradigm, we agree. Our real adversaries are spirts such as ignorance, illiteracy, poverty.

    • July 3, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      “I believe that all of the candidates running for office are hand selected to represent the conservative ruling power elite, the war profiteers, Zionism and world dominationists,” Right on.
      Obama has been the greatest fraud in the American history.

      • Homer Jay
        July 4, 2017 at 1:29 pm

        Yes Anna! As the first black president who was elected (among other reasons) because he voted against the Iraq war, Obama was a perfect vessel to deliver more hegemonious wars inflicting mayhem on people of color which out much resistance. Amazing how he carried out so much of the neoconservative agenda (including extending the Bush tax cuts for the very wealthy) while most Americans on the left and right thought he was progressive…hell he was depicted as a socialist by those on the right (i.e Tea Party), which like alot of criticisms waged against him were racially motivated, as he was often regarded as “un-American” which was just code for being black.

        • Virginia Jones
          July 5, 2017 at 1:45 am

          Exactly right! I actually contributed to Obama’s campaign on my SS income! But it was all a ruse. His promises to end war was a joke and then his health care was all about insurance companies.

        • cmack
          July 5, 2017 at 9:57 am

          everybody’s a racist.

          so sick of hearing that.

          tea party was so many things. racist is your own fantasy.

          remember, obama is half white.

          ps. america is socialist.

          • Homer Jay
            July 5, 2017 at 11:38 am

            cmack, very articulate response. America is socialist?! Well then I have gripe because I still haven’t received my billions from the redistribution of wealth that should come my way. And where is my socialized medicine?! Am I the last American still stuck in this capitalist overpriced medicine for profit system? You really believe your own comment? You must not be American.

      • Emm Vee
        July 4, 2017 at 1:54 pm

        Obama along with GWB, WJC, Bush I should be in prison.

    • Russell
      July 4, 2017 at 10:09 am

      Thus the cold. hard light of TRUTH is revealed !!!

    • Murali
      July 4, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Obama has duped us twice: first how he was against Iraq war and then second time talking about how Romeny was getting us into hot war with Russia. He is as bad slick Willey and the Neo-Cons fawned all over him. His parting gift to the country was a war like status with Russia and an utterly discredited foreign policy

    • Stephen Sivonda
      July 4, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      Charles Misfeldt…. your comment was the first one I read and you’ve summed it up perfectly. Precisely my feelings and thoughts also. I’m not going to read any further as you’ve said it ALL.

  2. Drew Hunkins
    July 3, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    The sellout DLC Democrats have absolutely nothing left to offer but the dead-end of gonadal identity politics and tranny bathrooms. The last real substantive benefit the Dems delivered to the hard pressed masses was Medicare, 50 years ago (fifty). They’re now essentially irrelevant to the lives of tens of millions who are one car repair or dental nightmare away from bankruptcy, homelessness and utter destitution.

    Apathy, opiates, porn, reality [sic] TV, and cheap shopping mall items now reign supreme across the working class heartland. The mainstream Dems sold their souls a few decades ago to the Zionist power configuration in America, Wall Street predators and parasites, absurd Russia baiting, and “anything but Class” gonadal politics. The chickens have now come to roost. My working class and middle class brethren in the Rust Belt have seen through the ruse, the gig is up, no smooth talking Harvard Law Review hustler president will ever be able to run the con on us again.

    The most accurate book to read on all this is arguably Iceberg Slim’s classic of street lit, “Trick Baby,” which explains the street con and hustle like no other work.

    • Chloe
      July 3, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      Excellent post. Thank you. The dental issue is a huge one, and for those in need of oral surgery for tooth extractions, or endodontistry for root canals, or periodontistry for gum disease, or even just basic dental care for crowns and fillings, the costs can be astronomical. The regressive USA is probably the only industrialized country that doesn’t consider teeth and gums to be part of the body.

      It’s a dystopian country now, and the Democrats are largely to blame for this downward trajectory. There is nobody left with power to protect the vulnerable 80% of us from the unfolding Ayn Randian nightmare. For anyone who hasn’t read it yet, there’s an excellent new book called “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America,” by historian Nancy MacLean. The title speaks for itself, and the truth is that we are not only on the precipice right now, but we are dangling over the edge of the proverbial cliff. With Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, we are headed even further into the Koch fueled capitalist free-for-all that these soulless creature have envisioned and planned for our country since the mid-20th century.

      • Drew Hunkins
        July 3, 2017 at 2:54 pm

        Thank you Chloe.

        Yup, dental cost issues are an under reported catastrophe in this country. You make adroit and spot-on comments about the dystopian state we now inhabit.

        • Abby Bailey
          July 3, 2017 at 6:44 pm

          Yes thank you for speaking of the ongoing dental nightmare many of us are trapped in.
          40 years ago I was in a bad motorcycle accident that shattered my jaw in 5 places. The surgeon didn’t fix it properly and I had to have it re broken 8 years later.

          Because of the trauma to the nerve roots, every one of my top teeth needed a root canal and a crown. Then the bottom teeth needed them too.
          Of course I didn’t have dental insurance and had to use my credit card to pay for the work.
          After trying to pay my card off, I lost my job to a disability and could no longer meet the minimum payment. I tried to work with the credit card company, but they wouldn’t budge. So I had to default on it. I probably repaid the credit card company 3 times what I owed because of the interest rates. Once it went to 29.99% for no reason. I told them I wouldn’t accept that interest rate. .

          I have always wondered why teeth aren’t covered as a medical problem, but of course, it’s so the insurance companies can make profits. Even having dental insurance won’t keep people from financial distress.

          • Abby Bailey
            July 3, 2017 at 6:47 pm

            p.s.
            After spending all that money, the teeth started breaking off at the gum line and I had to have them surgically removed and now I have top dentures only because I have had 7 surgeries on my lower jaw and there is too much nerve damage to wear them.
            I miss raw vegetables and nuts.

          • Chloe
            July 3, 2017 at 9:00 pm

            My heart sure goes out to you for the physical trauma, the dental nightmare, and the financial burden.Thank you for sharing your story. And yes, dental insurance provides a mere drop in the proverbial bucket for most major dental issues.

          • Abby Bailey
            July 4, 2017 at 3:01 am

            Chloe, I hope that you see this response.
            Thanks for kind response.
            Yes it was a horrible nightmare. The doctor who reset my jaw the first time didn’t get the proper X-rays which the radiologist suggested because he couldn’t see how badly my condyle was broken. This bone is what opens and closes our mouths.
            Since he didn’t set that back correctly, the other side of my jaw took most of the pressure.
            This was why I needed it reset. I don’t think I would have had the surgery if I had any idea how painful the recovery would be.
            This was when my teeth started having abcesses which moved from one tooth to the next.
            I thought the right thing to do was to try to save my teeth, but looking back with the famous 20/20 hindsight, I should have saved the money and go with dentures because they were much cheaper:)
            However, I have always considered myself very lucky because the kickstand on my motorcycle fractured my skull and I could have either been in a vegetative state or have died.
            The only problem I have from this now is memory losses from my 20’s, but other than that, I’m very lucky to have lived through it.
            Hopefully you have a great holiday.

          • Chloe
            July 4, 2017 at 4:22 pm

            Thanks you for your note. You have a great holiday too, and take good care of yourself. We’re all in this together, and we must keep fighting for Medicare-for-All, which includes dental care. I have found that the shocking prices of those services I wrote about above are nothing short of predatory capitalism as practiced by the dental and oral surgery professions.

      • Jack Forrest
        July 6, 2017 at 7:35 am

        ” The sleeping giant of democracy !”- just adorable the mishmash in mythology of democracy . Presenting Fabian socialist Bernie Sanders in British politicians as Nuwave alternatives , darling .

        Highly entertaining for a political professional who work for the Democratic Party from 1956 to 2015 .

        The royal feminism and the rule use of “we “and flapping about democracy will certainly get you an interview or repeat on BBC and PR PBS congratulations .

    • Miranda Keefe
      July 3, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      Drew Hunkins wrote, ” but the dead-end of gonadal identity politics and tranny bathrooms. ”

      I agree with your over all analysis. However…

      Let’s not act like identity politics are important if by the term we mean protecting the rights of women, LGBT folk, racial minorities, and other fringe groups. What doesn’t work is acting like all that matters is equal opportunity and protecting abortion and not doing anything else to fix economic and class oppression, which usually hits racial minorities hardest.

      Also, please be aware that “tranny” is a real derogatory term. To us in the Trans community it feels the same way as when someone uses the F word or the N word to denigrate Gays or African Americans. Thanks.

      • Chloe
        July 3, 2017 at 4:18 pm

        Thank you for sharing this. I didn’t recognize that term as derogatory and degrading, and though I personally have never used it, your comment is probably a helpful lesson for readers here, and certainly one that I will remember with increased sensitivity. I apologize for not taking note of that in my response to Drew Hunkins, who I believe was well intentioned with his words, although probably, like me, ignorant of the injury that word could inflict.

      • Drew Hunkins
        July 3, 2017 at 5:32 pm

        I apologize if tranny is offensive, I didn’t know that. Thank you.

        I’m all for women’s rights, easy abortion access, equal pay, civil rights, etc. But when these are the only issues the Dem party focuses on we have a deep and serious problem in the politico-economic discourse.

        It’s almost as if mainstream Dems and certain petty bourgeois liberal activists would be perfectly happy with 1% of the population controlling the the lion’s share of all wealth in the country if that 1% is 14% black, 50% women, 10% lesbian or gay, etc. etc. I think you get my point.

        Peace, and have a nice holiday.

        • Michael Fiorillo
          July 4, 2017 at 9:13 am

          The problem goes even deeper: for DLC types, “civil rights” means the opportunity for women, blacks Latinos, LBGT, et al. to get their proportional cut of the wealth extractive, public goods-destroying, war-making carceral state that has come into being.

          Sorry, but it’s no comfort to me if the warden and guards of the prison I’ve unjustly been placed in represent an accurate cross-section of the populace.

          It’s “Diversity Day” (if you recall that brilliant episode of “The Office”) as presented by those smiling, perky types in HR, if Ms./Mr. Perkiness worked for an imperialistic (and incompetent even at that) police state.

          • Miranda Keefe
            July 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm

            “The problem goes even deeper: for DLC types…”

            I think it even goes deeper. They don’t really care if the entire 1% or even the professional 10% are diverse. They only care if it *seems* that way in the shills they try to sell to the various minority groups and to women. In other words the big corporations don’t need to be ran and owned by anyone but old, fat, rich, middle class, white males, but the politicians who do their bidding should be POC or Women and should appear friendly to LGBT issues. (Actually having ten percent of these politicians be LGBT is going too far for them.)

            So instead of doing something for marginalized women across the nation who need welfare, jobs, higher minimum wage, free college, clean water, safe cheap public transportation and the even more marginalized brown women being slaughtered by the MIC complex across the rest of the world, their idea of identity politics is having Hillary Clinton be the president. Instead of doing something for the marginalized POC who continue to face oppression, police violence, and threats of being deported, their idea of identity politics is Tom Perez as chair of the DNC and Corey Booker as the next presidential nominee. Then they can all do what Obama did for the oppressed population they represent: NOTHING except blame them for a ‘cultural of dependence.’

        • Miranda Keefe
          July 4, 2017 at 3:52 pm

          Yes, I figured you were for all those rights, I just like to clarify that when I see that critique.

          I also figured you didn’t realize the term was offensive, or you wouldn’t have used it.

          Thanks for being gracious in receiving my input. :)

    • Cal
      July 3, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      ” The mainstream Dems sold their souls a few decades ago to the Zionist power configuration in America”>>

      The Zionist certainly have the political power now but it was the so called Jewish Intellectuals who invaded academia after WWll who changed ‘society/politics’ for the worst. Jewish academic Horace Kallen and his fellow peers are widely credited as being the originators of the concept of Pluralism in the late 40’s and 50’s. They were propelled by the holocaust and fear of any American anti semitism. They argued against the concept of “Americanization”.. iow, the ‘melting pot’ and in favor of the ‘salad bowl’ in which ethnic immigrants maintain their own culture, ethnic identities and interest. They thought that a government and society of recognized ‘ethnic rights’ was the way to ensure that Jews would be safe in America. Pluralism doesnt sound unreasonable and has some good ideas—- but what it has led to politically is the problem. The various ingredients of the ‘salad bow’ now compete with each other for ‘ power’ to benefit themselves and even rule over others without any regard for the country as a whole. In foreign policy for example different parties may have a chance to take part in decision making. The one who has more power has the higher possibility to get what it wants…as in the jewish zionist who control US policy on Israel….to the deteriment of real US interest and US citizens.

      So where we are now in our fractured country has been a long, slow process that moved subtly on many simultaneous fronts. If you dont like the country or if you fear it will become anti semitic as in the case of the jewish intelluctal movement post WWll and want to change it you start changing or undermining majority held values that might go against your interest…which then morphs into changing multitudes of institutions including government over the decades.

      All political parties now are ‘tyrannies of the minorities’ (of all kinds).

  3. Cal
    July 3, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Three points

    # ”A quick look at any candidate’s website can usually tell us most of what we need to know.”>

    Not really. They lie. Better to look at their background and what they have done and said in their past

    # ”As Texan progressive activist Jim Hightower says, “There ain’t nothing in the middle of the road but yellow lines and dead armadillos.”>

    The dead armadillos are in the right and left lanes. They wouldn’t get hit if they ran down the yellow lane. Running blindly in the right or left lane is what is wrong with the country.

    # ”Sheldon Wolin described our present neoliberal political and economic system as “inverted totalitarianism,” differing from classical totalitarianism in that, instead of just abolishing the tools of democracy, our rulers have coopted them to use for their own purposes.”

    We were warned about this ‘inverted totalitarianism’ over 200 years ago by one of those evil white men Founders its so popular to hate these days. …..

    Washington’s Farewell Address 1796
    ”All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.
    However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion. ”

  4. J. D.
    July 3, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    As far as Sanders and Corbyn are concerned, Corbyn, who is pro-nuclear and has called on President Trump to engage Putin regarding Syria, has more courage in his big toe.

    • john wilson
      July 4, 2017 at 5:02 am

      You are mistaken J.D. Corbyn is anti nukes and always has been. The fact is whilst I loathe that horrible woman, Clinton, she did get more votes than Trump and over here in the UK, whilst I have no time for the Conservatives, they did get more seats than Corbyn. Corbyn would need another 60 seats to have a majority of seats in parliament. The peoples of our nations are divided and its like something out of Lilliput land where they go to war over which side to crack a boiled egg for breakfast!!!!

  5. July 3, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    A very perceptive analysis that reflects my own views recently expressed in a blog. I will put the link here but for those who don’t wish to read any further I urge them to click on the link within the blog which provides a video of Greece’s ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis giving a rock star performance of how the financial elite have cooped the electorate(worldwide). Varoufakis recently published a book explaining how he secretly taped his negotiations with the IMF which put the lie to their own version.

    https://crivellistreetchronicle.blogspot.com/2017/07/an-axiom-of-political-road.html

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 3, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      Thank you BobH. I agree with your accessment of Yanis Varoufakis he certainly “gets it” with respect to what’s going on with international economics. The book that he and James Galbraith authored “Welcome To The Poisoned Chalice” explains s great deal about manipulation and Austerity. I will link it for convenience…

      https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Poisoned-Chalice-Destruction-Greece/dp/0300220448

      • July 3, 2017 at 10:34 pm

        BobV,,,,thanks for checking it out. I didn’t realize Varousakis’s book was co-authored by James Galbraith, another economist I respect. Incidentally James Galbraith(aside from being the son of J.K Galbraith)is the brother of Peter Galbraith who has been a tireless advocate of Kurdish autonomy. Peter wrote a perceptive and engaging book about the Kurdish struggle for independence entitled The End of Iraq.

        • Bob Van Noy
          July 3, 2017 at 11:39 pm

          Love that family, thanks…

        • Bob Van Noy
          July 6, 2017 at 10:07 am

          BobH and interested others: It turns out that Yanis Varoufakis has issued a new book rather than the one I cited. I will link it here because I feel strongly that much serious thinking is currently going on in the field of International Economics. I’m certainly no economist, but it seems to me that the economic treatment of large numbers of People should take president over shiny metals and oil. A truly enlightened world will have to factor sustainability world-wide; or surely we will all perish…

          Adults In The Room – My battle with Europe’s deep establishment. By Yanis Varoufakis

          https://www.amazon.com/Adults-Room-Battle-Europes-Establishment-ebook/dp/B01ICK4IWK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

          • July 7, 2017 at 12:02 pm

            BobV…thanks again,,,here’s a video interview about Varoufakis’ latest book…it’s long, but I believe well worth the time.

          • July 7, 2017 at 12:03 pm

            whoops!…I forgot the link

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGt82RFfg3U

  6. Anon
    July 3, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    The suggestion that we “nurture” Sanders is incongruous with recognition of his “silence or even quiet support for U.S. war policy.” At best he would sheepdog his supporters into more GWOT like Obama. Oh he must have just forgotten to mention its virtues during his campaign. What, you are not all zionists? If you won’t give the farm to his ethnic group, then you are anti-semites!

    Whatever support Sanders had belongs with a true progressive. Time to Dump the Dems and start new parties that truly represent their supporters, and can form coalitions that win.

    • July 3, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      Anon,…I don’t think you’re giving Sanders a fair shake. A remark attributed to FDR is that the shepherd can’t get too far ahead of the flock. I think that applies to any political movement. Those of us that disagree with any position may need to snap at the heals of the shepherd but divisive language can only separate the flock and make them prey for wolves. Unfortunately, we do not have a parliamentary system like the U.K. where alliances can be made among diverse parties after an election. That means we are stuck with reforming the Democrats or doomed to a fascist future but that doesn’t mean we should follow the DNC into oblivion either.

      • backwardsevolution
        July 3, 2017 at 8:48 pm

        BobH – Sanders completely folded in on himself. After what was done to him by Hillary Clinton, he quickly, and without hesitation, turned around and embraced her. Where was his righteous indignation? I’m still waiting for it. Crickets. Is that the type of man who is going to go to bat for you? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. A phoney. Measure a man by what he does, not what he says.

        And separating the flock? The flock was separated long ago, largely due to ridiculous policies from the left. As Drew said above, gonadal identity politics. Add in multiculturalism where nobody is just a plain American, but a hyphenated American. Talk about dysfunctional, like a family where every member is competing for their place in the sun, and ultimately you’re left with one giant big hole where the “whole” used to be.

        • Virginia
          July 5, 2017 at 9:12 am

          I agree with you, Back. After supporting Sanders vigorously, I was sorely disappointed in his folding the way he did. It was disgraceful.

        • July 7, 2017 at 1:14 pm

          backwardsevolution- upon reflection I agree with you that Sanders has been sheepish on foreign policy especially… but that doesn’t make him a phony. Let’s give credit where it’s due…in calling out the Democrats for doing the bidding of Wall Street. New leadership is necessary. We will never have the perfect candidate but some of the more progressive Democrats need to remain in congress in order to strike the direction toward a saner policy. I do believe foreign policy is one of the most important issues. This is one of the reasons why I split my ticket and voted for Jill Stein in the last election but even then, does anyone know what Jill Stein’s foreign policy would be if she were elected?

      • Anon
        July 3, 2017 at 9:19 pm

        Party alliances can be made before an election. Most are likely to be primary-issue parties that can ally with other progressives, or redundant combos that can shift votes to the most successful. A mechanism of late-season alliances could act like a primary election to consolidate small parties.

        There is no reform of a party that deliberately sold out and refuses to respond to the electorate. Dump the Dems!

    • Emm Vee
      July 4, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      We need to unite in midterms. If you like candidates running against the inSCUMbents in upcoming primaries, please feel free to vote for them, but should your candidate(s) be unsuccessful & there’s a third party (Green, Independent, etc.) candidate running against the inSCUMbent, please vote for the 3rd party candidate as they’re (in the case of Green Party) not corrupted by big money. In addition to this, please consider voting for EVERY SINGLE 3rd party candidate on the ballot in down ballot races. By electing more third party candidates we can strengthen third parties & weaken the corrupt duopoly stranglehold on government. Both parties are corrupt and need to be voted out of office. If we elect honest candidates to office, that will let the duopoly know the people are fed up with their corruption & they’re next if they don’t start representing US instead of their big money donors.

  7. Bruce Dodds
    July 3, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Hear, hear!

  8. mike k
    July 3, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    The hope that we can be saved by the ordinary mechanisms of politics is a vain one.

    • mike k
      July 3, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      “Politics” is what got us here.

      • irina
        July 3, 2017 at 6:50 pm

        There is no escaping ‘politics’. All politics is an extension of family politics
        (very obvious in the Middle East), just played out on a bigger stage. . .

        • Brad Owen
          July 4, 2017 at 7:57 am

          Quite true. No escape. To try to escape is to roll over on your back, exposing your bare belly to the ravenous Wolfpack. You can complete such a maneuver with “forgive them Father. They know not what they do”.

  9. Zim
    July 3, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Most excellent post. I don’t think I’ve read anything of late that is more spot on regarding the Democrats and politics in general in this country. Thanks.

  10. Joe Tedesky
    July 3, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    After McGovern loss in 1972 I didn’t vote for the next 20 years. So in 1992 my wife and I were to spend a weekend in some rich guy’s guest house, which was bigger than ours. I arrived late, being the busy worker I was back then, and upon arrival my wife said, you got to see Harry’s shower. So as she took me through the 2nd floor hallway, which to my right was a book case with Harry posing with first Gerald Ford, then Jimmy Carter, omg Ronald Reagan, and then HW Bush, until there was an empty shelf waiting for the next presidential picture of Harry with a president. This guy Harry was big bucks, and after my wife showed me Harry’s gold hanging chandelier in Harry’s shower I came to respect Harry’s worth. I back then drove a blue Chevy Beretta and a Ford F250 pickup, so I was a little overcome when I opened the refrigerator door and there was a case of Budweiser with note happy birthday Joe Harry.

    Later sharing the case of beer with Harry, while we looked into his empty Olympic size pool, Harry told me about what he does for a living. He never took vacation, and he never really worked work. Harry was a fund raiser for presidential candidates. Harry’s family goes all the way back to Plymouth Rock. Harry had just come off of a 4 day fund raising trip. He took people golfing, and his dinner date was Barbara Marx. Harry then told me how much he took in from this latest fund raising trip, and it was almost equal between Bush, and to my utter shock Clinton. Harry then told me how now (1992) the Democrat’s were in the game. I asked Harry if he thought Clinton would win, and he said he had that feeling coming back from the West Coast fund raising that the donors wanted somebody younger and fresh, and how they didn’t feel Bush was convincing enough. I ask what about Perot. Harry smiled, no Perot, and then giggled before his next sip of beer.

    Harry insisted Sunday morning before our departure to take us to brunch, and as you would expect it was a beautiful kind of country place, that is the best kept secret in the state. After we ate Harry walked my wife and I to our car, and after my wife got in the car Harry pulled my arm and said, hey vote for Ross, and try and pull the lever twice…once for me. Then I never saw Harry again.

    • Skip Scott
      July 4, 2017 at 7:56 am

      Great story Joe. I hope Harry wound up doing something better with his money buying golden shower chandeliers.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 4, 2017 at 11:04 am

        The part about Harry that amazed me the most Skip, was how much Harry thought like an average person. I mean this guy’s family tree had his relatives on both sides of every issue starting with the American Revolution, the Civil War, and yet if you wish to have a relationship with any U.S. President you got to go through someone like Harry. At least for that one evening downing Budweisers with Harry I was able to see that even the Harry’s of our nation aren’t a whole lot different than you or me, but to never forget while gazing at Harry’s Olympic size empty pool how well connected the Harry’s are to the halls of power. What was interesting, was how Harry liked Ross Perot, and yet he couldn’t represent Ross. Again this showed to me how somewhere deep inside of this rich man, was a normal U.S. citizen wanting what appears to be best to happen for every man, woman, and child of this country. It’s like we should all meet in the middle of the street, and work out a new plan.

    • turk151
      July 4, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      That reminds me of an investment analyst event I went to in January 2016. There was about 500 people in a ballroom and the political analyst came on the stage. He spent a half hour comparing the Clinton and Trump, with references to Rubio and Cruz. When the Q & A session began, I stood up and asked him about Bernie Sanders (pre-Hillary embrace, of course), after a long awkward pause, and some rambilings about popularity, his conclusion was essentially, that Bernie would not be allowed to win.

      • irina
        July 4, 2017 at 2:51 pm

        Very clearly, whatever Obama said to Bernie during their private meeting in June 2016
        completely took the wind out of Bernie’s sails. And of course the DNC had already planned
        Hillary’s ‘nomination coronation’, complete with a virtual Hillary shattering a virtual glass
        ceiling. Couldn’t let any annoying Progressive Upstarts interfere with that spectacle !

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 5, 2017 at 4:37 pm

        Your story and my story came to the same conclusion, and that’s what makes the monkey dance. Thanks for the reply turk151 Joe

  11. Cal
    July 3, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    I have now not voted in the last 3 presidential elections.
    I was going to vote for Obama the first time until I saw his listing of people under consideration for government appointments….like Jane Harman for Homeland Security..gawd!….and the rest, WS vultures, Israel Loyalist, his largest donors for ambassadorships.
    I have given up trying to identify and vote for the ‘lesser evil’ in elections…99.99% of them are evil or will be 30 minutes after they take office.

    • jo6pac
      July 3, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      Damm I thank you for getting it so fast. Hat Off to You. George Carlin said best It’s Big Club and We Serfs aren’t in It.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXhZyAOuyhE

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 3, 2017 at 11:17 pm

        “In America, anyone can become president. That’s the problem”.
        George Carlin

        • July 4, 2017 at 4:26 pm

          Classic Carlin…video and quote…love it!

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 3, 2017 at 9:39 pm

      Cal are you me?

      • Cal
        July 3, 2017 at 10:15 pm

        @ Joe

        you know what they say,,,,,great minds run in the same channel….lol

  12. Bob Van Noy
    July 3, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    I would like to see a Draft Rep.Tulsi Gabbard For President movement started right away for both funding and problem solving, organized out-side of the two party apparatus, and around a “Peace Now” agenda… The time is right!

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 3, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      Also, here is a new international news site that I personally like…

      http://www.defenddemocracy.press

      • July 4, 2017 at 4:30 pm

        I’d be on board for Tulsi …and thanks for the link!

    • Cal
      July 3, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      ” I would like to see a Draft Rep.Tulsi Gabbard For President movement started …..”

      Gawd No.

      Her positions on many of the issues look good.

      BUT….I would never vote for her. She has two huge flaws.

      First she is extreme in her Hinduism, to the point of championing Modi ,the leader of India because India is mainly Hindu. Modi is a Hindu nationalist …iow a ‘religious nationalist’ and it is well known that his government discriminates and persecutes Muslims in India.
      Its no secret and she very well knows it. She has stated that India and the US must always be close friends. She is as rabid about this as Zionist are about Israel and the US.

      AND she is a well known Pro Israel supporter in congress.

      Add to these two facts the other fact that the Jewish lobby was the outfit that helped set up the India lobby in return for India supporting Israel and India bows to Israel to stay in their good graces because the Israel lobby is the more powerful.— and you’ve got even more reason she would tilt foreign policy in Israel’s favor for India.

      I have had more than enough of these f**king assholes who want to use a US office and US power for their PERSONAL favorites—they should keep their f**king religion and ethnics out of US business and politics.

      No more assholes who let their personal religious,ethnic and etc etc ties dictate US policy. Please.

      • Angela
        July 4, 2017 at 1:16 am

        Clearly you are attacking Rep. Gabbard due to your religious bigotry, solely because she’s Hindu.

        Tulsi is on the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees, and meeting with leaders from other countries to strengthen ties between them and the USA is part of her job. Tulsi met and still meets with those who oppose Modi as well as those who support Modi. She has said that her politics in India are non-partisan, just like her politics in the USA. This whole “attack Tulsi because of Modi” nonsense is being perpetuated by Hinduphobes and CTR trolls.

        Tulsi met with Modi, one member amongst the many Congresspeople who met with him when he first visited the USA. Not one congressperson, including the progressive members, boycotted Modi’s speech; many cheered him. Tulsi’s visit to India was simply more diplomacy, but a minor role compared to Pres. Obama, who met with Modi an unprecedented eight times and wrote two glowing op-eds for him.

        You’re entitled to your opinions on Modi and India, but misleadingly projecting your hatred of them onto Rep. Gabbard is ludicrous.

        Re: Israel, Tulsi’s considered anti-Israel by the RW. I think neither left, center, nor right know what they’re talking about. And that includes you. https://www.frontpagemag.com/point/267159/32-house-dems-sign-anti-israel-letter-pro-hamas-daniel-greenfield

        • Cal
          July 4, 2017 at 3:41 am

          Want some more ? Gabbard is slick but not slick enough to fool most of the voters after the lesson everyone has gotten on Trump’s ‘say one thing do another’. She is so phony you can smell it a mile away….at least those of us who aren’t so desperate for a hero that we will jump on anything without examination can smell a phony.

          ” During the same month, Gabbard co-signed a letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accusing him of inciting violence between Israelis and Palestinians. The letter reads in part: “…statements made by you, other political figures, cleric and officials PA media have undoubtedly served to inflame the current situation. False claims about changing the status quo on the Temple Mount or accusations of Israel executing an attacker—when, in fact, he is being treated in an Israeli hospital—only encourage more acts of terror. The abhorrent and deadly rhetoric—including calls for knife attacks on Israelis—must stop.”
          While the letter was correct to point out that the attacker in question was, in fact, alive, the “false claims” about the Temple Mount status quo turned out to be propaganda-parroting. Israel was at the time, and continues today, to question Jordanian authority of the Temple Mount and al-Aqsa Compound in East Jerusalem’s Old City. Hard-line rightwing settlers have made repeated attempts to pray on the Muslim-only Temple Mount, under escort of Israeli authorities. Israel annexed East Jerusalem, including the Old City, in 1967 in a move still not recognized by the international community.
          And at the time of the letter, more than 85 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli troops or settlers—including unarmed protestors and bystanders. In the same period, 12 Israelis were killed.

          When Israeli prime minister Netanyahu showed up at the U.S. Congress to speak against the Iran deal before a largely GOP audience, some 30 Democratic members of Congress publicly boycotted the speech. Gabbard was not one of them. After Netanyahu’s speech, Gabbard released a statement echoing Netanyahu’s criticisms of the Iran deal:
          “While there is hope that a negotiated solution to this problem remains within the realm of possibility, I am cynical. There are a variety of issues, including having already conceded allowing Iran to enrich uranium, Iran’s breakout capacity, and the continued lack of transparency and access for UN inspectors, that are of genuine concern. The objective must remain at the forefront: we must work together to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran,” Gabbard said, adding, “The United States’ relationship with Israel must rise above the political fray, as America continues to stand with Israel as her strongest ally.”

          The Curious Islamophobic Politics of Dem Congressmember Tulsi …
          http://www.alternet.org/…/curious-islamophobic-politics-dem-congressmember-tulsi-gabbar...
          Feb 22, 2015 – Tulsi Gabbard (D), who has for the past month been all over the media …. Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest political allies, Sheldon Adelson.

          Who Does Tulsi Gabbard Represent? | HuffPost
          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shay-chan…/three-questions-about-tulsi_b_10212942.html
          Jun 1, 2016 – 1. Why is Tulsi Gabbard so friendly with a Republican billionaire? … Sheldon Adelson and wife Miriam Adelson via Wikicommons. Tulsi …

          Tulsi Gabbard Is Not Your Friend – Jacobin
          https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/…/tulsi-gabbard-president-sanders-democratic-part…
          May 26, 2017 – Hawaii representative Tulsi Gabbard is the new progressive darling. …. and Miriam Adelson, the wife of Sheldon Adelson (Adelson himself is a

          • F. G. Sanford
            July 4, 2017 at 9:26 am

            I think you’re right, and this guy Shiva is another one. You can take the Sikh out if India, but you can’t take the fascism out of the Sikh. Nikki Haley is another one. It has nothing to do with racism or religion – it’s a cultural heart age. Sure, they’re honest and hard working, good looking too. But they sure love them some fascist ideology.

        • Skip Scott
          July 4, 2017 at 8:01 am

          I knew that they would start coming after Tulsi because of her “Stop funding terrorists” bill and her trip to Syria. It makes no sense for her to be pro-Israel in light of those two facts alone. She will have to work hard to fight the propaganda machine. I wish her well.

        • Cal
          July 4, 2017 at 12:46 pm

          ” Clearly you are attacking Rep. Gabbard due to your religious bigotry, solely because she’s Hindu. ”

          LOL…oh yes ‘hatred, bigot’…..typical slurs from Islamophobic zio trolls.

          • Skip Scott
            July 5, 2017 at 3:43 pm

            Cal-

            I have tried to get to the bottom of your Tulsi Gabbard charges. Although they may be valid, I am not yet sure. Her trip to Syria and her meeting with Assad, and her “Stop funding Terrorists” bill make absolutely no sense if she is a servant of Adelson. Just as with the character assassinations one can find on Putin or Assad, I think I will spend some time and effort keeping up with her voting record and listening to her speeches, rather than possibly fall for propaganda and a smear campaign. I appreciate your links and your input, but I haven’t been sold yet. We have a long time between now and 2020 and as always I’ll do my best to learn the truth.

          • Cal
            July 5, 2017 at 5:52 pm

            Scott

            By all means do the research.

            I am not saying she is evil…..but in the words of one Hawaii newspaper she is extremely ”ambitious” and will shed a position and take up another one like a snake sheds its skin.

            Most of her positions are good and ones I agree with.

            BUT BUT BUT….there is a clashing ‘hypocrisy’ in her ‘morals’ i.e. her defense of Israel against Muslim Palestine. She is extremely into her Hindu religion and I have nothing against Hinduism. But Hinduism led by Modi in India is extremely against Islam and her love of India ‘as the biggest Hindu population’ I see as a big problem when it comes to foreign policy for India and its ally Israel

            You cant be a ‘little bit moral’ —you either are or you aren’t—you cant be for peace and light and ‘Oneness of humans’ that she says is what Hinduism is about —and then support Israel’s occupation and killing fields in Palestine.

            One thing I know—if someone says they will do good things for people while they let other people be killed by a mafia state like Israel –then they will screw you too.

            She wants the Syrian war stopped so people wont be refugees?—Yet she defends Israel’s right steal land, kill at will and create refugees?
            Nope, that way too hypocritical for me.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 3, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      Bob I’m so interested in learning more about Tulsi, and hopefully with a little luck to discover that she will truly turn out to be the real deal, that I want to jump up and down and start picking her a great vice presidential running mate. My dad always said, don’t put the cart in front of the horse, but with the vast empty field of unsuitable choices it’s not hard to get ahead of my self. It’s either a great candidate this time, or I’m not voting.

      I owe you an email, and I hope all is well with you Bob….Joe

      Thanks for the new site link, and in return I hope this site I’m leaving you a link to is something new for you. Check out the variety of departments it has…I like the ancient history department one for entertainment.

      https://www.sott.net

      • Bob Van Noy
        July 3, 2017 at 11:44 pm

        Got it Joe. Many thanks.

    • Brad Owen
      July 4, 2017 at 8:17 am

      I would like that too. It is extremely important for USA to enter into a pact with Russia, China, and India, as the four Great powers who, via the ” swords-into-plowshares” B&R policies of China, will break the back of the rotten fascist Western Empire that has engulfed three quarters of the World, with its (neocon/Trotskyite) permanent war and austerities policies. Such a bloc represents half the World’s population (the REAL wealth of any Nation…Modi gets it), and half the economic might, and virtually ALL the nukes (which hopefully can be turned into “batteries” to power nuke powerplants one day).

      • Bob Van Noy
        July 4, 2017 at 10:46 am

        Thanks Brad. And, I’m aware that your battery statement has Real substance. May that happen!

  13. Sara
    July 3, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    With the exception of Iraq war 2 (which was undoubtedly simply a partisan decision since h he supported Iraq Liberation act under Clinton) Bernie Sanders is has supported every war every war since Kosovo. I don’t understand how anyone could pretend he is anti-war or naive about foreign policy when the man has been in either the Senate or Congress for over 25 Years. His record and rhetoric clearly shows him to be an imperialist chickenhawk war-monger and there is no reason to expect that to change. There is nothing progressive or honorable about him or his campaign. He wants to give handouts to Americans by robbing others and using the military to rape pillage and destroy nations in order to extract thier wealth so Americans can have free-collage and healthcare. He is a fascist, not a socialist and the fact that so many leftist buy into his bullshit makes him extremely dangerous!

  14. Mild-ly Facetious
    July 3, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Koch Convention to Rewrite Constitution Runs Into Roadblocks

    Arn Pearson
    June 12, 2017

    “With tremendous momentum led by ALEC and other arch-conservative organizations, we started 2017 expecting to see Article V resolutions pass in many states,” said Common Cause campaign strategist Jay Riestenberg. “Instead, in this dangerous period of divisive politics, we saw bi-partisan cooperation in several states to protect the Constitution.”

    “While three states took action to protect our Constitution by rescinding Article V convention resolutions, wealthy special interest groups are still dangerously close to calling a convention that would put everyone’s constitutional rights and protections up for grabs,” Riestenberg said.

    All of the bills are closely tailored to model measures being promoted by the Koch-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force. Funded and controlled by large corporations, including Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, telecom, and tobacco companies, ALEC has supported a BBA since 1995 and renewed its push for a constitutional convention in recent years, publishing an Article V convention handbook for legislators and hosting numerous strategy sessions.

    BBA advocates cite “common sense” concerns about “fiscal responsibility,” but the rhetoric masks the outright hostility that the Kochs and other billionaire backers have for key federal programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and for the regulatory infrastructure that protects consumers and the environment. Prominent economists warn that such an austerity amendment–which would constrain discretionary spending but not tax giveaways for corporations and the wealthy–would have catastrophic results during economic downturns and cripple the federal government’s ability to aid states as they deal with the severe impacts of climate change.

    Meanwhile, a faction of the Article V convention crowd seeking a much more radical rewrite of the Constitution made significant gains in 2017. The “Convention of States” (COS) project, run by the Texas-based Citizens for Self Governance, introduced wide-ranging resolutions calling for a broad convention to limit the powers of the federal government in 24 states and won passage in four, Arizona, Missouri, North Dakota, and Texas.

    COS, whose budget more than tripled between 2011 and 2015 to $5.7 million, now has a total of 12 states behind its more unlikely, but more dangerous, approach. The group, founded by Tea Party Patriots founder Mark Meckler and Koch-tied dark money man Eric O’Keefe, has received major support from the Koch-linked Donors Trust and backing from ALEC, which has adopted COS’s proposal as a “model” bill. It seeks a constitutional convention to pass any number of amendments designed to limit the powers of the federal government, adopt term limits, and allow states to opt-out of regulations and even Supreme Court decisions they do not like.

    The COS strategy, if successful, would radically revise the Constitution’s structure of state and federal power sharing in a way that goes to the heart of what it means to be “united states.” Most of the states that have passed Convention of State resolutions are in the deep south, prompting some critics to call it the “New Confederacy.”

    http://www.prwatch.org

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 3, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      This news you bring Mild-ly Facetious is serious, and these matters you point too should be a huge part of our national conversation. I haven’t heard a word of any of this in our MSM, and quite honestly your mentioning it here is breaking news for me. Not to make light or distract from anything you said here, but the whole time reading what you wrote in my mind I kept seeing Major General Smedley Butler whispering in my ear, ‘ah that guy is talking about the same bunch that tried to hire me to overthrow the U.S. Government’.

      Here is how much they dislike the U.S. Constitution….

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/31/opinion/lets-give-up-on-the-constitution.html?_r=0

  15. Unfettered Fire
    July 3, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    “There was an interesting article in the Financial Times on Monday (June 26, 2017) – Why US big business is listening to Bernie Sanders – which, despite the somewhat misleading and over-the-top headline, tells us a little of the way the full neo-liberal attack on workers is in regression. Not, I might add because of any philosophical or moral consideration. But, rather, the top-end-of-town is starting to work out that their headlong race-to-the-bottom approach over the last three decades is not actually in their best interests.

    The top-end-of-town is not that bright. More brutish than bright and it takes some time for them to work out what we have known all along. Globalisation mixed with neo-liberalism is poison. Globalisation mixed with social democracy is progress.”

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=36328

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 3, 2017 at 10:14 pm

      You make a good point. I have found when you get one of those Wall St buggers alone, they turn out to be just like you and me. Beware though, this crowd loses it’s moral focus the nearer it gets to money. Figure out how to contain that instinct in these greedy careerist, and then you might have something. On the other hand without them we all fall down.

      What we need is a couple Roosevelt’s who will buck their own system to reach down and lift all boats, or at least do something like that in theory, and we all may get somewhere. The funny thing is, is that except for the wars, if good career jobs for average people were available, decent single payer or drastically lower affordable healthcare were to be had, less police state was to exist, this could be done rather easily if we cut our defense spending by half, and only spend what the next 5 countries spend on military defense, but our government fails to do any of that.

      I do believe the day will come when America will wake up. I just hope we don’t do something stupid on a grand scale, and blow ourselves up. We older folk owe it to our youth to help get then over this terrible hump, and hopefully they will save themselves before our policies and laws destroy them totally.

  16. susan sunflower
    July 3, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Thanks so much for the debunking of some Obama mythology. He’s been made almost “untouchable” … so many still carrying a torch for “what might have been” … y’know if only … racism …. or maybe just republicans or something … in 2008, Teddy Kennedy and the “never Clinton” gang played their part which I discovered in 2016 had largely been erased from national memory … see also the raging debate about “what do Democrats stand for?” that began before Bill Clinton but probably began to peak circa1996 and Nader’s first Green Party run.

    I suspect Hillary would be flattered to be compared to Thatcher … THAT’S how bad it is … and — no — the Clinton-led Democratic party is never going to listen … they’re part of that “national conversation” that begins with demands that everyone sit down and shut up and POLITELY raise hands and wait PATIENTLY to be called on … standing up straight and speaking clearly …another opportunity for “our betters” to school us in our deficiencies and unrealistic expectations … cough.

    • susan sunflower
      July 3, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      oh, and it’s worth remembering, next MLK day, that those Southern Democrats that Johnson predicted had been “lost for a generation” have now been lost for 3 and show no sign of rejoining the righteous … and that THEY were part of the Democratic back bone post-WWII that included Jim Crow and poll taxes …

      I was 10 when the civil rights act was passed. We thought (or were told) that the end of discrimination and voter disenfranchisement THEN (in 1964) might need a generation to gather the grassroots and economic prosperity necessary for that needed sea change in minority states and communities … before better jobs and incomes for minorities would “naturally” integrate neighborhood …

      What has the democratic party done for anyone lately?? even neglecting to vigorously hold the gain (meager as they seem in hindsight) of the 1960’s. look at those proud self satisfied democrats crowding the dais each and every January 15th …

      Apparently “Trump’s” (rather dubrious) plan to send feds to Chicago originated under Obama ….. so what else is new?

  17. Cal
    July 3, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    Hillary’s ‘deplorables’ comment cost her dearly…..when a lot of undecideds, who liked some of what Trump was saying about jobs and draining the DC swamp , heard that it was curtains for Hillary.

    • susan sunflower
      July 4, 2017 at 10:30 am

      agree — I thought “Is she trying to lose?” when she said that — particularly after months of calling each and every Trump supporter “racist” — via 6 degrees of separation that’s a lot of votes to simply write off as “too tainted”

  18. July 4, 2017 at 2:34 am

    The Democratic Party is as secure as Goldman Sachs. Barring a political revolution and/or the rise of powerful third parties, the Dems could never win another election and still be exactly where they are now, sharing monopoly political power with the GOP over the entire country. Backed by corporate money, the duopoly has a firm lock on Washington. The Dems are currently busy successfully coopting progressive challengers and reformers, as they have always done. It is precisely because they do not need to rely on winning elections for their power, that they see no need to change anything.

  19. July 4, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Realist used the word “racket” and I thought, racketeering, that’s what national politics has become. Joe’s post on the rich political guy shows it. The political analyst Thomas Frank, author of “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” wrote “The Wrecking Crew” explaining in his usual witty way the corruption through lobbying, started by Republicans, and last year his book “Listen Liberal: What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?” It’s a good read on the corruption of the Democrats through the Clintons and the DLC. With the political system so wrecked by money, it’s hard to see any major changes happening that do anything but rearrange the deck chairs.

    • susan sunflower
      July 4, 2017 at 10:40 am

      as Sirota tweeted this morning
      “”In the past, Trump has criticized the Justice Department’s use of one of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which is one of the key tools of white-collar prosecutions. The Obama administration oversaw a 20-year low in white-collar prosecutions and also a huge growth in the Justice Department giving deferred prosecution agreements to corporations. Now, there are signs that the Trump administration may be aiming to reduce white-collar prosecutions even more. “”

      http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/former-justice-department-watchdog-says-public-should-watch-cuts-budget-prosecute

      It reminds me of my childhood — Daddy was the designated alcoholic while Mommy was a hard-drinking man’s woman … then came an alcoholic stepfather … it wasn’t until Mom gave him the heave-ho that I realized it wasn’t some “unfortunate accident” or “daddy complex” that ruled her “poor choices in men” … Next to them, Mom’s drinking looked “moderate” (at least to me) … It was years before I appreciated and reconciled that toxic “cognitive dissonance”

      The democrats survive by being the LOTE …. not much else … and not much “lesser” …. PBS re-broadcast it’s series on the various Presidents — LBJ is a tragic figure, Richard Nixon startles as a reformer and maverick between the EPA and opening up China … Carter’s audacity in turning down the thermostat is still a marvel 60 years later and I’d guess Republicans are still mocking his “lowered expectation” … as we are all being and have been forced to accept “lowered expectations” for several generations now.

  20. tony
    July 4, 2017 at 8:11 am

    When given a choice between a Republican and a Republican-light, voters choose the Republican.

  21. James Williams
    July 4, 2017 at 9:09 am

    Great article. The Democratic Party is dying, and Nicolas J S Davies explains why.

  22. July 4, 2017 at 9:25 am

    On Why Democrats are the Greater Problem for Progressives

    The virtually identical governance structures within our duopoly, i.e., the Democratic and Republican parties, pose virtually identical civic dangers. The results of their policies are virtually indistinguishable notwithstanding their differing rhetoric and propaganda which fools the gullible into thinking otherwise. That is especially true given the collusion of the mainstream “disinformation” media. Their main difference is that one is hypocritical and cynical while the other is just blatantly wrong; very, very wrong, at least from a progressive perspective. It brings to mind the defense of a politician accused of wrong doing arguing that she was not corrupt, merely inept; in either case, of course, that’s hardly a solace to the people affected (see, e.g., the campaigns and administrations of Bill and Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Barrack Obama and most recently, Donald J. Trump).

    For progressives (who in light of political evolution since 1990 we should differentiate from liberals), there is a huge difference between the obstacles each of the two existing major parties pose. The following analysis makes the argument that the Democratic Party, a right of center political “conglomeration” posing as leftist, is the one that progressives should most opposed; why association of progressive goals with that party tarnishes them, especially given its current incarnation. Progressives all too frequently now find themselves insulted, outraged and frustrated when unconscionable Democratic Party actions and postures are presented as leftist actions.

    So, ….

    Both major political parties are composed of patchworks of competing and inconsistent politico-economic interests (consider the current battle within the GOP over healthcare reform) whose common goal is pretty much limited to the attainment and maintenance of political power on behalf of their respective patrons. All too often, such patrons hedge their bets, the best example being the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) which, in effect, dominates the foreign policy platforms of both major parties. Among the many political territories with contrary goals which the Democratic Party incoherently currently occupies is the political niche in which progressive policies and progressive electors seek to operate (the real left). But it is occupied in such manner that policies identified with progressive goals misdirect rather than promote their attainment. Examples abound but the conflict between Obamacare and single payer health systems, between the Paris Climate Accord and binding environmental protection and between world peace and foreign “humanitarian” intervention are obvious illustrations. Such “realities” are much more effective in defeating progressive ideals and goals than the straightforward opposition of the GOP (and of the current occupant of the White House). For other groups, the most dangerous party may be different. For example, libertarians and theocrats are both ill served by the GOP but that is exactly where they find themselves.

    The foregoing is not surprising. It is true in any context where multiple groups (more than two) are competing for limited followers. The groups that appeal to similar constituencies are the ones that cause each other the most damage, not in and of itself bad as long as the relevant groups are honest, but where one group is deceiving prospective followers and, while paying lip service to their interests, is actually subverting them, it becomes a cancer. The problem is most acute in bipolar, “big tent” systems like the ones that exists at all formal levels of United States politics. Such systems force the entire electorate into a “you’re for them or against them” posture, enforced through threats of apocalyptic greater evils (the other side of the lesser evil doctrine); a situation that is rarely civically healthy. Multipolar systems on the other hand permit a multiplicity of honestly held perspectives which must then be reconciled through honest negotiation, with electoral accountability in cases where one group betrays the clearly identifiable beliefs and aspirations of its members.

    The United States electorate is naturally divisible into multiple groups with related interests and priorities, progressives being one. Others include libertarians, conservatives, theocrats, Zionists, neoliberalist globalists, neoconservative interventionists, etc. If they each had their own independent “politico-partisan” identities and some formal legislative, executive and judicial representation, then their interests would have to be addressed (rather than camouflaged) and the resulting conflicts would have to be resolved in a democratic manner through negotiation, with realities transparently disclosed rather than obfuscated.

    Unfortunately, our current first past the post, unidistrital, winner-take-all electoral system makes real democracy and real pluralism and real liberty unattainable. Such problem has been resolved in many other states (e.g., very innovatively and effectively in the Irish Republic) so that its resolution requires neither inventing the wheel nor experimentation, it merely requires a recognition of the existing problem and selection of its solution from among many viable alternatives. Of course, such solution would dismantle the existing duopolic political system which has so successfully stacked the deck in favor of the tiny oligarchy that now exploits us, but then, you purportedly can’t make omelets without breaking eggs. Breaking eggs in this context starts with dismantling the current major political parties through defection of their respective component subgroups, especially those who like libertarians and progressives, blacks and Hispanics, labor and immigrants, have been so thoroughly betrayed.

    At a time when the Democratic Party’s dementia has become so obvious, when the reasons for its electoral failures are so thoroughly ignored by those who refuse to abide by internal rules and external realities and when its quest for power by any means, regardless of the consequences, is so clear, progressives must wake and in doing so flee, and flee very far, very quickly and very loudly, cleansing themselves of the tarnish with which the Democratic Party may forever become associated. Criticism of the current Democratic Party is far from synonymous with approval of the GOP and Mr. Trump, far from it, very far from it, but efforts to reform from within are analogous to a woman staying married to a misogynist who beats her because, well, … just because.

    There are historical junctures where change becomes more possible, usually because abuses become so obvious. They are the crazy times when the choices seem to involve either transition or destruction, when hysteria and hyperbole seem in charge. Times like those in which we find ourselves, surprised despite the many, many warning signs that have for so long clamored for our attention.

    If progressives really believe in peace and oppose foreign intervention; really believe in state sponsored free and comprehensive healthcare and education; really believe in a social safety net; really believe in the minimization of corruption (economic as well as political); really believe in real participatory government on the basis of access to accurate, complete and honest information from diverse perspectives; really believe in equity and equality and justice, then they must find their own identity and act, not just complain.

    If you agree, then please circulate this article and join in my call for a real, formal and independent progressive political party, one with electable candidates and a formal, detailed platform. Now.
    _______

    © Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved.

    Guillermo Calvo Mahé is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies) and can be contacted at wacalvo3@autonoma.edu.co. Much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.

    • Linda w
      July 4, 2017 at 10:32 am

      Where have you been lol
      Love your grasp of our situation

  23. Bob Van Noy
    July 4, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Ending of the introduction to the 1935 Edition of “An Economic Interpretation Of The Constitution Of The United States”

    ‘’Nevertheless, whoever leaves economic pressures out of history or out of the discussion of public questions is in mortal peril of substituting mythology for reality and confusing issues instead of clarifying them. It was largely by recognizing the power of economic interests in the field of politics and making skillful use of them that the Fathers of the American Constitution placed themselves among the great statesmen of all ages and gave instructions to succeeding generations in the Art Of Government (my emphasis). By the assiduous study of their works and by displaying their courage and their insight into economic interests underlying all constitutional formalities, men and women of our generation may guarantee the perpetuity of government under law, as distinguished from the arbitrament (settling a suit by an arbitrator) of force. It is for us, recipients of their heritage, to inquire constantly and persistently, when theories of national power or states rights are propounded: ‘What interests are behind them and to whose advantage will changes or maintenance of old forms accrue?’ By refusing to do this we become victims of history—clay in the hands of its makers’. ‘’

    Charles A. Beard
    New Milford,
    August, 1935

  24. Linda w
    July 4, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Well said

  25. July 4, 2017 at 10:34 am

    I really like this post. I think I’ll be referring back to it more than once in my own blog, theysaythepenismightier.com, in the upcoming weeks, and maybe even months. It’s a really nice run down of a lot of the things that have been bugging me from a bit of a different angle than I’m coming from.

  26. George Rainey
    July 4, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Your paper is in-depth, and dead on the mark. If I could write as well as you, this is what I would’ve written… There is much history that has brought the United States to this point, and each time we’ve gotten this far, the Establishment has carried out actions to destroy us; I hope we make it this time

  27. Allen
    July 4, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Anybody who thinks that a more left-leaning candidate would have done better than Ossoff in the 6th Ga District is either extremely ignorant or delusional.

  28. July 4, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    You’re right, except for one thing: I know it’s been carefully scrubbed from the web, but the chair of the DLC in 2008 was Hillary Clinton. I was shocked to see her name had actually been removed from the list, but I remember it well at the time. It was one of the points liberal bloggers of the period were raising against her. There was a great big picture of her in a blue suit on their website, “Chairman Hillary Clinton.”

  29. sierra7
    July 4, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    A start:
    Overturn Citizens United
    Break up the major banking institutions
    Bring back Glass-Steagal
    Vigorously take to the streets to put the fear of God into our legislators and president(s) to stop a foreign policy that depends on perpetual war to force others to become vacuous “consumers” as an end game.

    • Gene
      July 4, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      Sierra7: Let vigorously take to the streets be first.

  30. Deborah
    July 4, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    This was a ray of sunlight. I love the upbeat ending. There really is hope if enough of us find our voice and just “Make it Stop!”
    A People’s party is the ticket. No Progressive should remain in the Democratic Party.

    • Gene
      July 4, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Third parties are historically failures. Let positive, progressive, populist Democrats be the lead, change and vanguard. Square Deal, New Deal, Fair Deal, New Frontier, Great Society, and now New Rainbow.

      • July 4, 2017 at 4:36 pm

        Gene,…the Democrats need to stop fixing their primaries. Here in California both my sons were given “provisional ballots”. You know where that got filed!

  31. susan sunflower
    July 4, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/06/white-working-class-new-deal-racism-reagan-democrats/
    The democratic party has been actively mythologizing itself for more than half a century …. this (desperately) needs to be debunk in the age of Trump … the Democrats are no one’s savior in these times … as they seem to be proving weekly, sometimes daily ….

  32. David Otness
    July 4, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    “The first issue on the “Issues” page of Parnell’s website was “Taxes and Big Corporations.” He promised to, “use his decades of experience and detailed knowledge of the tax code to make big corporations pay their fair share. He knows how to close the loopholes that allow big companies to stash trillions of dollars overseas (Parnell worked for Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong), and will use that revenue to strengthen our infrastructure and create jobs here at home.”
    ” He promised to…” Bwahahahaaaa.
    A former Goldman Sachs exec ‘promised to’ support working class values, that’s what worked for Trump so why the hell shouldn’t a neoliberal Democrat go FDR old school and “promise” to?
    The gullibility index is off the charts in the USA.

  33. GM
    July 4, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    ” (The DLC closed its doors in 2011.)”

    Today’s Fun Fact: (Wikipedia) 5] On July 5 of that year, DLC founder Al From announced in a statement on the organization’s website that the historical records of the DLC have been purchased by the Clinton Foundation.[6]

  34. Ronnie Goodson
    July 5, 2017 at 8:34 am

    When the DLC first started the claim to win more elections was all anyone saw. It was only later that the fine print was read. Many of Bill Clintons’ policies were little different from any Republican policy. As to economic growth, that was due to the rise of the computer industry not any Clinton policies.

  35. Andrew Blake
    July 5, 2017 at 10:48 am

    This is exactly why many of us either voted for a non-major party candidate, or did not vote at all on 2016. We MUST have a new Political Party that progressively supports, and returns power to The People!

  36. Wilma
    July 6, 2017 at 10:59 am

    This is the best analysis of the Democratic Party’s failings that I have read. Every Democrat should read the entire article.

  37. July 8, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Good article as far as it goes. But the fact is that political parties are a secondary factor within the U.S. political landscape. As long as the real left focuses on that it will continue to be bootless .

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