The Ghosts of ‘New Democrats’ Are Haunting Us

A battle for democracy within the Democratic Party is underway and the heirs of Bill Clinton’s New Democrats are trying to stack the deck, says Norman Solomon.

By Norman Solomon

Twenty-five years ago, the so-called New Democrats were triumphant. Today, a fundamental battle for democracy is in progress—a conflict over whether to reduce the number of  superdelegates to the party’s national convention in 2020, or maybe even eliminate them entirely.

That struggle is set to reach a threshold at a party committee meeting next week and then be decided by the full Democratic National Committee before the end of this summer.

To understand the Democratic Party’s current internal battle lines and what’s at stake, it’s important to know how we got here.

After a dozen years of awful Republican presidencies, Bill Clinton and running mate Al Gore proved to be just the ticket for the corporate wing of the Democratic Party. Clinton settled into the White House in early 1993 as the leader of pathbreaking New Democrats. Many media outlets hailed him as a visionary who had overcome left-leaning liberalism to set the party straight.

Although candidate Clinton had criticized Republican trickle-down economics and spoken about the need for public investment by the federal government, as president he proceeded along the lines of what Washington Post economics reporter Hobart Rowan described as a formula of “fiscal conservatism and social liberalism.” That formula provided a template that the next Democratic president, Barack Obama, deftly filled.

Both Clinton and Obama were youthful and articulate, breaths of fresh air after repugnant Republican predecessors in the White House. Yet our two most recent Democratic presidents were down with corporate power—not as far down as the GOP, but nevertheless in the thrall of Wall Street and the big banks.

Deference to Oligarchic Power

From the outset of the Clinton and Obama administrations, top appointees reflected and propelled the deference to oligarchic power. Robert Rubin went from being co-chair of Goldman Sachs (paid $17 million in 1992) to serving wealthy interests as director of Clinton’s National Economic Council, a post so powerful that it earned him the title of “economic czar.” Two years later, Rubin began a long stint as secretary of the treasury, succeeding former Texas senator and big-business tool Lloyd Bentsen. They were just two of the numerous corporate functionaries in the upper realms of the Clinton administration.

Rubin: As Clinton Sec. of Treasury engineered financial reform then cashed in as Citigroup CEO

Ron Brown, corporate lawyer and lobbyist for American Express and Duvalier’s Haiti, would supervise a Clinton industrial policy at the Department of Commerce,” economic analyst Doug Henwood wrote after eight months of Clinton’s presidency. “Mickey Kantor, corporate lawyer, would negotiate trade deals. Warren Christopher, corporate lawyer, would oversee the New World Order. Hillary Rodham Clinton, corporate lawyer and board member at Walmart, the low-wage retailer that’s destroyed countless rural downtowns, would supervise health care.”

While that kind of lineup went over big with moneyed interests, its policy pursuits would end up driving a wedge between the Democratic Party and the working class. Of course the guys driving Clinton’s economic train loved the North American Free Trade Agreement. Why wouldn’t they? Workers were costs, not people. Corporate trade deals were profit boosters.

Weeks after pushing NAFTA through Congress with an alliance of Republicans and corporate-friendly Democrats, Clinton signed the trade pact in December 1993—a move that was unpopular with working-class voters across the political spectrum. A year later, Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives, a GOP grip over the body that went uninterrupted for 12 years.

During his first term, Clinton’s signature accomplishments to serve economic elites went beyond NAFTA to include the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996. That same year, riding a wave that included ample undertows of misogyny and racism, Clinton celebrated his signing of the welfare “reform” bill into law. The legislation created a gold rush for media conglomerates to gobble up broadcast stations, while low-income women found their financial plights becoming even more dire.

Exactly What Wall Street Wants

Heartbroken over the new welfare law, one of the lone holdouts against the corporate sensibilities in the Clinton Cabinet, Labor Secretary Robert Reich, exited as the first term ended. Meanwhile, Clinton doubled down on selecting an intensely corporate crew for the administration. “The firm—er, team—is still adding partners—er, members,” Time reported in December 1996, cataloging the array of investment bankers, stock-market-friendly lawyers and wealthy financiers who had reached key posts.

The newcomers “are don’t-rock-the-boat appointments, and they are exactly what Wall Street wants,” a senior economist at an investment banking firm told the magazine. During the last years of his presidency, Clinton’s economic team implemented reckless Wall Street deregulation, paving the way for the financial meltdown of 2007-2008.

The political similarities between how Presidents Clinton and Obama behaved in office—and the electoral disasters that ensued for Democrats—are grimly acute. Only two years into their service to corporate America as presidents, the bottom fell out of support from the Democratic base to such an extent that in both instances the Democrats lost control of Congress.

Arriving in the Oval Office while a huge financial crisis threatened the homes of millions, Obama proceeded to bail out the big banks, offering little help to people whose houses were “under water” and who faced foreclosures.

Not coincidentally, like Clinton, Obama stocked his Cabinet with Wall Street favorites. His first-term treasury secretary was Rubin protégé Timothy Geithner. During the second Obama term, the job went to Jack Lew, a former top executive whose achievements from 2006 till 2008 included overseeing “a unit of Citigroup that made money by betting against the housing market as it prepared to implode.”

Pritzker: Donations bag Commerce job.  (Photo SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

In fact, profiteering from the 2008 housing implosion was in keeping with what helped make Obama’s election to the presidency possible. In 2007, his campaign was lubricated by bountiful donations from the biggest Wall Street investment banks. And more than anyone else, his financial patron in the quest for the White House was Penny Pritzker, a billionaire real estate magnate who profited handsomely from the 2008 subprime mortgage disaster that befell so many low- and moderate-income Americans, a large proportion of them people of color.

In 2013, Obama made Pritzker the secretary of commerce, a position she held through the end of his presidency. Of all the people to choose for that Cabinet role, he selected someone with an estimated wealth of more than $2 billion who just happened to be the most important financial backer of his political career.

After his re-election, Obama lost interest in the Democratic National Committee, leaving its finances in shambles by the time the 2016 election rolled around. And, as measured by votes, the Democratic base eroded nationwide. During Obama’s eight years in office, his party lost about 1,000 seats in state legislatures.

Battle for Party Control

Now, the New Democrats and those walking in their footsteps are battling to retain control of the national party.

This year’s midterm election campaign has seen lots of intervention efforts by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, favoring establishment candidates over progressive opponents in party primaries from California to Texas to Pennsylvania. Days ago—after the release of a secretly recorded audio tape that exposed how House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer tried to pressure a progressive congressional candidate to pull out of a race in Colorado—House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi defended Hoyer at a news conference.

Later this year, as the 2020 election grows larger on the horizon, the DNC will make decisions about party rules with major effects on the race for the presidential nomination. Insiders who don’t want to democratize the Democratic Party are weighing their options.

Consider, for instance, a long-standing New Democrat named Elaine Kamarck. She’s one of only a few people (all of them Clinton 2016 primary supporters) on both the DNC’s Unity Reform Commission and its powerful Rules and Bylaws Committee—which will meet in Washington next week to vote on such matters as superdelegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Based at the Brookings Institution, Kamarck has been on the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee since 1997. Her official Brookings biography says that “she has participated actively in four presidential campaigns and in 10 nominating conventions—including two Republican conventions.”

The bio goes on to tout Kamarck this way: “In the 1980s, she was one of the founders of the New Democrat movement that helped elect Bill Clinton president. She served in the White House from 1993 to 1997, where she created and managed the Clinton administration’s National Performance Review, also known as the ‘reinventing government initiative.’

Karmack: Obstacle to democracy. (Photo: C-Span.)

In her role on the Rules and Bylaws Committee, Kamarck is part of the process that could end up—as recommended by the party’s Unity Reform Commission that included Clintonites and progressives—eliminating 60 percent of the existing 712 superdelegates (more than one-seventh of the total) in time for the 2020 national convention.

The distorting and undemocratic impacts of superdelegates have gone way beyond their numbers. By November 2015, Hillary Clinton had already gained public commitments of support from 50 percent of all the superdelegates—fully 11 weeks before any voter had cast a ballot in a state caucus or primary election. Such a front-loaded delegate count, made possible by high-ranking party officials who are superdelegates, can give enormous early momentum to an establishment candidate.

Many Democrats are eager to substantially reduce or eliminate superdelegates as antithetical to democracy. But Kamarck has quite a different agenda. She doesn’t want to get rid of superdelegates. In fact, she’d like more of them.

That makes sense, when you consider that Kamarck is working to lower corporate taxes. She’s co-chair of the big business organization RATE (Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably) Coalition, which has the explicit mission of “reducing the corporate income tax rate.”

The Dangers of Democracy

Such an agenda is best served in the long run by choking off democracy as much as possible, lest the riffraff get away with undermining the ruling elites.

Kamarck has backed the original Unity Reform Commission proposal, but also made clear that she believes that, in the long term, more so-called peer review by veteran party leaders produces stronger presidential nominees,” BuzzFeed reported in April.

Kamarck’s idea is for party authorities to screen candidates. BuzzFeed explained: “In a forthcoming study for New York University’s law journal, she said, she will propose a number of changes to the nominating system, from an increase in superdelegates to a new pre-primary endorsement process where the party’s top elected officials would meet with the candidates, question their positions, and issue votes of confidence or no confidence. Candidates who fail to meet a certain threshold would be barred from debates or from a spot on the ballot, depending on how the party decided to structure the system, she said.”

Let’s face it: Democracy is dangerous to the powerful who rely on big money, institutional leverage and mass media to work their will. The insurgencies of this decade against economic injustice—embodied in the Occupy movement and then Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign—are potentially dire threats to the established unjust order.

For those determined to retain their positions in the upper reaches of the Democratic Party hierarchy, democracy within the party sounds truly scary. And inauthenticity of the party—and its corresponding heavy losses of seats from state legislatures to Capitol Hill during the last 10 years—don’t seem nearly as worrisome to Democratic elites as the prospect that upsurges of grass-roots activities might remove them from their privileged quarters.

As Sanders told a New York Times Magazine reporter in early 2017: “Certainly there are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats.”

This commentary was originally published on Truthdig.

Norman Solomon is the coordinator of the online activist group and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”

59 comments for “The Ghosts of ‘New Democrats’ Are Haunting Us

  1. Delia Ruhe
    May 7, 2018 at 13:31

    Democracy in America is what’s left over after 1) the tax code has been turned into the most efficient mechanism ever for the upward redistribution of wealth; 2) Congress’s responsibility to govern has been sold off to the private sector; 3) every agency and department within the government (formerly “by the people, for the people, of the people”) is run by private contractors, including a large chunk of the American military (formerly referred to as mercenaries); 4) sufficient firearms are in the hands of the public to ensure that every American man, woman, child, and infant can, when necessary, defend themselves against every other American man, woman, child, and infant; and 5) police forces in all large cities are sufficiently militarized to ensure against “upsurges of grass-roots activities [that] might remove [the elite] from their privileged quarters.”

  2. Clooney's Gerbil
    May 7, 2018 at 07:46

    I will never vote Dem or Rep again. They lie and they murder millions of innocent men, women and children. If you vote Dem or Rep or enlist in the military, you are an accomplice to murder.

  3. Youri
    May 6, 2018 at 12:20

    Norman this is just further proof that the Democrats are unreformable, and I like Jeremy Corbyn but the Labour Party itself is not reformable. We have Greens, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Socialist alternative, and Justice Party I say support them, get them to merge into one, get behind electoral law reform, and give up on the Democrats its hopeless.

  4. May 6, 2018 at 06:52

    Why pretend this is a new thing? It’s about 25 years late to the game. The Clintons were the face of the corporate DLC that took over the Democratic party, what there was of it, in the nineties. But to be fair, the war industry had taken over the government during WWII and by the nineties it was only a matter of owning the media and finding a marketable and profoundly corrupt pitchman.

    Okay, then, better late than never. But if we’re going to take on the “New Democrats,” what Paul Street has deftly termed the “inauthentic opposition,” we can begin by launching a second party. And Bernie – with his long record of support for Israel, the war industry’s cheerleader in the Middle East, the face of the ever-effective anti-Semite guilt trip – is hardly the person to lead it.

    Personally I’m tired of voting for someone who sounds good, who with any investigation at all proves to have a record of support for everything he says he’s against, and opposition to everything he says he’s for. There must be someone who has the courage to start a peace party and the integrity to build it. And the luck to survive the deep state’s predictable counterattack, of course.

    Can’t say I like our odds.

  5. MJ Pramik
    May 5, 2018 at 17:34

    Amen to Bernie Sander’s observation.

  6. Drew Hunkins
    May 5, 2018 at 17:08

    It’s just so symptomatic of where this nation is at today: the nominal peace party (yes, I know, a not altogether correct classification) is running militaristic types and corporate lawyers to take advantage of the so-called impending “Blue Wave” in November. With smarmy self-serving candidates like these the Dems may blow their chances.

    Let’s look at what the Democratic party has done to shore up its peaceful bonafides:

    -Rounded up tens of thousands of American citizens of Japanese descent in internment camps
    -Gratuitously dropped atomic bombs on two medium sized cities, killing thousands
    -Escalated the war in Vietnam, killing thousands
    -Passed NAFTA, and hasn’t lifted a finger to make forming strong democratic unions less cumbersome
    -Repealed Glass-Steagal which led to the 2008 crash and recession which the majority of American working people still haven’t recovered from
    -Offers unwavering diplomatic support to the racist pariah state of Israel
    -Bombed Serbia, attacking vital infrastructure, killing innocent civilians
    -Voted in favor of the Bush-Cheney-Zionist war on Iraq, easily killing over 100,000 people
    -Bombed Libya, destroying that country, killing thousands and sending tens of thousands of desperate refugees into Europe
    -Are now undermining the progressive wing of the Democratic Party by running corporate lawyer and militarist sellouts in Nov. ’18

  7. Abe
    May 5, 2018 at 15:51

    Hillary’s former running mate Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Bob Corker (R-TN) introduced S. Res. 59, a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).

    The proposed 2018 AUMF reflects the pro-Israel Lobby push for the United States to wage war against Syria and Iran.

    Israel and the pro-Israel lobby have been pushing hard for U.S. attacks on Syria and Iran to advance Israel’s own interests in the Middle East.

    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the nation’s primary pro-Israel Lobby group, claims that “Moscow has unleashed a dynamic in which Iran and Hezbollah can directly threaten Israel militarily while chipping away at U.S. credibility in the region.”

    Following the false flag chemical incident in Ghouta in 2013, AIPAC pushed hard use-of-force authorization.

    An AIPAC statement in September 2013 explicitly urged Congress to grant the president the authority to purportedly “protect America’s national security interests and dissuade the Syrian regime’s further use of unconventional weapons”. The AIPAC statement claimed that “Failure to approve this resolution would weaken our country’s credibility to prevent the use and proliferation of unconventional weapons and thereby greatly endanger our country’s security and interests and those of our regional allies.”

    A senior official with AIPAC called the 2013 effort a “full court press.”

    Numerous false flag chemical incidents, including the 2017 Khan Shaykhun and 2018 Douma incidents, have been accompanied by loud cheers for U.S. military action issued by Israel and pro-Israel Lobby.

    The pro-Israel Lobby is mounting yet another brazen effort, thus time to secure unlimited authorization the use of military force against any so-called “associated force designated by the President” . The proposed resolution would provide Trump with an unlimited pass to wage war.

    Israel has already “designated” the “associated” targets: Syria, Iran, Lebanon and Russia if it gets in the way.

  8. Nop
    May 5, 2018 at 08:31

    It was a great investment for the plutocracy to buy the Democratic Party.

  9. Marko
    May 4, 2018 at 19:28

    I heard Nancy Pelosi the other day proclaiming her confidence that the Dems would take back the House in November and that she had every intention of again serving as Speaker. This was the vision that immediately flashed in my head :×314.jpg

  10. Banking Dictatorship
    May 4, 2018 at 14:57

    The whole government is owned and operated by the Federal Reserve Bank whose goal is to ensure that every single US Citizen, the US Government, every person around the globe, and every government around the globe, remains in eternal debt to it so it can keep collecting money via usury (that’s what a US Dollar is, a debt bearing instrument collecting interest for them) and buy hard assets around the globe. That’s the why US will fight until the end to ensure the dollar remains the world’s reserve currency, because if it loses that status, it’s days of usury are over.

    “Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence – those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you’d collapse. And while you people are overconsuming the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster.” – Alduous Huxley

    • Realist
      May 4, 2018 at 15:48

      Aha! You mean U.S.ury!

      They say the tiny fraction of the elites at the pinnacle now own >50% of everything and are on their way to possessing 2/3rds of it all within the next decade. Whatever will they do when they get to 100% and there is no more treasure to steal?

      • Skip Scott
        May 5, 2018 at 06:31

        I don’t think they’ve thought it through that far. They are so blinded by their greed that they don’t realize you have to feed your slaves to keep them alive.

  11. Jeff
    May 4, 2018 at 14:41

    Of course, in previous lives, the party simply selected the candidates, primaries not required. Anymore it seems you have a choice of (a) picking the least worst candidates from the major parties or (b) voting third party if you find one of them acceptable or (c) not bothering to vote. It amazes me that we think that our system is the greatest thing since pizza and canned beer yet the Russians had 8 candidates to choose from all of whom could be in on the national debate but we only have a choice of 4 candidates and only two of those could be in the national debate. RT put on a debate for Ms Stein and Mr. Johnson while Mr. Trump and Three Names declined.

  12. Strngr - Tgthr
    May 4, 2018 at 12:17

    Right! The Republican Party does not have Super Delegates and look what happened! TRUMP!!!

    Watch it here if you don’t believe me. The Republican Party is finished:


    This is why the Democratic Party is so wise with there system. The Party is immune to be taken over,
    by people with no understanding of how things are supposed to work.

    So, okay, go ahead and restrict Wall Street and see what happens. How are you going to build a
    country without banks? Clinton knews this. If you do that all the banks will move to China or any
    other country with better laws. Fact of life there. We live in a Global Community now. Fact.

    Also, the cut about Walmart, that was only a phase as Amazon will take out Walmart and people
    can buy whatever they want (if consumption is your King) online where everything is equal. So
    the disgusting Walmart you all hate is a dinosaur to soon go extinct also.

    People that want to tamper with Democratic Party should take the lesson of the Rise of Trump
    from the Republicans – all they will do is produce the death of the party.

    Again, why we need to be Stronger Together – super delegates + some voters = make the best choices.

    Otherwise the Democratic Party will be taken over to.

    • Deniz
      May 4, 2018 at 13:39

      It seems that Mr. Solomon’s article hit its mark.

    • chet roman
      May 4, 2018 at 15:32

      Yeah, the Republicans won!

      • Deniz
        May 4, 2018 at 16:07

        I am curious, do you really see a major difference between Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell? Do you think if the party of Chuck Summer won, there would be light in the world, but because the party of Mitch McConnell won, we are in darkness?

      • Strngr - Tgthr
        May 4, 2018 at 19:30

        Yes, but they are not Republicans anymore. Watch the video!


        They are mutants. So if Stalin took over the Democratic Party you would be happy?
        Just because he calls himself a Democrat?

        • Skip Scott
          May 5, 2018 at 06:33

          But Hillary took over the party, and she’s a democrat just because she calls herself a democrat?

    • Realist
      May 4, 2018 at 16:36

      So, you are saying that good things happen when a small clique of insider elites firmly control both major political parties, for that is what you are advocating. Funny, it sure doesn’t look like the good times have been rolling ever since the Dems became an instrument of Wall Street under the Slick One and his BOGO wife.

      Banks are only useful insofar as they facilitate the circulation of money in an economy. They become dysfunctional when they see their role as acquiring as much money as possible for themselves from the greater economy.

      How is that “banks moving to China” gonna work when every American bank is chartered under U.S. law, operates under U.S. law, and can be exterminated in two seconds under U.S. law? Foreign branch banks function in this country only under the grace of U.S. law. Ask the Russians or the Iranians about a little something called sanctions imposed on their banks (and other businesses) by Uncle Sam… and those actions being taken for specious reasons rather than anything really damaging to American interests.

      The only valid point you make is that the establishment elites do indeed become “stronger together” when they collude against the people. Both major parties today work hand in glove for the interests of those elites rather than for anyone who reads this blog, but they are skilled practitioners in fakery leading you to quite convincingly (but erroneously) think they are at each other’s throats. Time after time the fringe right (GOPers) will float a change they want to make to the great detriment of the public and eventually the center “left” (Dems) will end up providing the votes needed to effect the legislation in congress. Consider how Phil Gramm pushed for sweeping financial, banking and trade deregulation which his fellow travelers ultimately got done under Slick Willie, or how PNAC was firmly established as national policy, not under Bush, but under Obama. Real sea changes in government policy are invariably made palatable to the public by such orchestrated theatre–like it had to be Nixon who opened China and Reagan who “ended the cold war.” Such moves had to be accepted by the public because certainly these people would not act against decades of policy supported by their own party, would they? Now it’s the Democrats who are ostensibly the warmongers and Russophrenics. It’s all charade, most of it supported by evidence-free assertions and “classified” mumbo jumbo from the intelligence community surrounding the use of digital communications through which THEY (not the Russians) monitor everything you say and text, everywhere you go and everything you do there. Now they have so much control that they don’t even bother very hard to keep up the dog and pony show because… whatchu gonna do about it? Crab about Trump (the perfect target to deflect from the real puppet masters)?

      • Dave P.
        May 5, 2018 at 00:03

        Realist – Your comments are on the mark, as always.

      • Skip Scott
        May 5, 2018 at 06:37


        Thank you so much for your input. I have noticed that strngr-tgthr has never even attempted a response to any of your rebuttals.

        • Realist
          May 5, 2018 at 08:14

          Fee, fie, foe, fum…

      • May 6, 2018 at 07:28

        @ Realist: “Both major parties today work hand in glove for the interests of those elites rather than for anyone who reads this blog …”

        I suspect that there are elites who read and lurk on this blog. They have a need to understand reality, which they can’t get by reading mainstream media.

    • Leslie F.
      May 4, 2018 at 19:39

      The Republican party has what they call “special delegates”. Same thing, different name.

    • jadez
      May 8, 2018 at 13:18

      perfect comment showing that none of it matters because people are so stupid.
      you could be homeless living off garbage cans and still defend the system… is the people that are the problem…people just like you

  13. Jon Dhoe
    May 4, 2018 at 10:12

    Jeez, if Liberalism and democracy weren’t dead yet, this’ll do it.

  14. May 4, 2018 at 10:04

    The Deep State runs the federal bureaucracy. At best, a POTUS can be a broker between various competing factions when the State is in disarray as it is now. Congress is just bribery central so there is no point in hoping anything can come from them other than more of the same as we saw when Obama came in.

    The electoral process is pretty much closed–even if you run and are elected to Congress the “leadership” will cut you to pieces. If you don’t play the game right you risk everything. Some people believe the minor reforms of Obamacare did something positive–it did, but it also set back the fight to institute a rational system, it put off for a decade even talk of a non-corrupt system we would have been better off without it because there were small movements within localities and within the system itself to reform before OK, essentially, made the most criminal element of the industry into a part of the government. As for environmentalism the Democrats made a lot of hand gestures but did very little to actually address the most severe problem which is Climate Change.

    We are much better off with supporting other parties and social movements and encouraging resistance of all kinds through nonviolent non-cooperation with the State and the major corporations that feed off of us.

    • Mild -ly- Facetious
      May 4, 2018 at 12:59

      The “Deep State” consists of the folk Trump blessed with Huge Tax Cuts.
      The federal bureaucracy are the Administrative Agencies, EPA, Education, Energy, etc.

      Trump is protecting the “Deep State” (which includes the Military/Industrial Complex).
      Trump is attacking oversight authority of Administrative Agency regulation of corporations.

    • Nancy
      May 4, 2018 at 14:21

      That’s right. We really need to start over, at square one, because otherwise we will just go back and forth between the two corporate parties (actually one) until the end of time. Which might not be too far in the future.

  15. Realist
    May 4, 2018 at 05:24

    There will be no necessary systemic change in American governance until the next big catastrophe (whether economic, natural or military conflict) lays this country low, with the selfish power elite clearly helpless to repair whatever the damage. Only when most of the people can clearly see they have been left for dead by those who claim to be their leaders will the mass of people rise up against their oppressors and take some action.

    Whether such rebellion can be effective or not is doubtful. The People vs The U.S. Military might be as one-sided as the Palestinians vs the IDF. Alternatively, the conflict might come down to The U.S. Military vs The U.S. Gov. Lots of angry people would welcome that even if it actually makes things worse for most folks. Most likely we will see a quasi-rebellion, with some faction of the elite facing off against the insider elite, but claiming to represent “the people.” Of course, that’s not so different from what we have now, sans gunplay.

    • Mild -ly- Facetious
      May 4, 2018 at 16:19

      Realist “Only when most of the people can clearly see they have been left for dead by those who claim
      to be their leaders will the mass of people rise up against their oppressors and take some action.”

      Yes !
      Like those High School Teens in Parkland, Florida, presenting “A New Birth Of Freedom”!
      Or, alternatively,
      A youthful demand/charge against the Patriarchal Status Quo of Oligarchical Tradition.
      Wherein, AR 15’s vis-a-vis 17th century Muskets equals “The Right To Bear Arms.”?

      We’ve come a long way from the days of Wagon Trains and Remington/Winchester rifles
      Which we handed out to European “Settlers” along with FREE Plots of Western LAND to
      Any and All who signed on to “Killing Redskins and taking scalps” for cash and or bullets.

      This is America! Where the Marginalized are Analyzed as 3/5th humans, (for census)
      Savages, fit for Annihilation or Designated to Arid, Windswept Destinations to die off. …

      This is America! The Purported landofthefree&homeofthebrave Plantation Economy Capitalists
      Where the likes of Steve Maneuchin? and/or Pruitt or Trump can easily enrich themselves
      While laughing at the impoverished whom they lowly esteem, as their Euro forefathers did.

      The Capitalist Class Downed Their Thumbs to “We The People” throughout world history.
      All revolutions, throughout history, have been against The Overly Obsessive “Rich Class”
      Who’re always shielded/protected by “RULE OF LAW” and Law Enforcement “Officers”.

      It ought to be apparent that the “rule of law” cannot protect The People,
      As they are designed only to protect the Oligarchs who write the laws/rules
      That allow them to find new and better ways to fleece the common citizen.

      Please find and read “The Trial of Socrates” by I.F. Stone
      Also, “Jihad Vs. McWorld” by Benjamin Barber.
      Also, “Profit Over People” by Noam Chomsky

  16. PCM
    May 4, 2018 at 01:47

    The ghosts of New Democrats are haunting us? I’d say they’re systematically stalking and killing us.

  17. Zhu
    May 4, 2018 at 00:12

    I fear Democrats have turned into “liberal” Republicans, representing only the semi-rich (“the gentry”), not working people any more. The leaders express little concern for homelessness or food insecurity, quite a lot of concern for issues far higher up the pyramid of needs.

    • May 4, 2018 at 09:39

      If you mean the old liberal Republicans of the 50s and 60s mainstream Democrats are much further to the right. They are way further to the right of Richard Nixon, for example. Today’s Democratic Party is a genuinely conservative party in all senses of the word. What does that make the Republican Party? As Gore Vidal famously observed that there are is only one party with two right wings.

  18. Taras 77
    May 4, 2018 at 00:06

    1. As long as the stench of clintons continues to dishonor the demo party, it has no future and should be executed and buried in the dust bins.
    2. There are no progressives at present with enough support to muster a movement.
    3. The American voter has no choice with the GOPer’s, they are one and the same, and should completely eliminated to start over.

    So what is a voter to do-I have no idea-to vote is to arrive at more fraud, as obama’s regime was. He personally was more of a fraud than the press would ever allow the country to recognize.

    This comment is indeed a cop-out as I state again, I have no idea as to how to reform the morass which big money has constructed.

    • Zhu
      May 4, 2018 at 00:13

      It isn’t just the Clintons.

  19. mike k
    May 3, 2018 at 20:50

    Want the concise and accurate scoop on the “Special Counsel”? Check out Mike Whitney’s masterful expose of this illegal attack on our government:

  20. Professor
    May 3, 2018 at 20:46

    Unfortunately with “Liberal” Democrats like Sanders , Warren , Harris, etc. basically collaborating inside the entrenched DNC narrative through actions rather than words and attack dogs like Rep. Eric Slawell doing Nancy Pelosi’s dirty work down in the trenches there really is nowhere for these “New Democrats ” to
    ascend. There aren’t that many empty seats in Red states where Democratic incumbents want to ‘quit the business’ right now and potentially in Republican Blue districts ,for want of a better term, Democratic Centrists have a built in advantage against Progressives in Middle America. In short, we’re f’d. I see War in Iran and more Hyperinflation for as long as we all go along pretending that the Emperor is wearing Beautiful, beautiful, very, very Beautiful clothes and the Sky is not falling down yet either.

  21. Cassandra
    May 3, 2018 at 20:34

    What the Democrats and their corporate sponsors are desperately trying to retain is the narrative that there actually are two parties, that “your vote counts”. blah, blah, blah in the face of a disintegrating scam, the endgame of any Ponzi scheme.

    • Zhu
      May 4, 2018 at 00:14

      Upton Sinclair a century ago called the two parties the twin wings on the bird of prey.

  22. mike k
    May 3, 2018 at 20:16

    The democratic party needs to be buried – it is really beginning to stink horribly.

    • Zhu
      May 4, 2018 at 00:14

      Bury both of the factions.

  23. mike k
    May 3, 2018 at 20:09

    The idea that somehow “good democrats’ are going to save our totally corrupt government through another one of our rigged elections is ludicrous and absurd. We need a new government, not some leader or party to save our bacon. This search for solutions in the utterly failed wreckage of our government only shows our refusal to admit just how deep our problems really go. Einstein was right – using the failed methods that got us into this mess, is not going to get us out of it. To think so is only to embroil us even deeper in dysfunction and failure

  24. Abby
    May 3, 2018 at 19:46

    Did the Russians make the democrats hire or keep people like this in the DNC? Some how I doubt it.

    “Kamarck’s idea is for party authorities to screen candidates. BuzzFeed explained: “In a forthcoming study for New York University’s law journal, she said, she will propose a number of changes to the nominating system, from an increase in superdelegates to a new pre-primary endorsement process where the party’s top elected officials would meet with the candidates, question their positions, and issue votes of confidence or no confidence. Candidates who fail to meet a certain threshold would be barred from debates or from a spot on the ballot, depending on how the party decided to structure the system, she said.” ”

    Now tell us why we should keep voting for the democrats? Their history since the Clintons rolled into DC has seen that the middle class has been decimated! Obama’s role was to do even more damage to the working class. Oh well, at least he didn’t do his form of welfare reform. I can give him that.

    • David Hamilton
      May 4, 2018 at 12:32

      It is a bit ironic how, when the Clintons came on the scene in 1991, their campaign slogan was “Putting People First”. By 2016, however, it was clear that it had morphed into “Putting Wall Street First”. Some defense of the people’s welfare.

    • Strngr - Tgthr
      May 4, 2018 at 14:24

      Kamarck’s idea is correct… if this were in place when Bernie was starting to run, his campaign would have been nibbed in the bud (barred from debates & ballots) and Hillary could have focused 110% on Trump! If Hillary KNEW (110%) she had ALL of the Super Delegates beforehand she could have attacked right away, no need to even show up in the primary States, etc and go through all that nonsense – witch is a distraction. So, with Kamarack this will never happen again! We need to focus are eyes on the prize!

      • Skip Scott
        May 5, 2018 at 06:45

        Your IQ is showing strgr-tgthr, with “are” instead of “our”, and “witch” instead of “which”.

        Keep focusing on your so-called prize-
        “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

  25. Abe
    May 3, 2018 at 18:58

    “Certainly there are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats.”

    Thus spake the Sheepdog.

    And. you. don’t. get. the. very. bad. joke.

    To repeat:

    No parody of a progressive hero is good enough or smart enough to save the dysfunctional Democratic Party family from it’s post-9/11 shame spiral.

    And doggone it, no amount of daily affirmation or vaping will make Bernie the Bomber’s parody of a “fighting” progressive hero any less shameful.

    American progressives need to jettison these sacks of shit from the Democratic warmongering wing of the Republican Party and organize strongly as a true Progressive party with candidates for government at every level.

    But “Best in Show” Bernie is back put out there on the “front line”, giving his “best so far” speeches, barking and yapping and growling about Trump so progressives won’t walk away en masse from the fetid corpse of the Democratic Party.

    • Abe
      May 3, 2018 at 19:00

      Lying sack but very good doggie

      • firstpersoninfinite
        May 4, 2018 at 00:22

        Either you’re a Trump supporter or you’re a liar. Why should anyone care? Most of what Sanders says in this interview is reasonable conjecture. It’s hard to apply the litmus test of purity when the alternative you offer is cleaning out toilets for the party in power.

    • Zhu
      May 4, 2018 at 00:18

      Laws in all the states severely hinder parties other than the Ds and Rs. A new Progressive Party would be like the Reform Party a few years back – useless.

    • firstpersoninfinite
      May 4, 2018 at 00:19

      And yet Bush and Trump saved the Republican party from its “post-9/11 shame spiral.” Whatever in the hell that is. The Democratic party was a pale Republican cousin well before 9/11.
      There are no Progressives who are capable of removing the Democratic party from control of its diminishing influence. Sanders at least makes sense in that he has his finger on the pulse of the problems in this country. If that requires obfuscation and dissembling insistence on his part, so be it.He’s still better by far than nothing, which is what you offer as savior.

      • Professor
        May 4, 2018 at 13:41

        Nope. I disagree and I voted fiof him against Hillary even though he’s worthless and I would have voted for him against Trump and if he had been elected NOTHING he talked about or focused on on the Campaign Trail would have come to fruition. NADA. Sanders is a hypocrite, a phony , a liar and a poser. He makes things even worse just by being there pretending to be a beacon of whatever is the flavor of the day. . Notice yesterday and everywhere on Mayday many people around the world, particularly Xi in China but also in France and Europe, (I didn’t read the news from South America, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Mexico, etc. because it dint make the internet news threads) people were talking about the continuing validity of the Marxist critique. Not self proclaimed “Socialist” Sanders. He’s a joke who loves attention and the camera.

        • Nancy
          May 4, 2018 at 14:29

          You’re right. Sanders is a phony tool who is really enjoying his role as sheepdog after so many years in obscurity.

          • Joe
            May 4, 2018 at 15:36

            Please provide a better alternative.

          • Professor
            May 4, 2018 at 18:20

            Hey Joe, to bud in on your response to Nancy. There isn’t one. There is no good alternative. Even Merkley. That is the problem. Last time a real Independent ran it was Jerry Brown in 1992 and you saw what happened. Now look he’s married , tough on crime , pro growth, pro immigration and mucho mas asylum. He’s totally co-opted as well. This is the heart of the problem. The two parties are two side of the same corrupt coin. They offer a fig leaf to this decadent spiral we refer to as the electoral process

    • Abe
      May 4, 2018 at 21:23

      The Gang of Four – Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-OR) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) – represent the loyal opposition “liberal” wing of the pro-Israel Lobby in the Senate.

      Feinstein and Sanders need no introduction.

      Merkley is probably best known for being the only colleague of Sanders to endorse the Vermont senator’s presidential bid against Hillary Clinton 2016.

      Merkley shares Bernie’s enthusiasm for fact-free Russia-gate allegations

      Feinstein, Sanders and Merkley signed a 29 December 2017 letter to “His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu” asking if he would pretty please not demolish the Palestinian village of Susiya on the west Bank and the Bedouin community of Khanal-Ahmar east of Jerusalem.

      The “liberal” gang likes to sign very polite letters because they are a lot less trouble than actually ending U.S. funding for Israel’s illegal occupations and annexations.

      Lest the group appear insufficiently zealous in their concern for Israel’s “security”, Feinstein, Sanders, and Merkley are joined by Ed Markey.

      Markey signed on to the Kirk-Gillibrand letter, an appeal from Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Mark Kirk (R-IL), urging additional funding for Israeli missile defense.

      The pro-Israel Lobby sold the additional funding as providing access to Israeli research and technology for the U.S. to utilize in its own national security programs.

      In December 2016, the Kirk-Gillibrand effort secured $601 million in funding for Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow 3, and Iron Dome research and development in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as part of the Fiscal Year 2017.

      The pro-Israel Lobby is apolectic about Russian military technology that basically nullifies Israeli air superiority and missile defense.

      The Gang of Four are “progressive” water carriers for a sudden “negotiation” initiative to prevent the nullification of Israel’s military advantage in planned Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis assaults on Lebanon, Syria and Iran.

      When the “special relationship” needs a leftie handjob, Bernie and Company are only too happy to oblige.

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