The Swan Song for the
By Mike Whitney
--- - The Democrats did us all a favor by giving Bush his
Iraq war-money. After all, the Dems have supported the war from
the get-go, so why not expose them as the hypocrites they really
The truth is, no one is really surprised by Friday's vote. We
have one party in America—the War Party---the Dems are merely a
junior partner in that system.
It boggles the mind that so many so-called "liberals" continue
to be hoodwinked by the Democratic Party. After all, what do
they offer---a slight boost in the hourly wage? Better
management of foreign massacres?!?
Okay---I’ll concede that much.
But, what else? The Democrats are even giving ground on a
women’s "right to choose", which, up until now, had been their
defining issue. Now even that is eroding.
So, what do the Democrats really stand for?
Where are the "principles"?
This is not the party of F.D.R., my friend. This is the party of
Bill Clinton, the Master of Triangulation. Clinton was nothing
more than the flip-side of George Bush. The bombing of Belgrade
was as big a crime as Shock and Awe--although it was cleverly
masked behind Clinton’s “Aw shucks” charm and the ever-compliant
Clinton sold out the American worker by passing NAFTA. He
dismantled the social safety net with his Welfare Reform. He
destroyed the last vestiges of the free media by signing the
Telecommunications Act. And he revealed his utter lack of
principle by refusing to sign the Land Mines Treaty---a document
that would have saved the lives of thousands of children every
Smart guy---no principles.
Clinton never did anything that wasn’t politically calculated.
Hell, he probably had his slide-rule out during his visits with
Monica to figure out the exact amount of gratification he could
have without feeling guilty. Sure, he was bright and good
natured but, his critics are also right--he was utterly devoid
of principle. And yet, this is the Democratic Party’s “big
hero”; a man who has become the shining example for the future
leaders in the party.
Gadzooks--what a disaster!
The Democratic Party is not the party that people think it is.
This is the party of Rahm Emanuel and the DLC. The leadership is
unwaveringly pro-war, pro Israel, and pro free trade. There's no
room for anything else. The Democrats have no intention
withdrawing from Iraq. That’s just speculation on the part of
blindly-optimistic voters who still believe that their voices
will be heard. They won't be heard. The Democrats will NEVER get
us out of Iraq.
The real position of the Dems on Iraq is even MORE IMMORAL than
the Republicans. They want to redeploy outside of the country
while reducing the number of troops on the ground. In other
words, they want to build a “sustainable” model for stealing the
world’s second largest petroleum reserves.
It's a more discreet strategy than Bush’s bloody “surge", but is
any less immoral?
It would be better for the country if the Democratic Party just
called it quits and disbanded right now. (although, they appear
to be doing a pretty good job of that already)
The party is a bigger obstacle to progressive reform and
systemic change than the Republicans.
As long as the Dems continue to trick people into believing that
they represent substantive change--or even a serious defense of
their vital economic interests--the charade will persist and
things will get worse.
Real progressive reform should address the central issues
facing, not only Americans, but the entire world---nuclear
proliferation, global warming, peak oil, population growth, food
supply and disease.
Reform isn't even part of the Democrat's agenda. Like their
Republican counterparts, they are primarily focused on enriching
corporate donors, facilitating free trade, and chasing shadowy
Islamic groups through Central Asia and the Middle East.
Real reform would restore progressive taxation by reinstating
the brackets that were used during the early 1950s; that is,
everyone making over $200,000 per year ($1 million by today’s
standards) pays 93% of their earnings! Without a concerted
effort to narrow the massive wealth gap through
redistribution—the country will continue along its present path
to tyranny. Those who have benefited most from the security,
infrastructure and prosperity provided by state should naturally
pay more. That is the fundamental tenet of progressive taxation
and it is essential if we want to strengthen the middle class
and “raise all boats” (as the Republicans like to say)
Besides, who's going to lose sleep over taxing the rich?
A progressive platform should also include a plan to nationalize
the oil industry. The record profits from oil production should
be going into infrastructure, education and alternate
fuels---not fattening the foreign banks accounts of obscenely
rich oil moguls. In an age of resource scarcity, we cannot allow
the market to decide who will get access to the energy that
everyone needs to maintain minimal standards of comfort.
We’ve already seen how big oil is willing to use our children as
cannon fodder in their wars of aggression. We’ve also seen how
they work tirelessly to confuse the public on crucial issues
such as global warming by pumping millions of dollars into bogus
science and misleading public relations campaigns. The oil
industry operates without a conscience putting its bottom line
above the very survival of the species. The best thing to do is
"return the favor" by seizing the industry—Hugo Chavez
style---and putting it to work for the people it is supposed to
serve. If the oil executives still choose to continue the fight
for Iraqi oil; we should provide them with sidearms and Kevlar
vests and turn them lose in Baghdad. Let them fend for
themselves---everyone else comes home.
The country doesn’t need two War Parties run by the same
establishment elites. The present system is a fraud which
marginalizes 95% of the American people and makes democracy
impossible. What we need is a Labor Party that addresses the
issues which are critical to working class people. Labor Party
affiliation should be the equivalent of union
membership—providing a clear statement of support for pensions,
universal health care, maternity leave, yearly wage increases
tied to productivity, profit sharing, collective bargaining
rights and 50% representation on all corporate boards. The goal
of a Labor Party should not merely be to live off the scraps
from the corporate table, but to share political power in
shaping the country’s economic agenda. That’s the only way that
we can balance class-based interests and avoid unnecessary
Anyone who thinks politics is just about “making money” is nuts.
Political parties emerge to take power---and that should be the
objective of Labor---raw political power. Nothing else will do.
What’s needed is a broad coalition of leftist organizations
coalescing in a party that represents the objectives of working
Labor needs a voice in government and the Democrats are not that
By capitulating to Bush, the Democratic Party has cut the ground
out from beneath itself and hastened its own demise. Good
riddance. Now, let’s push the rusty hulk out of the road and go
to comment on this and other articles
Send Page To a Friend
with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material
is distributed without profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving the
included information for research and educational
purposes. Information Clearing House has no
affiliation whatsoever with the originator of
this article nor is Information ClearingHouse
endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)