I write this as a Democrat who rejects the Party as it has become — controlled by and representing the Party’s billionaire donors, against the American public.
That Party — the Clintonite Democratic Party, which deregulated Wall Street and allowed no regulation at all of financial derivatives, and ended FDR’s Glass-Steagall Act, and invaded Serbia, and increased the size of NATO (which should have ended when the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact military alliance did, in 1991) — served superbly well the interests of America’s billionaires, but not of the American people, whose wages flatlined as Wall Street’s bonuses soared, and as that Democratic-Republican orgy of deregulation paved the way for the reckless lending that produced the 2008 crash, from which we’re still recovering. (America’s billionaires, however, did just fine from it all — and is that any wonder?)
The era of endless war didn’t really begin only with George W. Bush; the Clintons too were and are part of it and support every measure to ratchet-up military spending and turn America into the weapons-exporter to all of the world in order (not just to fatten the bottom lines of firms such as Lockheed Martin but) to “regime-change” every head-of-state that our billionaires or their ‘allies’ want removed from power and replaced by their chosen stooges.
What, then, do the Democrats in Congress propose in order to address the Party’s rot? Their proposed ‘Better Deal’ is summarized by Jeff Stein, at Vox, under the headline “Democrats’ Better Deal, Explained”, and consists of promises that the Democratic Party has consistently made and always (behind the scenes) helped the Republicans to block, because Democratic Party mega-donors don’t want it any more than Republican Party ones do. For examples:
Remember the promises by Barack Obama, and by his 2008 Presidential-primary opponents, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, their promises that they’d institute for health insurance a “public option,” which Obama promised would compete against the profit-making insurers and “will keep them honest and it will help keep their prices down”, but which he stopped pushing for at the very moment when he won the White House — and so he chose the conservative Senator Max Baucus (a strong opponent of any public option) to write the Obamacare legislation, and turned down (the strong public-option-supporter) Senator Ted Kennedy’s bid to do that? How can anyone trust the Democratic Party’s Establishment, after that? Did they then abandon him on the matter, and push him to be real? Not at all! Obama was and is a sell-out at least as bad as the Clintons were and are. And, on Wall Street reform, Obama lied through his teeth, constantly, the Liar-in-Chief throughout his Presidency; but, many of my fellow-Democrats say, he was ‘pushed to it by the Republicans’. Not really so: see this — it came from him, and the Republicans never criticized him for it, because on those actions, he was secretly working behind-the-scenes for their agenda. (Almost all of the Republicans’ criticisms of Obama were lies — his true evils they were silent on, because these were policies that had been drawn up in Republican back-rooms during prior years but had failed to pass under Republican Presidents.) And the few honest and knowledgeable bloggers who still remain Democrats are deeply distrustful that any credence whatsoever should be given to the Party’s statements about the policies that it allegedly intends — such as the Party Establishment’s ‘Better Deal’ this time.
So: What are the Democratic Party Establishment promising now? Who really cares, other than suckers? Most of the incumbents are so bad they should be primaried, at this stage; and few Democratic voters should trust the incumbent any more than they trust any challenger to that person. This is how bad things have become, in the Democratic Party, today. There needs to be an almost-total root-and-branch replacement of the DNC, to start with. Then, we can begin to talk — meet together, as Democrats, without the rot that stinks the place up. The lobbyists control both Parties; and both Party-Establishments — both parts of The Establishment, all of America’s billionaires (and all of their numerous agents) — need to be kicked-out of our Parties, and replaced. Which group first — which of the two groups of billionaires (including the billionaires’ agents)? The ones that are symbolized by “Koch,” or the ones that are symbolized by “Soros”? Does it really make any difference? Maybe one type (the Koch group) is more blatant about their fascism, and the other type (the Soros group) is more deceptive about it, but they’re really far more similar to each other than they want the public to know, or (at all) to understand.
This is a pre-revolutionary situation. Frank discussions — which have been prohibited till now — must start. Everything should be open for debate, without the ideological censors. There is more to fear about continuing on the present course, than about refusing to and demanding instead its repudiation and replacement. The first question will be: replacing them with what, and by whom? Democracy needs a rebirth in America, or else it will go down completely. We already have the highest percentage of our citizens in prisons of any other of the world’s 223 countries except for tiny Seychelles (the total population of which is under 100,000, low enough for the Somali pirates whom the UN imprisons there to produce an even higher imprisonment-rate than the United States has). So, what have we got left to lose, except our chains (or private prisons)? Anyway, we’ve not got the world’s worst healthcare: we’re #37 on quality. However, we do have by far the world’s per-capita costliest healthcare (and also the costliest as a percentage of a nation’s GDP). How much worse than this should things be allowed to go? Maybe go to spending even more, for even worse? When and where will it stop? What would stop it? And how many more coups and invasions will our rulers perpetrate, and countries destroy, before we finally say: no more of their rule? The time has come.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.