FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Democrats Have Become Merely a Vestigial Opposition Party

by DAVE LINDORFF

 

This focus by Democrats in Congress on judicial appointments and on the appointment of John Bolton as U.N. ambassador is just a pathetic sideshow. In the end all that sound and fury signifies nothing.

The Democratic leadership struts around boasting that it “saved” the filibuster and the right to challenge a likely reactionary appointment to the Supreme Court. That same leadership works mightily to delay the almost certain appointment of Bolton to the UN post. But where were these noble guardians of Democratic values when the White House and its Republican backers in Congress pushed the new bankruptcy bill, which makes it harder for people overcome by debt after losing a job or being hit by a family medical disaster to start over?

Where were they when the oil lobbyists and their White House cronies came in with a plan to open up the ANWR area on the North Slop of Alaska to oil exploration?

Where were they when the latest $83 billion Iraq occupation supplemental funding bill came up for a vote, and with the long-dreaded national “Real ID” bill attached?

All these reactionary measures passed with wide margins, meaning they received broad Democratic support in both houses of Congress.

Increasingly, what we have in Congress is a vestigial opposition party. It’s sort of like the appendix attached to our intestines: most of the time, we don’t even know it’s there–just when it gets inflamed–and in fact, we’re better off without it.

Outside of Congress there is a majority of the American public that now realizes that the Iraq war is a disaster and that wants the troops home NOW.

Outside of Congress, there is a majority of Americans who believe that healthcare should be a right, and that national healthcare for all is a great idea.

Outside Congress, there is a campaign underway to help Marines and GIs who were tricked into fighting an illegal war to get out of the services that betrayed them and now force them to kill or be killed.

Outside Congress, there are local campaigns to help immigrants caught up in the government’s cruel net and forced into exile for a traffic stop, leaving behind American-born children or spouses.

Outside of Congress a huge swath of the country–Red and Blue states included–has voted for ordinances or resolutions that make their jurisdictions “PATRIOT Act -free zones” and that even instruct state and local law enforcement authorities not to cooperate with federal requests for information which they believe to be out of line with the Bill of Rights.

You would”t know any of this to watch what passes for an opposition in Congress these days.

Apparently it’s politically safe to stand up and say you don’t like John Bolton or Priscilla Owen, but not to stand up and say that the banks and credit card agencies are rapacious usurers–modern loan sharks–that a national ID is big step towards totalitarianism, or that funding for a criminal war is in itself a criminal act–or even that it’s time to bring the troops home.

We’re seeing compromise where there should be none–on the filibuster issue, on the PATRIOT Act, and no doubt on Social Security “reform.”

But there is such bold intransigence on John Bolton.

If this is the best we can get from the Democrats we elect and send to Congress, it’s time to turn to a third party and let the Democratic Party go the way of the Whigs…or of a burst appendix.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
April 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Diana Johnstone
The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty
Paul Street
Donald Trump: Ruling Class President
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Dude, Where’s My War?
Andrew Levine
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em
Paul Atwood
Why Does North Korea Want Nukes?
Robert Hunziker
Trump and Global Warming Destroy Rivers
Vijay Prashad
Turkey, After the Referendum
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, the DOJ and Julian Assange
CJ Hopkins
The President Formerly Known as Hitler
Steve Reyna
Replacing Lady Liberty: Trump and the American Way
Lucy Steigerwald
Stop Suggesting Mandatory National Service as a Fix for America’s Problems
Robert Fisk
It is Not Just Assad Who is “Responsible” for the Rise of ISIS
John Laforge
“Strike Two” Against Canadian Radioactive Waste Dumpsite Proposal
Norman Solomon
The Democratic Party’s Anti-Bernie Elites Have a Huge Stake in Blaming Russia
Andrew Stewart
Can We Finally Get Over Bernie Sanders?
Susan Babbitt
Don’t Raise Liberalism From the Dead (If It is Dead, Which It’s Not)
Uri Avnery
Palestine’s Nelson Mandela
Fred Nagel
It’s “Deep State” Time Again
John Feffer
The Hunger President
Stephen Cooper
Nothing is Fair About Alabama’s “Fair Justice Act”
Jack Swallow
Why Science Should Be Political
Chuck Collins
Congrats, Graduates! Here’s Your Diploma and Debt
Aidan O'Brien
While God Blesses America, Prometheus Protects Syria, Russia and North Korea 
Patrick Hiller
Get Real About Preventing War
David Rosen
Fiction, Fake News and Trump’s Sexual Politics
Evan Jones
Macron of France: Chauncey Gardiner for President!
David Macaray
Adventures in Labor Contract Language
Ron Jacobs
The Music Never Stopped
Kim Scipes
Black Subjugation in America
Sean Stinson
MOAB: More Obama and Bush
Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz
Minute Musings: On Why the United States Should Launch a Tomahawk Strike on Puerto Rico
Tom Clifford
The Return of “Mein Kampf” … in Japan
Todd Larsen
Concerned About Climate Change? Change Where You Bank!
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Brexit: Britain’s Opening to China?
John Hutchison
Everything Old is New Again: a Brief Retrospectus on Korea and the Cold War
Michael Brenner
The Ghost in the Dream Machine
Yves Engler
The Military Occupation of Haiti
Christopher Brauchli
Guardians of Lies
James Preece
How Labour Can Win the Snap Elections
Cesar Chelala
Preventing Disabilities in the Elderly
Sam Gordon
From We Shall Overcome to Where Have all the Flowers Gone?
Charles Thomson
It’s Still Not Too Late to Deserve Your CBE, Chris Ofili
Louis Proyect
Documentaries That Punch
Charles R. Larson
Review: Vivek Shanbhag’s “Ghachar Ghochar”
David Yearsley
Raiding the Tomb of Lubitsch
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail