What Opposition Party?

by DAVE LINDORFF

 

Iraq War going to hell, with U.S casualties approaching 2000 dead and 25,000 wounded, at a cost of $200 billion and rising.

Poverty in America on the rise in a period of supposed economic growth.

Republican Party a cesspool of corruption.

White House being investigated for outing undercover CIA agent.

Abortion rights under serious threat, with the Supreme Court being packed with right-wing judges.

New Orleans, just drying out from disastrous flood, being raped by White House-linked corporate pirates and scam artists.

Budget deficit topping half trillion dollars.

Gas and heating oil crisis looming, while oil companies reap record profits.

Bush poll numbers hit historic low as even some Republicans abandon him as an incompetent.

Oh yeah-all this and global warming and the end of human life as we know it.

Man, if you were an opposition politician looking to make a run for Congress next years, or for president in 2008, this would be a magical time.

But where’s the opposition?

The media tell us that the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008 are Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Bill Richardson and maybe John Kerry. What all these people have in common is their deafening silence on all the issues of importance facing Americans and America.

Not one dared show her or his face at the record demonstration against the Iraq War held in front of the White House last weekend.

None has spoken out on the Republican corruption scandals.

None has called for a public program to hire all the displaced of New Orleans to put them to work rebuilding the destroyed city. Instead, they are allowing Bush and the Republican Congress, with the acquiescence of Louisiana’s corrupt local Democratic Party, to bring in speculators and the same profiteers who have been sucking up the reconstruction money in Iraq.

None has offered a plan to attack the U.S. deficit and the hollowing out of the American economy.

None of these “leading opposition candidates” has even taken any kind of strong stand on global warming-for example calling for a tax surcharge on low-mileage cars and trucks and strict limits on carbon emissions by power plants plus a crash program to develop alternative energy sources.

The truth is that when it comes to the Democratic Party, the purported opposition party, there is no there there. It no longer exists.

You’d think the sorry experience of the last two presidential campaigns, where two Democratic candidates, Al Gore and John Kerry, ran spineless, uninspired campaigns that managed to avoid taking a progressive stand on any critical issue of the day, and predictably went down to defeat, dragging Democrats in Congress down with them, would have been a lesson: political cowardice and wedge issue pandering has no future.

Yet here we are five years into the Bush presidency, with Republicans imploding on their own greed and ineptness, and the Democrats are still afraid of their shadows.

Unless someone comes forward soon with an inspired progressive agenda, it’s probably time to let the Democratic Party go the way of the Whigs.

Simply letting the Republicans flounder will not win a single election, much less the race for the White House.

It used to be said that pulling the lever for a third party candidate was wasting your vote. These days, voting for a Democrat is wasting a vote.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLARIFICATION

ALEXANDER COCKBURN, JEFFREY ST CLAIR, BECKY GRANT AND THE INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF JOURNALISTIC CLARITY, COUNTERPUNCH

We published an article entitled “A Saudiless Arabia” by Wayne Madsen dated October 22, 2002 (the “Article”), on the website of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity, CounterPunch, www.counterpunch.org (the “Website”).

Although it was not our intention, counsel for Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi has advised us the Article suggests, or could be read as suggesting, that Mr Al Amoudi has funded, supported, or is in some way associated with, the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

We do not have any evidence connecting Mr Al Amoudi with terrorism.

As a result of an exchange of communications with Mr Al Amoudi’s lawyers, we have removed the Article from the Website.

We are pleased to clarify the position.

August 17, 2005

 

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).

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