Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
HAVE YOUR DONATION DOUBLED!

If you are able to donate $100 or more for our Annual Fund Drive, your donation will be matched by another generous CounterPuncher! These are tough times. Regardless of the political rhetoric bantered about the airwaves, the recession hasn’t ended for most of us. We know that money is tight for many of you. But we also know that tens of thousands of daily readers of CounterPunch depend on us to slice through the smokescreen and tell it like is. Please, donate if you can!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

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).

Weekend Edition
October 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Clinton, Assange and the War on Truth
Michael Hudson
Socialism, Land and Banking: 2017 compared to 1917
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in the Life of CounterPunch
Paul Street
The Not-So-Radical “Socialist” From Vermont
Jason Hirthler
Censorship in the Digital Age
Jonathan Cook
Harvey Weinstein and the Politics of Hollywood
Andrew Levine
Diagnosing the Donald
Michelle Renee Matisons
Relocated Puerto Rican Families are Florida’s Latest Class War Targets
Richard Moser
Goldman Sachs vs. Goldman Sachs?
David Rosen
Male Sexual Violence: As American as Cherry Pie
Mike Whitney
John Brennan’s Police State USA
Robert Hunziker
Mr. Toxicity Zaps America
Peter Gelderloos
Catalan Independence and the Crisis of Democracy
Robert Fantina
Fatah, Hamas, Israel and the United States
Edward Curtin
Organized Chaos and Confusion as Political Control
Patrick Cockburn
The Transformation of Iraq: Kurds Have Lost 40% of Their Territory
CJ Hopkins
Tomorrow Belongs to the Corporatocracy
Bill Quigley
The Blueprint for the Most Radical City on the Planet
Brian Cloughley
Chinese Dreams and American Deaths in Africa
John Hultgren
Immigration and the American Political Imagination
Thomas Klikauer
Torturing the Poor, German-Style
Gerry Brown
China’s Elderly Statesmen
Pepe Escobar
Kirkuk Redux Was a Bloodless Offensive, Here’s Why
Jill Richardson
The Mundaneness of Sexual Violence
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
The Choreography of Human Dignity: Blade Runner 2049 and World War Z
Missy Comley Beattie
Bitch, Get Out!!
Andre Vltchek
The Greatest Indonesian Painter and “Praying to the Pig”
Ralph Nader
Why is Nobelist Economist Richard Thaler so Jovial?
Ricardo Vaz
Venezuela Regional Elections: Chavismo in Triumph, Opposition in Disarray and Media in Denial
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
NAFTA Talks Falter, Time To Increase Pressure
GD Dess
Why We Shouldn’t Let Hillary Haunt Us … And Why Having a Vision Matters
Ron Jacobs
Stop the Idiocy! Stop the Mattis-ness!
Russell Mokhiber
Talley Sergent Aaron Scheinberg Coca Cola Single Payer and the Failure of Democrats in West Virginia
Michael Barker
The Fiction of Kurt Andersen’s “Fantasyland”
Murray Dobbin
Yes, We Need to Tax the Rich
Dave Lindorff
Two Soviet Spies Who Deserve a Posthumous Nobel Peace Prize
Rafael Bernabe – Manuel Rodríguez Banchs
Open Letter to the People of the United States From Puerto Rico, a Month After Hurricane María
Oliver Tickell
#FreeJackLetts
Victor Grossman
From Jamaica to Knees
Michael Welton
Faith and the World: the Baha’i Vision
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Kirkuk the Consolation Prize?
Graham Peebles
Beyond Neo-Liberal Consumerism
Louis Proyect
On Gowans on Syria
Charles R. Larson
Review: Candida R. Moss and Joel S. Baden’s “Bible Nation: the United States of Hobby Lobby”
David Yearsley
Katy Perry’s Gastro-Pop, Gastro-Porn Orgy
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail