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Let’s Hand It All Over to the Democrats

by MICHAEL DONNELLY

I know I’ll get e-mails accusing me of starry-eyed romanticism, at minimum. Nope. I’m no fan of the Democrats.

Let me begin by noting that I loathe what the Democratic Party has become. Wanna know why Nancy Pelosi put “Impeachment off the table?” Because the Democrats are complicit in the Imperial assault on Iraq? Simple. Top Democrats were pre-briefed on the CIA forgeries used as “evidence” of Iraq’s ties to Al-Qaeda. The Ds said nothing in opposition and went along. That’s only one of their damnable failings re: Iraq.

My loathing of the Ds goes way beyond their complicity in the endless resource wars. It really hit home for me when the Clinton/Gore Administration carved out a sorry record as the worst environmental presidency since the first Earth Day. Yep. You read that right. Al Gore be damned. Worst!

The many Clinton/Gore assaults on the environment are too many to rehash here. But, for me personally, the resumption of public lands’ Ancient Forest logging is unforgivable. The Democrats were the majority party in the House and the Senate at the time. Worst? Let’s put it in perspective: the average cut of public-owned old growth forests was 1.9 billion board feet (bbf) a year under Clinton/Gore. Under Bush the Lesser and Boss Cheney, the total cut for eight years will end up at 1.8 bbf. Bush actually has preserved far more public commons than Clinton or any of his other predecessors. The Bush-designated Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument alone protects 140,000 square miles! (Don’t misread me here: like Nixon, who signed virtually all of our nation’s major environmental laws, Bush is still a war criminal.)

Add to all that the Clinton/Gore and their many Democratic Party Congressional allies sorry roles in the deregulation of Telecommunications and Finance, the out-sourcing of America’s jobs and industrial infrastructure, and a raft of assaults on the working/Middle Class and one has to see Clinton/Gore and Democrats of late, in general, as a very successful arrow in the quiver of the elites – in a very one-sided “Class War.” Clinton/Gore actually rammed through NAFTA and other corporate wet dreams that Bush the Elder failed on.

And, the despicable lengths the Democrats resorted to to deny Ralph Nader a ballot spot in 2004 and other such undemocratic moves made when they are in the majority (as here in Oregon) for too long also proves their untrustworthiness. But then again, they don’t even have the fortitude to fight for elections they actually won this millennium. If they don’t even care about their own supporters’ disenfranchisement, why would they care about fair, open elections?

But, as the title states, I’m here to argue for electing the entire Democrat slate this election. The unstable, hostile, lying, disdainfully elitist John McCain is reason enough and the subject of another essay.

Go On. Take the Crises and Run

Why not dump the whole stinking mess right in the Dems laps? Let’s give them the wars they also lied us into; the collapsed economy they also deregulated; the trillions in debt they voted for; the massive unemployment their “Free” Trade policies has wrought; the prison/industrial complex and the everyone’s-a-taser-worthy-perp-unless-proven-innocent (and even then…) mind-set they allowed to flourish; the all-but-abandoned blacker and poorer cities they incompetently (mis)represent (in New Orleans’ case – totally-abandoned. It took them five days to get water to the Superdome. How long do you think folks would be on their roofs in Kennebunkport awaiting Hurricane rescue?); a ravaged environment and a carbon-crisis their dithering has likely pushed past the point of no return…

Bailouts or Backdoor Socialism?

Now, I know with a record like that, there’s not that much to hope for. As an old rancher buddy used to say, “You can shit in one hand and hope in the other and see which one fills.” But, crisis brings opportunity and due to the recent Wall Street meltdown/bailouts, the government now owns 75% of all the mortgages in the country. It now owns the largest international insurance firm. It has already owned the largest “pension” plan. Who knows? Maybe the Ds will rise to the occasion and complete the job – gain National Health Care, install fair taxation, re-regulate Wall Street and the public airwaves, properly manage our public resources, dump our known 766 overseas’ bastions, get rid of our own substantial (many times the rest of the world’s combined) WMDs, buy and sell any resources and commodities fairly on an open market and join the rest of the civilized Social Democracies of the world?

You can bet that the elites fear just such a New Deal II correction. Why else would the Republicans and John McCain be giving, even if begrudging, support for the bailouts, if not out of outright fear of and as a staving off of such egalitarian corrections?

I know were talking solid Blue West Coast here, but a wealthy, Obama backer told a group of us last spring in Seattle, “We need some old-fashioned financial regulation.”

If it’s even hurting the “investor class,” you know there will be some sort of correction and a parallel effort to confine it to just the financial sectors a la the S & L debacle and away from spreading to Health Care, Criminal Justice, the wars, education and other average citizen concerns. The public may win if the ludicrous borrowed cost of the war is addressed and it is brought to a quick halt. The public may win if the Wall Street casino is reined in. The Public will win big if the Democrats take the mandate and run. They don’t want to bring the neo-Cons to justice? Fine. We get it; they’re complicit.

But, the stakes are high, the opportunities rich – and Gaia knows – the Ds are due for some sort of redemption…We’ll have to dog their every move; go after their every backslide. Everyone will have to get more involved. Getting to where 300 million Americans actually care that you have Health Care is not going to get any easier, for example. But, the conditions aren’t likely to get any dire/better for citizen concerns vis a vis military/corporate ones. Irony, and again, opportunity.

We’re in for a wild ride no matter what. The usual solution to such undemocratic, Imperial times as we are facing now is Berlin in Ruins. Let’s get ahead of the game even quicker than our ancestors did in 1932. A McCain/Palin Administration would be one more giant step in that millennia-old Republic-to-unacknowledged Empire-to-overstretch-to-ruin dead-end direction. We can and must do better. Let’s give the Ds a chance to change course. Let’s give it (them) a shot – a little experiment if you will.

MICHAEL DONNELLY would prefer going all the way to a true Parliamentary system. He can be reached at pahtoo@aol.com

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MICHAEL DONNELLY has been an environmental activist since before that first Earth Day. He was in the thick of the Pacific Northwest Ancient Forest Campaign; garnering some collective victories and lamenting numerous defeats. He can be reached at pahtoo@aol.com

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