FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Game Over for Democrats?

by

Photo by P Bear | CC BY 2.0

Photo by P Bear | CC BY 2.0

 

In 2008, the American people overwhelmingly voted for “change” in Washington. They never got it. Hence, Trump. To pretend that there’s not a straight line connecting the failed policies of Barack Obama and the subsequent rise of Donald John Trump, is to ignore the obvious and to shrug off responsibility for the situation the country is in today.

Obama created Trump, the man didn’t simply appear from the ether. Had Obama acted in good faith and kept his promises to shake up the status quo, end the foreign wars, restore civil liberties, hold Wall Street accountable or relieve the economic insecurity that working families across the country now feel, Hillary Clinton would have been a shoe-in on November 8th. As it happens, Obama made no effort to achieve any of these goals, which is why Hillary was defeated in the biggest political upset of the last century.

The point we need to underscore here, is that the Democratic leadership is responsible for Trump, not the working class people in the red states who merely did what they had to do to effect change.  These people can’t be blamed for voting their own best interests. That’s what people do. Had Obama done anything to genuinely improve the economy, things might have turned out differently. But he didn’t, in fact– as popular as Obama was– a full two thirds of the American people thought the country was headed in the wrong direction. In other words, the election was a referendum on Obama’s performance as the primary steward of the US economy. Obama lost that referendum.

Even so, the DNC could have reloaded and taken a different approach to the economy under Hillary. They didn’t. They thought the “recovery” meme was effective enough to put them over the finish line. But it wasn’t effective enough, because too many people saw that the recovery was a fraud, that there was no recovery,  it was all a slick Madison Avenue public relations campaign aimed at concealing the fact that Obama had restructured the US economy in a way that deliberately kept growth at-or-below 2 percent so the Fed could continue pumping cheap money to its constituents on Wall Street while everyone else saw their personal debtload grow, their retirement savings vanish, and their standards of living slip.  Isn’t that what really happened? Obama’s grand restructuring project has resulted in perennial economic stagnation and widespread pessimism about the future. The former president  oversaw the greatest transfer of wealth from working class people to parasitic plutocrats in the history of the nation. It wasn’t an accident. Obama was following a blueprint that was given to him by his handlers at the DNC.

So now the country is to be led by a brash billionaire reality TV celebrity who has no previous political experience and who seems unusually sensitive to any kind of personal criticism. Not surprisingly, there’s no sign that the Democratic leadership feels any responsibility for this extraordinary development.

Why is that? Why hasn’t anyone in the DNC admitted their failure, admitted that they didn’t accurately gage the mood of the country or the hunger for change? Why haven’t they acknowledged that putting the most untrustworthy candidate of all time –a thoroughly dislikable, warmongering harridan– on the ticket was a mistake? Why?

It’s because this vile collection of corporate Dems who run the party are incapable of self reflection, right? It’s because the Podesta throng — who still hold the party in their deathgrip –truly believe that bamboozling their base with Potemkin executives like Barack Obama, is a terrific model for running the government. They think Obama’s tenure as president was a success story, mainly because  his grandiloquent bloviating and larking around on stage with sleeves rolled up like an overpaid athlete– diverted attention from the trillions of dollars  that were being sluiced to the banking whores on Wall Street. Isn’t that why the Dems haven’t changed?

They actually think they’ve stumbled on the secret formula for winning elections and that the election of Trump in 2016 is just a “one off”, a temporary setback.

But it’s not a one off.  The rise of  Trump has been accompanied by the rise of rightwing parties and ideology across the planet. What we are seeing is a fundamental change in the zeitgeist, which is “the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time.”  In  this view, Obama represents the culmination of the values and ideas that emerged during the 1960s and persisted until just recently when they collapsed. The utter corruption of the progressive vision (due, in large part, to the cynical and reactionary policies of parties like the Democrats) has paved the way for a new era, the Trump era, in which state repression is bound to increase even while personal liberty and economic security are steadily eviscerated.

And what is the Dems response to this new phenom?

Why, nothing at all. The whole matter seems to be over their heads. They don’t seem to grasp the shifting public mood, the changing epoch  or how it will impact their future plans. Instead, they are doing everything in their power to make themselves more irrelevant. It’s pathetic.

And keep in mind, that ever since the election, the Dems have made no effort at course correction, no effort to reconnect with the millions of working people in the red states who used to vote Democrat but switched because they wanted change. No. Instead, party leaders have embarked on a counterproductive character assassination campaign aimed at discrediting the new president by alleging Russian “hacking” of the election. And while they have produced absolutely zero hard evidence to substantiate their loony claims, the Dems, the media and the thoroughly unreliable Intel agencies have continued this scapegoating onslaught thinking that they are shaping public opinion in a way that undermines  President Trump.

It would all be laughable if it wasn’t so serious. But it is serious. The rise of Trump poses some significant challenges to democratic government, but, regrettably, the opposition party is in the middle of a major nervous breakdown. How are they going to stop this autocratic juggernaut in their present state of collapse?

They won’t be able to. They’re going to get beat to a pulp unless they get it together and stop  running around with their hair on fire yelling, “The Russians are coming” instead of rebuilding the party on a commitment to basic progressive values; civil liberties, non intervention, and economic fairness. The Democratic Party has to be more than a membership register attached to a donor’s list. It needs to reconnect with its base and try to understand why working people are either leaving the party altogether or so disenchanted they won’t even vote.

How about a little self-examination, eh? How about clearing out the deadwood starting with crooked Hillary and her sleazy handler, Podesta?  How about committing to a vision for change that’s more than a public relations scam aimed at hoodwinking your base? How about ending the buck passing bullshit and pushing legislation that offers some relief for rampant economic insecurity, student debt, dwindling retirements, universal health care, and environmental devastation.

The Democratic party doesn’t have to be a place where progressive ideas go to die. But they’d better get it together fast or it’s going to be Game over.

More articles by:

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

Weekend Edition
January 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Dr. King’s Long Assassination
David Roediger
A House is Not a Hole: (Not) Caring about What Trump Says
George Burchett
How the CIA Tried to Bribe Wilfred Burchett
Mike Whitney
Trump’s Plan B for Syria: Occupation and Intimidation
Michael Hudson – Charles Goodhart
Could/Should Jubilee Debt Cancellations be Reintroduced Today?
Marshall Auerback – Franklin C. Spinney
Boss Tweet’s Generals Already Run the Show
Andrew Levine
Remember, Democrats are Awful Too
James Bovard
Why Ruby Ridge Still Matters
Wilfred Burchett
The Bug Offensive
Brian Cloughley
Now Trump Menaces Pakistan
Ron Jacobs
Whiteness and Working Folks
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Keeper of Crazy Beats: Charlie Haden and Music as a Force of Liberation
Robert Fantina
Palestine and Israeli Recognition
Jan Oberg
The New US Syria “Strategy”, a Recipe For Continued Disaster
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
The Return of the Repressed
Mel Gurtov
Dubious Partnership: The US and Saudi Arabia
Robert Fisk
The Next Kurdish War Looms on the Horizon
Lawrence Davidson
Contextualizing Sexual Harassment
Jeff Berg
Approaching Day Zero
Karl Grossman
Disaster Island
Thomas S. Harrington
What Nerve! In Catalonia They are Once Again Trying to Swear in the Coalition that Won the Most Votes
Pepe Escobar
Rome: A Eulogy
Robert Hunziker
Will Aliens Save Humanity?
Jonah Raskin
“Can’t Put the Pot Genie Back in the Bottle”: An Interview with CAL NORML’s Dale Gieringer
Stepan Hobza
Beckett, Ionesco, and Trump
Joseph Natoli
The ‘Worlding’ of the Party-less
Julia Stein
The Myths of Housing Policy
George Ochenski
Zinke’s Purge at Interior
Christopher Brauchli
How Trump Killed the Asterisk
Rosemary Mason - Colin Todhunter
Corporate Monopolies Will Accelerate the Globalisation of Bad Food, Poor Health and Environmental Catastrophe
Michael J. Sainato
U.S Prisons Are Ending In-Person Visits, Cutting Down On Reading Books
Michael Barker
Blame Game: Carillion or Capitalism?
Binoy Kampmark
The War on Plastic
Cindy Sheehan – Rick Sterling
Peace Should Be Integral to the Women’s March
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
No Foreign Bases!
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: Across the Boer Heartland to Pretoria
Joe Emersberger
What’s Going On in Ecuador? An Interview With Wladimir Iza
Clark T. Scott
1918, 1968, 2018: From Debs to Trump
Cesar Chelala
Women Pay a Grievous Price in Congo’s Conflict
Michael Welton
Secondly
Robert Koehler
The Wisdom of Mass Salvation
Seth Sandronsky
Misreading Edu-Reform 
Ann Garrison
Full-Spectrum Arrogance: US Bases Span the Globe
Louis Proyect
Morality Tales on the American Malaise: the Films of Rick Alverson
David Yearsley
Winston and Paddington: Marianelli’s Musical Bears
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail