FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Democratic Party: Discouraged, Disgusted, Dysfunctional

The silence coming out of Democratic Party headquarters these days is deafening. Having been rolled by the Republican majorities in Montana’s recent special session — especially in their quest for more taxes — what Montanans are hearing are high-pitched whines about the evil Republicans. But that gets old after a while and one must wonder: What did you expect?

The reality is the guy in the Governor’s Office, the head of the executive branch of government, is a Democrat. It was no great secret that the state’s revenues weren’t keeping up with expenditures. And as all families know, when that happens, some things have to change. The changes most Montanans would make would be cutting back on their spending and prioritize existing funds to their most critical needs.

These are all functions of the executive branch and all within the purview of the Democrats and their governor. Yet, Bullock didn’t make the cuts until the session started — and only then because the Republicans forced the issue. Moreover, one might argue that the originally suggested cuts were in large part targeted to paint a picture of losing vital public services to force the Republicans to raise taxes or be blamed.

But in fact, the lack of strategic planning and action on the governor’s part backfired, leaving the Democrats unprepared because, after all, they’d been told by their leader that his three-part plan was a done deal with Republicans. It wasn’t, obviously. And they had no backup plan.

While Democrats are now pointing fingers and making accusations about the impact of the budget cuts, the truth is it’s going to be very tough to somehow make Montanans feel angry that their taxes didn’t go up as much as Bullock and the Demos had wanted. Again, this seems so obvious one has to wonder why the Ds think it’s a winning argument.

Or how about the private prison deal? How can Democrats argue that they are being “blackmailed” by the prison’s corporate owner who, as Missoula’s Rep. Ellie Hill put it, “incarcerates people for money.” Uh, hate to point it out, but when’s the last time anyone had a free prison? We, the state, the people, our elected officials, incarcerate lots of people all the time — and it’s taxpayers’ money that pays for both the state and the private prison. That the U.S. incarcerates a greater proportion of its population than any other civilized nation is the real and very expensive problem, leading one to ask just why the state was putting aside millions to buy the private prison in the first place?

In the meantime, the national Democrats are equally in disarray. Progressive icon Sen. Al Franken is on the hot seat for groping a female broadcaster while on a USO trip — with a damning picture of him reaching for the sleeping female’s breasts. Montana’s Sen. Jon Tester has already donated the $25,000 he got from Franken to a domestic violence organization — but the Montana Democratic Party refused to do the same with the $12,500 they got from Franken.

Pile that on top of new condemnations of Bill Clinton’s womanizing by a Democratic senator, the corruption of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and it’s a long ways to standing on any high hill of ethical purity for the Dems.

I’ve said it before and will say it again: It’s time for the Democrats to take a hard look in the mirror and get their own house in order from the top down. Blaming Republicans for doing exactly what their party platform says they’ll do is a losing strategy.

More articles by:

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Missoulian, where this essay originally appeared.

Weekend Edition
July 10, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Lynnette Grey Bull
Trump’s Postcard to America From the Shrine of Hypocrisy
Anthony DiMaggio
Free Speech Fantasies: the Harper’s Letter and the Myth of American Liberalism
David Yearsley
Morricone: Maestro of Music and Image
Jeffrey St. Clair
“I Could Live With That”: How the CIA Made Afghanistan Safe for the Opium Trade
Rob Urie
Democracy and the Illusion of Choice
Paul Street
Imperial Blind Spots and a Question for Obama
Vijay Prashad
The U.S. and UK are a Wrecking Ball Crew Against the Pillars of Internationalism
Melvin Goodman
The Washington Post and Its Cold War Drums
Richard C. Gross
Trump: Reopen Schools (or Else)
Chris Krupp
Public Lands Under Widespread Attack During Pandemic 
Alda Facio
What Coronavirus Teaches Us About Inequality, Discrimination and the Importance of Caring
Eve Ottenberg
Bounty Tales
Andrew Levine
Silver Linings Ahead?
John Kendall Hawkins
FrankenBob: The Self-Made Dylan
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Deutsche Bank Fined $150 Million for Enabling Jeffrey Epstein; Where’s the Fine Against JPMorgan Chase?
David Rosen
Inequality and the End of the American Dream
Louis Proyect
Harper’s and the Great Cancel Culture Panic
Thom Hartmann
How Billionaires Get Away With Their Big Con
REZA FIYOUZAT
Your 19th COVID Breakdown
Danny Sjursen
Undercover Patriots: Trump, Tulsa, and the Rise of Military Dissent
Charles McKelvey
The Limitations of the New Antiracist Movement
Binoy Kampmark
Netanyahu’s Annexation Drive
Joseph G. Ramsey
An Empire in Points
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
COVID-19 Denialism is Rooted in the Settler Colonial Mindset
Ramzy Baroud
On Israel’s Bizarre Definitions: The West Bank is Already Annexed
Judith Deutsch
Handling Emergency: A Tale of Two Males
Michael Welton
Getting Back to Socialist Principles: Honneth’s Recipe
Dean Baker
Combating the Political Power of the Rich: Wealth Taxes and Seattle Election Vouchers
Jonah Raskin
Edward Sanders: Poetic Pacifist Up Next
Manuel García, Jr.
Carbon Dioxide Uptake by Vegetation After Emissions Shutoff “Now”
Heidi Peltier
The Camo Economy: How Military Contracting Hides Human Costs and Increases Inequality
Ron Jacobs
Strike!, Fifty Years and Counting
Ellen Taylor
The Dark Side of Science: Shooting Barred Owls as Scapegoats for the Ravages of Big Timber
Sarah Anderson
Shrink Wall Street to Guarantee Good Jobs
Graham Peebles
Prison: Therapeutic Centers Or Academies of Crime?
Zhivko Illeieff
Can We Escape Our Addiction to Social Media?
Clark T. Scott
The Democrat’s Normal Keeps Their (Supposed) Enemies Closer and Closer
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
In 2020 Elections: Will Real-Life “Fighting Dems” Prove Irresistible?
David Swanson
Mommy, Where Do Peace Activists Come From?
Christopher Brauchli
Trump the Orator
Gary Leupp
Columbus and the Beginning of the American Way of Life: A Message to Indoctrinate Our Children
John Stanton
Donald J. Trump, Stone Cold Racist
Nicky Reid
The Stonewall Blues (Still Dreaming of a Queer Nation)
Stephen Cooper
A Kingston Reasoning with Legendary Guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith (The Interview: Part 2)
Hugh Iglarsh
COVID-19’s Coming to Town
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail