Servility and incompetence:
The 'Dead Center' Democrats
Having taken office on the sales pitch of “Hope,” the Democrats can be counted on only for timidity and incompetence.By Harvey Wasserman / The Rag Blog / January 20, 2010
Massachusetts again reminds us why the Democrats are such losers.
They are terminal schizophrenics, driven mad by the corporate dominance of American politics. They cannot govern and make significant change at the same time because the system is geared to make this impossible.
Somehow, this core problem must be fixed, or we are lost as a nation, and probably as a species.
The currently prescribed role of the Dems is to be the "Party of the People." But they can’t attain or retain office without cash flow from the very corporations that are the people’s worst enemy.
They are thus politically bipolar. They can never offer meaningful cures for any of America’s real problems because they must always return to the trough of the corporations that cause the bulk of them.
Because the modern global corporation has human rights (as defined by the 14th Amendment) but no human responsibilities, it is history's most powerful institution. It is above the law, shielded from debt, not accountable for damage to the public, to the people who work for them, or to the planet.
The Democratic Party is itself a corporation. Its principle business is to retain political office and to DEFER public attacks on the corporations that provide much of its cash flow.
The Democratic shtick is to market the PROMISE of change while making sure it doesn’t happen.
Barack Obama took this to a high art while selling himself for the presidential nomination. Once he secured it, he abandoned any commitment to real change and moved to the corporate right.
His defining step was escalating the war in Afghanistan. More than half the federal budget goes to the military. All GOP/Tea Bagger talk of cutting deficits is nonsense. The right always wants more cash flow to their favorite corporations, the ones tied to war.
Thus when General du jour Stanley McChrystal used the corporate media to read the riot act about not impeding martial money, Obama snapped to attention and re-invaded Vietnam.
Not even a carefully -- desperately! -- planted Nobel Prize could deter his headlong leap into the Afghan abyss.
Not since Franklin Roosevelt has the public handed a greater mandate -- DEMAND -- for systemic change than to Barack Obama. Eight years of George W. Bush was the ultimate invitation.
But Obama has rejected the opportunities as fast as they’ve come. The litany from the Great Banker Bailout to the No Single Payer Non-Debate is too painful to repeat.
With such servility comes astonishing incompetence. Anyone from Massachusetts (I am a Boston-born native of Red Sox Nation) knows that the Fenway-averse Martha Coakley lost Ted Kennedy’s seat the moment she misidentified Bosox pitcher Curt Schilling as a “Yankees Fan.” Either Karl Rove created her for laughs or some ranking Democrat had big money on her losing that seat.
Now the punditocracy will ceaselessly shry about Obama’s need to "move to the middle.” Of course, not a single American who opposed Obama in 2008 will be persuaded to vote for him in 2012 because he has moved to the right.
“Dead Center” defines this administration.
Like Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Lyndon Johnson before him, Barack Obama has been astonishingly effective in one thing -- alienating those who most avidly supported him. His number one enemy has been the base that put him in the White House.
Some liberals point confidently to disarray among the Republicans as a saving grace. This desperate delusion requires we forget Germany’s Weimar regime, which made the same fatal mistake in the lead-up to World War II. Never underestimate the "outsiders" in a nation where millions are desperate.
There are no easy answers for this. In a corporate age, even the questions are hard to discern amidst the corporate fog of war and failure, So far, only dogged, unrelenting issue-by-issue campaigning has been proven effective.
Having take office on the sales pitch of “Hope,” the Democrats can be counted on only for timidity and incompetence.
The grassroots can do better. As always, that’s where our true hope resides.
[Harvey Wasserman's History of the United States and Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth, are at www.harveywasserman.com.]
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