Moyers On Health Care Debate: "The Problem Is The Democratic Party"
Last night Bill Maher welcomed Bill Moyers to his show by calling him "the Conscience Of American Journalism." Moyers explained the narrowly focused Republican strategy of obstructionism-- defeating anything and everything that Obama tries to do so that they can defeat him electorally in 2012. The problems of American families are not a priority to the GOP; defeating Obama is their only goal. His regard for the Democrats isn't much higher.
The first time I ever mentioned that Rahm Emanuel-- then a sleazy rep from Chicago relatively new to Congress but already heading the DCCC/now Obama's all-powerful chief of staff-- was the Tom DeLay of the Democratic Party, a ton of Democratic bricks landed, metaphorically, on my head. I wasn't the only one who had looked into this particular heart of darkness but there weren't many who realized that Emanuel represented not Democrats, but the historically always-present forces that seek to maintain the status quo on behalf of wealthy elites. Normally this is accomplished on a bipartisan basis. Inside the Democratic Party, Emanuel is the tool, or, rather, one of the tools. Last night Maher called him out as the bane of progressive health care reform. No more White House Christmas cards for him.
Moyers pointed directly to Emanuel targeting the same progressives Blue America and a wide coalition of netroots activists are thanking for standing up for the public option with a very different message: "sit down and shut up."
The Democratic Party has become like the Republican Party-- deeply influenced by corporate money. I think Rahm Emanuel, who's a clever politician, understands that the money for Obama's re-election will come primarily from the health industry, the drug industry and Wall Street. He is a corporate Democrat who is determined that there won't be something in this legislation-- if we get it-- that will turn off those powerful interests
In recent months we've been highlighting the torrents of money these interests have used to buy the votes of reactionary and corrupt Republicans and crooked Blue Dog and DLC Democrats in Congress. Wall Street has placed $2.3 billion in thinly disguised bribes into the hands of federal candidates, mostly members of Congress, since 1990. $42,268,366 of that money went to Barack Obama's election coffers, more than to any other member of Congress-- and almost $9 million more than they gave McCain-- and far more than they've doled out to their most corrupted water-carriers in Congress: Joe Lieberman ($10,042,074), Arlen Specter ($6,081,235), Mitch McConnell ($5,146,903), Max Baucus ($4,716,818), Richard Shelby ($4,692,092), John Cornyn ($4,406,342), Spencer Baucus ($3,959,924) and Eric Cantor ($3,541,888). In the same period, the Medical-Industrial Complex has put in nearly another billion dollars. And, again, the top recipient was Barack Obama ($20,064,596), who was given more than double what McCain got. Big Insurance gave only slightly more to McCain than to Obama-- the #1 and #2 all time recipients of their largesse.
"You really have," explained Moyers, "essentially-- except for the progressives on the left of the Democratic Party-- two corporate parties who, in their own way and in their own time, serving the interests of basically a narrow set of economic interests." This led directly into a discussion between Moyers and Maher into the underlying disaster of our democracy equating money with free speech. I can't recommend it highly enough: