Monday, April 04, 2016

What Does It Mean To Be A Democrat In 2016?


Campaigning in Eau Claire Saturday night, Clinton told a small crowd of supporters that she's "been a proud Democrat all my adult life. And I think that is kind of important if we are selecting someone to be the Democratic nominee of the Democratic Party." I suppose she meant that as a little dig at Bernie since he's been an Independent, rather than a Democrat, although he caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate, just as he did in the House. As she has admitted in writing and in speeches, Clinton grew up as a conservative Republican. Her first foray into politics was trying to prove that JFK stole the election in Illinois and that Nixon was the rightful president. Not long after she was a Goldwater Girl. She and I are approximately the same age; she's a bit older. I was "adult" enough to know Goldwaterism was a collection of really bad ideas. When I went off to college I was elected president of the Young Democrats at the same time she was elected president of the Young Republicans. I'm glad she eventually discovered that there was racism in Alabama and that it was being stoked by her party which, she says, spurred her to want to stop "being" a Republican... although not entirely. She worked for Nelson Rockefeller for a while before finally, well into adulthood, switching. I guess you can quibble about when adulthood sets in but just before her 50th birthday she went on the radio and told an NPR audience "I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with... I'm very proud that I was a Goldwater Girl."

Bernie went to my elementary school, PS-197, and high school, James Madison. The Brooklyn Democratic political machine was riven with cronyism and corruption. My grandfather, a socialist, taught me progressive values-- and to distrust the Democratic Party hacks and power-mongers. From what I've heard Bernie saying over the years, he learned the same lessons. Unlike Hillary his DNA is progressive-- and has been his whole life. She was the president of the Wellseley Young Republicans; he was the president of the University of Chicago chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)... and was arrested working against segregation when she was backing the party that was by then based on it.

What does it mean to be a Democrat? Is it being part of Democrats, Inc and being in cahoots with corrupt and authoritarian political bosses and careerists like Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rahm Emanuel, Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, George Norcross, Steve Israel, Steny Hoyer, Jim Clyburn, Joe Crowley, Zoe Lofgren, Chris Van Hollen...? That's Hillary's Democratic Party-- and it is the party that has brought us NAFTA and a tragic series of "bipartisan" trade deals that has gutted the American working and middle class.

Goal Thermometer As Thomas Frank explained (watch the video below) in his new book, Listen Liberal-- What Ever Happened To The Party of The People?, Hillary Clinton's Democratic Party is not the political party driven by the values and ideals of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. It has been perverted by a series of careerist self-servers like herself and her husband into a party serving the special interests of the Top 10%, the wealthy professional class. Hillary's wing of the Democratic Party may pay lip service to the middle class and to working families but their policies favor Wall Street and the corporate donor class. As Labor Secretary Tom Perez said on Chris Hayes' MSNBC program a few weeks ago, "The rising tide must lift all boats, not just yachts."

Hillary says she's sick of Bernie lying about her, but exposing her ugly record of ever changing flip-flops is not lying about her. There are two factors that she can use to advance her bid for the presidency: 1- it's time for a woman president and 2- she's the lesser of two evils. Unfortunately, there are a considerable number of independents-- the group that will decide who sits in the Oval office starting next January-- who may agree she's less evil than Trump (or even, maybe) Cruz-- but find her less appetizing than Kasich and... what about Paul Ryan, the likely actual GOP nominee? Maybe someone ought to start polling him and not wait for the press release announcing his campaign. In any case, the reason Bernie beats her in every general election head-to-head match-up against the Republicans is because Democrats are fine with him-- as they are with her-- and independents love him... unlike how they feel about her. She's basically unelectable... unless the Republicans do the Democratic Party a solid and nominate Trump, which looks less and less likely by the day.

Yesterday, Lauren French, reported for Politico on the jockeying among the worst of the conservative Dems vying for jobs in a Clinton Administration of their dreams and, appropriately enough, she started with dangerous Wall Street suck-up Jim Himes. "Himes," she wrote, "has raised hundreds of thousands as a bundler for Hillary Clinton" and he's now one of the "members of Congress who may be in line for a nice return on their hard work if she wins in November-- a job in the new administration, perhaps, increased political clout or help from the commander in chief reaching the next rung on the political ladder." And Himes isn't the only wealthy conservative New Dem who will ride along with Clinton if she manages to cheat her way into the White House. The two richest members of Congress, right-wing nut job, John Delaney and moderate Jared Polis are in the Clintonian good graces as well-- for the bundles of cash they've helped deliver to her operation.
Indeed, being an early and aggressive supporter of Clinton has the potential to propel careers forward. Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) has discussed running for governor or Senate, while Colorado Rep. Jared Polis wants to join the ranks of Democratic leadership, having made a previous bid to chair the party's House campaign arm. Both are top bundlers for Clinton-- a distinction earned after an individual raises $100,000 or more in primary election contributions for the campaign-- and her support as president would certainly aid their ambitions.
Others among the worst Democrats in Congress thought to be in good positions to get patronage from Hillary are Joe Crowley-- the dripping-with-Wall-Street-corruption Democratic Party boss of Queens-- and Nashville's right-wing Blue Dog Jim Cooper. And now that he's finally been driven out of Congress, Long Island Blue Dog Steve Israel wants a job as well-- or is it an eventual pardon he's looking for? In any case, file under, "personnel is policy" and remember the garbage she brings along as baggage is what you get when you vote for her.

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At 6:55 AM, Blogger Daro said...

Thought you'd like this in case you missed it...

At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Tim L Howe said...

The Goldwater Girl, eh?

You know, beat that horse hard enough and maybe - just maybe - it will not only leap back to life but sprout wings to spring Bernie over the rainbow and into the White House.


At 6:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary was born in October 1947 -- was she even eligible to vote in November 1964, when she had just turned 17?


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