Friday, May 04, 2018

The DCCC Electoral Philosophy Is Entirely Based On Pushing The Lesser Of Two Evils


The DCCC and the New Dems

No one in their right mind is ever going to call Rick Santorum a liberal, or even a moderate, but he can't fool himself any longer about Señor T having any kind of relationship with Truth. The day after the Washington Post's Fact Checker announced that Trump had told 3,001 lies since taking office Santorum told CNN that Trump's a liar (but that Obama was a worse liar). Republicans don't like going on record pointing out that Trump is an inveterate, compulsive liar. But it's getting harder and harder for even them to deny it. Santorum said that Trump "certainly says things that don’t comport with the facts. I don’t like calling people liars, but the reality is this president has a problem."

On top of that, a new poll released Wednesday shows that 62% of Americans say Trump’s administration is running very or somewhat chaotically-- nearly twice as many as the 32% who say it’s running very or somewhat well. So how could the Democrats not take back Congress? Frankly, I don't think there is any way, regardless of what silly Beltway pundits are saying from time to time. Enten, for example, is all about math and it just does not matter the way he thinks it does in a wave cycle.

Could the DCCC's corruption and ineptitude screw it up? I don't think so, not in this cycle. No doubt imbeciles like Ben Ray Lujan, Jason Bresler and their staff will cost the Democrats many seats... but not enough for the GOP to retain their majority in the House. The New Dems are now indistinguishable-- ideologically-- from the DCCC and Norman Solomon's look at that helps to explain how catastrophic they will be for the Democrats over time-- even if not this cycle. Looking back in recent history, he traces the ascendency of the New Dems and how "Clinton settled into the White House in early 1993 as the leader of pathbreaking New Democrats."
Although candidate Clinton had criticized Republican trickle-down economics and spoken about the need for public investment by the federal government, as president he proceeded along the lines of what Washington Post economics reporter Hobart Rowan described as a formula of “fiscal conservatism and social liberalism.” That formula provided a template that the next Democratic president, Barack Obama, deftly filled.

Both Clinton and Obama were youthful and articulate, breaths of fresh air after repugnant Republican predecessors in the White House. Yet our two most recent Democratic presidents were down with corporate power-- not as far down as the GOP, but nevertheless in the thrall of Wall Street and the big banks.

From the outset of the Clinton and Obama administrations, top appointees reflected and propelled the deference to oligarchic power. Robert Rubin went from being co-chair of Goldman Sachs (paid $17 million in 1992) to serving wealthy interests as director of Clinton’s National Economic Council, a post so powerful that it earned him the title of “economic czar.” Two years later, Rubin began a long stint as secretary of the treasury, succeeding former Texas senator and big-business tool Lloyd Bentsen. They were just two of the numerous corporate functionaries in the upper realms of the Clinton administration.

“Ron Brown, corporate lawyer and lobbyist for American Express and Duvalier’s Haiti, would supervise a Clinton industrial policy at the Department of Commerce,” economic analyst Doug Henwood wrote after eight months of Clinton’s presidency. “Mickey Kantor, corporate lawyer, would negotiate trade deals. Warren Christopher, corporate lawyer, would oversee the New World Order. Hillary Rodham Clinton, corporate lawyer and board member at Walmart, the low-wage retailer that’s destroyed countless rural downtowns, would supervise health care.”

While that kind of lineup went over big with moneyed interests, its policy pursuits would end up driving a wedge between the Democratic Party and the working class. Of course the guys driving Clinton’s economic train loved the North American Free Trade Agreement. Why wouldn’t they? Workers were costs, not people. Corporate trade deals were profit boosters.

Weeks after pushing NAFTA through Congress with an alliance of Republicans and corporate-friendly Democrats, Clinton signed the trade pact in December 1993-- a move that was unpopular with working-class voters across the political spectrum. A year later, Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives, a GOP grip over the body that went uninterrupted for 12 years.

During his first term, Clinton’s signature accomplishments to serve economic elites went beyond NAFTA to include the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996. That same year, riding a wave that included ample undertows of misogyny and racism, Clinton celebrated his signing of the welfare “reform” bill into law. The legislation created a gold rush for media conglomerates to gobble up broadcast stations, while low-income women found their financial plights becoming even more dire.

Heartbroken over the new welfare law, one of the lone holdouts against the corporate sensibilities in the Clinton Cabinet, Labor Secretary Robert Reich, exited as the first term ended. Meanwhile, Clinton doubled down on selecting an intensely corporate crew for the administration. “The firm-- er, team-- is still adding partners-- er, members,” Time reported in December 1996, cataloging the array of investment bankers, stock-market-friendly lawyers and wealthy financiers who had reached key posts.

The newcomers “are don’t-rock-the-boat appointments, and they are exactly what Wall Street wants,” a senior economist at an investment banking firm told the magazine. During the last years of his presidency, Clinton’s economic team implemented reckless Wall Street deregulation, paving the way for the financial meltdown of 2007-2008.

The political similarities between how Presidents Clinton and Obama behaved in office-- and the electoral disasters that ensued for Democrats-- are grimly acute. Only two years into their service to corporate America as presidents, the bottom fell out of support from the Democratic base to such an extent that in both instances the Democrats lost control of Congress.

Arriving in the Oval Office while a huge financial crisis threatened the homes of millions, Obama proceeded to bail out the big banks, offering little help to people whose houses were “under water” and who faced foreclosures.

Not coincidentally, like Clinton, Obama stocked his Cabinet with Wall Street favorites. His first-term treasury secretary was Rubin protégé Timothy Geithner. During the second Obama term, the job went to Jack Lew, a former top executive whose achievements from 2006 till 2008 included overseeing “a unit of Citigroup that made money by betting against the housing market as it prepared to implode.”

...After his re-election, Obama lost interest in the Democratic National Committee, leaving its finances in shambles by the time the 2016 election rolled around. And, as measured by votes, the Democratic base eroded nationwide. During Obama’s eight years in office, his party lost about 1,000 seats in state legislatures.

Now, the New Democrats and those walking in their footsteps are battling to retain control of the national party.

This year’s midterm election campaign has seen lots of intervention efforts by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, favoring establishment candidates over progressive opponents in party primaries from California to Texas to Pennsylvania. Days ago-- after the release of a secretly recorded audio tape that exposed how House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer tried to pressure a progressive congressional candidate to pull out of a race in Colorado-- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi defended Hoyer at a news conference.

Later this year, as the 2020 election grows larger on the horizon, the DNC will make decisions about party rules with major effects on the race for the presidential nomination. Insiders who don’t want to democratize the Democratic Party are weighing their options.

...Let’s face it: Democracy is dangerous to the powerful who rely on big money, institutional leverage and mass media to work their will. The insurgencies of this decade against economic injustice-- embodied in the Occupy movement and then Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign-- are potentially dire threats to the established unjust order.

For those determined to retain their positions in the upper reaches of the Democratic Party hierarchy, democracy within the party sounds truly scary. And inauthenticity of the party-- and its corresponding heavy losses of seats from state legislatures to Capitol Hill during the last 10 years-- don’t seem nearly as worrisome to Democratic elites as the prospect that upsurges of grass-roots activities might remove them from their privileged quarters.

As Sanders told a New York Times Magazine reporter in early 2017: “Certainly there are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats.”
Just look at the candidates the DCCC is pushing this cycle, many of them the worst possible choices imaginable, mostly crap conservative New Dems and Blue Dogs who could only win in wave cycles and will be as likely to hold their seats in the next midterm as Rahm Emanuel's 2006 wave election garbage picks were in their next midterm-- zero. Who are we talking about? Self-funding carpetbagger and "ex"-Republican Gil Cisernos in Orange County; Jason Crow, a creep in the Denver suburbs who made his money as an attorney representing payday lenders against working families; far right Blue Dog and "ex"-Republican Brad Ashford, whose constituents already dumped him once before; Ann Kirkpatrick, another conservative New Dem and carpetbagger who has already proven what a waste of a congressional seat she is; the New Jersey legislature's most right-wing Democrat, NRA ally Jeff Van Drew; and dozens more of the same kind of crap. The DCCC has embraced 2-- possibly 3-- progressives this year. The rest of their endorsees are, at best, lesser of two evil candidates.

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At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(don’t seem nearly as worrisome to Democratic elites as the prospect that upsurges of grass-roots activities might remove them from their privileged quarters.

As Sanders told a New York Times Magazine reporter in early 2017: “Certainly there are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats.”}

Perhaps 4 years of Trump will make people appreciate the lesser evil choice they've been given once again. The DCCC wouldn't be here today if Bernie got the nomination. Given the choice between death and Trump which iceberg would you steer around?
{The Trump Boat.....soon will be making another run....The Trump boat promises something for everyone!}

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The DCCC Electoral Philosophy Is ... The Lesser Of Two Evils".

You then go on to elaborate on why this is ... BAD!

Yet the entire purpose of this site is to wrassle the simpler minds (of your readers) to blithely accept 'lesser evilism' as the only viable alternative (of the two that we are constantly told are the only ones).

You say we MUST choose between only evil and eviler... so we MUST choose evil.

Yet... you say this is ... BAD?!?!?

Are you familiar with the concept of introspection?

At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" So how could the Democrats not take back Congress?"

By continuing to rest on their laurels, present lousy candidates after eliminating good progressives, and telegraphing their moves all over the media, giving Republicans plenty of notice and time to come up with counter measures and to redouble their voter suppression efforts.

At 3:07 AM, Blogger DocP said...

The lesser of two evils is still evil. I've had it with throwing up in my mouth while voting for the likes of Debbie Stabenow who has consistently voted for big finance and against regular people.

At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howie didn't cite the most important part of Norman Solomon's article:

"Consider, for instance, a long-standing New Democrat named Elaine Kamarck. She’s one of only a few people (all of them Clinton 2016 primary supporters) on both the DNC’s Unity Reform Commission and its powerful Rules and Bylaws Committee—which will meet in Washington next week to vote on such matters as superdelegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

"Based at the Brookings Institution, Kamarck has been on the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee since 1997. Her official Brookings biography says that “she has participated actively in four presidential campaigns and in 10 nominating conventions—including two Republican conventions.” . . .


"But Kamarck has quite a different agenda. She doesn’t want to get rid of superdelegates. In fact, she’d like more of them.

"That makes sense, when you consider that Kamarck is working to lower corporate taxes. She’s co-chair of the big business organization RATE (Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably) Coalition, which has the explicit mission of “reducing the corporate income tax rate.”

"Such an agenda is best served in the long run by choking off democracy as much as possible, lest the riffraff get away with undermining the ruling elites.

This is what you "Take it back from within" types are up against, someone with a large pipeline to corporate "donations".

Bernie Sanders showed us how it could be done. And while I don't want to see him run again (not after genuflecting before HER! and accepting HER! goodnight-hood at the Coronation). But someone else can, and should from outside the corrupt cesspool known as the Democratic Party. Give the people a real choice for once.

At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

..or.. the people could just refuse to play along and just stop electing democraps.

It's clear that trump isn't in any danger from any kind of democrap majority. It's also clear that any democrap majority won't change one single thing.

If you don't have any better candidates on your ballot, write in someone. But don't waste your vote on more democraps.


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