Saturday, May 30, 2015

Does Martin O'Malley Possess An Ounce Of Political Authenticity?


O'Malley gave a nice speech this morning, a progressive one crafted for the ears of progressive Democratic primary voters, a cohort he and Hillary and perhaps others will have speech writers and pollsters and consultants try to please with various messaging techniques. It's different from Bernie Sanders.

When O'Malley asks the dramatic, poignant, burning question-- "Tell me how it is, that not a single Wall Street CEO was convicted of a crime related to the 2008 economic meltdown. Not. A. Single One."-- a cynic might respond by holding up a mirror for O'Malley and the professional political class. O'Malley-- like Clinton and Webb and others who may try to don some newly tailored populist garb-- will never be Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders isn't crafting a progressive message for primary voters-- that can be abandoned in the general or in the White House. Bernie Sanders' entire life in the political arena created the agenda and the ideas that careerists like O'Malley are trying to tap into.

I'm not saying his message yesterday was bad. It was nice. It just doesn't tell us much about who Martin O'Malley really is or what he would do as president. His own record in public service doesn't lead in a natural way to that message-- not the way Bernie's did last week. O'Malley may be Catholic and Bernie may be a Jew, but if Pope Francis popped up at the rally for one, would it surprise you if it was Bernie's?

O'Malley's inauthentic, well-crafted message starts with putting a value on inclusion: "All of us are included. Women and men. Black and white people. Irish Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans. Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Americans. Young and old. Rich and poor. Workers and Business owners. Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and straight Americans. Every person is important, each of us is needed. In our idea of country, there is no such thing as a spare American. There is, however, a growing injustice in our country today." Ed Henry reported that while he was speaking, a large group of protesters were shouting that he is a "liar" because of his reactionary police policies in Baltimore. It's an uncomfortable truth that he knew he had to address, although it isn't likely to do him any good, at least not if :any good" means advancing his run for the presidency.
Last month, television sets around the world were filled with the anger and the rage, and the flames of some of the humblest and hardest hit neighborhoods of Baltimore.

For all of us who have given so much of our energies to making our city a safer, fairer, more just and more prosperous place, it was a heartbreaking night in the life of our City.

But there is something to be learned from that night, and there is something to be offered to our country from those flames.

For what took place here was not only about race…not only about policing in America.

It’s about everything it is supposed to mean to be an American.

The scourge of hopelessness that happened to ignite here that evening, transcends race or geography.

Witness the record numbers of young white kids killing themselves with heroin in suburbs and small towns across America.

The hard truth of our shared reality is this: Unemployment in many American cities and in many small towns across the United States is higher now than it was eight years ago.

Conditions of extreme and growing poverty, create conditions for extreme violence.

We have work to do…

Our economic and political system is upside down and backwards and it is time to turn it around.

What happened to our economy-- what happened to the American Dream-- did not happen by chance.

Nor was it merely the result of global forces somehow beyond our control.
Really? Beyond our control? Beyond the control of the professional politicians we have been electing to office-- like O'Malley? "Powerful, wealthy special interests here at home have used our government to create-- in our own country-- an economy that is leaving a majority of our people behind." That would sound more authentic if he had a record-- like Bernie-- of pushing back against that as an elected official. But he doesn't... even if some of his talking points are salient and well-put-together. CQ Roll Call put together a look at who O'Malley is, since almost no one outside of Maryland has ever heard of his. "As mayor of Baltimore," they wrote, "O’Malley championed a 'zero-tolerance' crime-fighting policy which led to a soaring number of arrests. To the criticism of the arrests, O’Malley responded in 2013 that 'the ideologues on the left... see all increases in arrests, police response or enforcement as bad.' The number of homicides in Baltimore slightly increased during O’Malley’s tenure, from 261 in 2000 to 276 in 2006. But the totals were lower than they had been in the 1990s. As governor, O’Malley helped put Maryland’s budget on firmer footing, reformed state employee pensions and retiree health benefits, and main- tained the state’s high bond rating." Not from the ElizabethWarren-Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. Maybe he thinks he can replace Julián Castro as frontrunner as Hillary's running mate.
But we cannot rebuild the American Dream here at home by catering to the voices of the privileged and the powerful.

Let’s be honest. They were the ones who turned our economy upside-down in the first place. And they are the only ones who are benefiting from it.

We need to prosecute cheats, we need to reinstate Glass-Steagall, and if a bank is too big to fail without wrecking our nation’s economy…then it needs to be broken up before it breaks us…again.

Goldman Sachs is one of the biggest repeat-offending investment banks in America. Recently, the CEO of Goldman Sachs let his employees know that he’d be just fine with either Bush or Clinton.

I bet he would...

Well, I've got news for the bullies of Wall Street...

The presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth by you between two royal families.

It is a sacred trust to be earned from the people of the United States, and exercised on behalf of the people of the United States.

The only way we are going to rebuild the American Dream is if we re-take control of our own American government!
Perfect for the media! He just signaled a willingness to attack Hillary and go negative... exactly what they're looking for-- part of why they are trying to bury Sanders, who is just talking about the positive policy agenda he has created over the last few decades and not gossip or smears. The Beltway media isn't of a high enough calibre to understand what Bernie is doing. They only understand gossip and smears. So to them, O'Malley is a real candidate and Bernie is a freak. You can help Bernie ignore them and continue campaigning directly to real people here at the Blue America ActBlue page.

UPDATE: There Was A Time O'Malley Didn't Pretend To Be Progressive

In 2007, O'Malley and grotesquely corrupt Wall Street whore Harold Ford, Jr. penned a fuzzy-headed OpEd for the Washington Post. "The temptation to ignore the vital center," they wrote, "is nothing new... Some on the left would love to pretend that groups such as the Democratic Leadership Council, the party's leading centrist voice, aren't needed anymore."
But for Democrats, taking the center for granted next year would be a greater mistake than ever before. George W. Bush is handing us Democrats our Hoover moment. Independents, swing voters and even some Republicans who haven't voted our way in more than a decade are willing to hear us out. With an ambitious common-sense agenda, the progressive center has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win back the White House, expand its margins in Congress and build a political and governing majority that could last a generation.

...Most Americans don't care much about partisan politics; they just want practical answers to the problems they face every day. So far, our leading presidential candidates seem to understand that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. That's why they have begun putting forward smart, New Democrat plans to cap and trade carbon emissions, give more Americans the chance to earn their way through college, achieve universal health care through shared responsibility, increase national security by rebuilding our embattled military and enable all Americans who work full time to lift themselves out of poverty.

As the caucuses and primaries approach, candidates will come under increasing pressure to ignore the broader electorate and appeal to the party faithful. But the opportunity to build a historic majority is too great-- and too rare-- to pass up.

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At 8:16 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

O'Malley is the Bill Bradley, the Barack Obama of 2016: spent his brief political career as a nationally obscure neo-liberal, knows he can't win Democratic primaries by running on his actual record, so uses his obscurity to pretend to be something he is not and never has been: a liberal. He has slowly closed down public services across Maryland because, like neo-liberals everywhere, he professes to believe private industry will do the job better.

I hear the PCCC talk about "moving Hillary left," but unless she helps sink currently-pending disasters like TPP, who cares what she says she will do? We know what she will do: sell out every American for a mess of potage slightly more slowly than the Republicans. O'Malley will do the same. Rhetoric does not pay my bills.


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