Skip to main content

Clinton Democrats embrace losing strategy to combat ‘Sanders-style Socialism’ in midterms

Democratic Party elites are increasingly concerned the midterm elections will be a “base election” and make their centrist politics even more irrelevant, as insurgent candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez garner widespread support.

The think tank, Third Way, recently held a conference in Ohio with Democrats, who primarily adhere to the politics of President Bill Clinton, and new recruits, who they hope will counter “Bernie Sanders-style socialism.” They also intend to defend corporate executives and wealthy people from condemnation for their attacks on poor and working class Americans.

Right now, in the Democratic Party, there is only one option on the table: Sanders-style socialism. That’s the main option on the table. We’re doing this now because the party’s got to have a choice,” Jon Cowan, one of the presidents of Third Way, declared. “It’s going to matter a hell of a lot in 2020, and so while 2020 may feel a ways off, in our mind it isn’t. And the ideas primary starts now.

So we’re actually doing this for a very straightforward reason: to stand up and launch a serious, compelling economic alternative to Sanderism,” Cowan added.

Similarly, former Delaware Governor Jack Markell whined, “The only narrative that has been articulated in the Democratic Party over the past two years is the one from the left.

I think we need a debate within the party. Frankly, it would have been better to start the conversation earlier,” Markell said.

Democratic Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio earned laughs when he quipped, “You’re not going to make me hate somebody just because they’re rich. I want to be rich!” The line went over well because Third Way and the 250 insiders that attended the conference have deep ties to hedge funds and various financial institutions on Wall Street.

As of 2014, “Two-thirds of its 31 trustees [had] held senior leadership positions in investment funds or big banks or served in some other capacity on Wall Street.” However, corporate Democrats bristle at the notion that their money ethically compromises them. Hillary Clinton even went so far as to defend her speeches to Goldman Sachs by accusing critics of misogyny.

Mitch Landrieu, a pragmatic liberal and former mayor of New Orleans, warned during the conference, “Republicans have chosen their [path]. They’re going to run a base election, which means they have ceded the middle of the road. In my opinion, Democrats would be making a big mistake if they run a base election. We have to find common ground.

The strategy of finding “common ground” is one the establishment of the Democratic Party has touted for the past few decades, particularly to ward off left-wing populist challenges. It was adhered to by Hillary Clinton in 2016, President Barack Obama embraced it as a core philosophy in 2008 and 2012, and Bill Clinton, along with Al Gore, perfected the art of making common cause with corporate interests to maintain power and influence in the United States government.

As Lance Selfa detailed in his book, “The Democrats: A Critical History, ” Clinton and Gore broke with labor, civil rights, and other liberal causes to push for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). They backed welfare repeal, bills which fueled the rise of mass incarceration, and signed a 1997 budget that slashed millions for social programs, like Medicare and Medicaid. They put corporations ahead of protecting the environment. They encouraged the deregulation of industry, which greatly boosted Wall Street.

This tradition continues with former Labor Secretary, Tom Perez, as the head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Perez was a major proponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. He granted waivers for UBS, Barclays, J.P. Morgan, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, and Citigroup while he was Labor Secretary, which allowed the banks to go back to managing pension money even though they were guilty of crimes. He also refused to support a revival of Obama’s ban on donations from corporate lobbyists.

The Democratic Party managed to defeat a strong challenge from Representative Keith Ellison, who represented Sanders on the DNC’s Platform Committee in 2016. So, Cowan’s suggestion that Democrats have veered from his preferred course is far-fetched. But it does indicate the leadership of the party still views a coalition of progressives and democratic socialists within the party as a threat.

Landrieu’s fear of a “base election” is striking, given the fact that such an election is what Democrats need to bolster voter enthusiasm for candidates in November so they can potentially take control of the Senate and/or the House of Representatives.

Also, the leadership of the Democratic Party did everything it could to prevent a “base election” from taking place in 2016, when Sanders gained momentum against Clinton. It took steps to aid Clinton so she would remain the inevitable nominee. Clinton ran a poor campaign that promoted centrist politics as a counter to President Donald Trump’s right-wing populist message and lost the election.

Corporate Democrats, like House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, point to candidate Conor Lamb’s victory in Pennsylvania as evidence their “moderate economic” message can work.

Conor Lamb won with a message that I think is a Democratic message: The tax bill was not for you. They’re trying to take your health care away,” Hoyer said. “Clearly, what we found in the polls was, [voters] will listen, they’re not happy.

Indeed, the tax bill was not for most Americans. It was for corporations and wealthy elites. They plan to take Americans’ health care away to pay for their tax cuts. But that message is not one that meshes well with the center-right politics of corporate Democrats. It is truly a message to be bolstered by the socialist politics of insurgent candidates.

The Democratic Party has floundered throughout Trump’s presidency because it refuses to articulate an alternative vision to Trumpism that addresses the material conditions which many Americans endure. Among Sanders Democrats, there is an alternative vision with grassroots energy that could be seized. However, Clinton Democrats cling to the role of sensible steward for corporate elites so tightly that they will not embrace critiques of capitalism and offer policy solutions that address root causes of systemic problems.

As a result, what Third Way proposes is a set of bland focus-grouped policies, such as “a massive apprenticeship program to train workers, a privatized employer-funded universal pension that would supplement Social Security, and an overhaul of unemployment insurance to include skills training.

The emphasis on training workers is indicative of centrist Democrats compulsion to triage the impacts of capitalism on poor, working class, and middle class Americans rather than support measures that could lift up the 99 percent.

In fact, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer suggested in an op-ed for the New York Times in 2017 that employers, “particularly small businesses, a large tax credit to train workers for unfilled jobs.” He contended this “Better Deal” would help Americans in “smaller cities and rural areas, which have experienced an exodus of young people who aren’t trained for the jobs in those areas.

It was like a proposal Hillary Clinton put forward during her presidential campaign in June 2015. She called for tax credits for businesses for “every apprentice hired as a way to boost employment among young adults.

Schumer’s announcement ultimately flopped. The Democrats scrapped the “Better Deal” message last week. They now believe, based on their most politically connected public relations consultants, that “For the People” is better. But what that means for policy is anyone’s guess.

Other ideas touted by Third Way include a “small business bill of rights” and “BoomerCorps,” a national service program where seniors can earn money to supplement their dwindling Social Security payments.

The idea of “BoomerCorps” is rather offensive. It basically says to Americans, who have labored for decades to fuel the U.S. economy, “Hey, why not break your back some more for America if you really want to retire?

Nevertheless, the narrative pushed by Clinton Democrats into the media should not fool anyone into believing they cannot get their message out, that voices in the party have drowned them out, or that Sanders Democrats had a “head start” and now they must battle their way back to challenge them before they cost Democrats seats in the midterm election.

These Democrats are the very individuals who collectively shepherded Hillary Clinton to a presidential nomination. They have fended off an insurgency for the past two years and stunted efforts to develop the Democratic Party into an actual opposition party that will meaningfully challenge Trump. They have responded to dissent against Trump by complaining that “incivility” is not the answer. They even will go so far as to accuse Sanders Democrats of dividing Democrats by running challengers against incumbents.

Clinton Democrats or followers of the Third Way still have the power, and that is part of what is holding back an agenda for working people. They stand in the way of a movement that believes the country should move away from destructive corporate politics, and until their obstruction is overcome, progress on economic, environmental, racial, and social justice will be exceptionally difficult to achieve.

Source, links:


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Manufacturing uncritical thinking

by system failure
I was thinking about writing something related to a certain behavioural pattern that we often meet in the mainstream media journalist army. I was inspired by the impressively loud example of The New York Times' Bari Weiss, and how it was presented by Jimmy Dore in his show.


During this particular discussion with Joe Rogan, Weiss rushed to paint US presidential candidate, Tulsi Gabbard, as an "Assad toady", without even knowing what the characterization means. As Dore aptly pointed out: "That's what's called a 'received opinion'. So, it's not her own opinion. She has heard other people in her neoliberal bubble say that stuff, so she just repeats it. She doesn't even know what the insult means."
Ben Norton wrote on Twitter: "Neocon NY Times columnist Bari Weiss smeared Tulsi Gabbard (who bravely opposed regime change and US support for Salafi-jihadist contras) as an "Assad toady," then couldn't spell/de…

Greece is about to become the blueprint for modern feudalism

globinfo freexchange
After almost ten years of an unprecedented crisis, Greece has been trapped into an ongoing, slow motion recession. The economy still struggling hard to recover, with unemployment and national debt being permanently in a red alarm mode.
As has been already pointed out, the result of the recent Greek national elections could be characterized "paradoxical" mainly for two reasons: 
First, the voters gave a clear governmental order to one of the traditional powers of the old political system, which are highly responsible for the Greek crisis that erupted in 2010. Several top names of the new government, and even New Democracy leader, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, have been accused of being involved in various corruption scandals, in the not so distant past.

Second, the fact that the voters elected perhaps the most fanatically neoliberal government ever. This means that Mitsotakis administration is expected to implement the brutal neoliberal policies imposed by Greece&…

How Joe Biden’s privatization plans helped doom Latin America and fuel the migration crisis

On the campaign trail, Joe Biden has boasted of his role in transforming Colombia and Central America through ambitious economic and security programs. Colombians and Hondurans tell The Grayzone about the damage his plans did to their societies.
by Max Blumenthal
Part 8 - Gutting public healthcare, driving more migration
The Alliance for Prosperity also commissioned the privatization of health services through a deceptively named program called the Social Protection Framework Law, or la Ley Marco de Protección Social.

Promoted by Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández as a needed reform, the scheme was advanced through a classic shock doctrine-style episode: In 2015, close associates of Hernández siphoned some $300 million from the Honduran Institute for Social Services (IHSS) into private businesses, starving hospitals of supplies and causing several thousand excess deaths, mostly among the poor.
With the medical sector in shambles, Hondurans were then forced to seek healthcare from …

As Boris Johnson unleashes ultimate threat against Bremain capitalist faction, the British working class is suddenly in front of a unique opportunity

globinfo freexchange

In the merciless endo-capitalist war around Brexit, Boris Johnson decided to unleash the ultimate threat against Bremain capitalist faction. That is, a snap election with the 'danger' of a Labour victory under Jeremy Corbyn, which would be neoliberal capitalists' worst nightmare.
As already pointed out, despite the capitalist civil war, both major factions of the British capital remain deeply neoliberal in their ideological core. And therefore, both factions see a potential Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn, as a major threat.
Indeed, as ZeroHedgereported
As Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces the prospect of his rule being cut short, wealthy Britons have a message for Johnson's most likely successor: A 'no deal' Brexit makes no difference to them. But if Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn becomes PM, they will flee in droves, taking their money with them

[...]

The chairman of one Swiss asset manager who helps wealthy Britons shield th…

Tucker Carlson accidentally promotes one of the most anti-capitalist, real-Left positions!

globinfo freexchange 
We wouldn't believe it if we wouldn't have seen it and hear it with our own eyes and ears, but the following phrase came out from Tucker Carlson's mouth:

                    Every minute you are angry about race, is a minute you are not thinking about class, which, of course, is the real divide in this country. Working class people of all colors have a lot more in common - infinitely more in common with each other, than they do with some overpaid MSNBC anchor. And if you are allowed to think about that for long enough, you might start get unauthorized ideas about economics. And that would be disruptive to a very lucrative status quo. So, they whip you into a frenzy of racial fear so that it never enters your mind. It's a diversion. Everyone hates each other, they get to keep their money.
Here's why they're pushing racial division: so you won't notice the real divide, which is economic. pic.twitter.com/ZVLvQn2u9O — Tucker Carlson (@Tuck…

Τα κρατικοδίαιτα τραπεζοπαράσιτα ετοιμάζονται για άλλο ένα μεγάλο πάρτι με κυβέρνηση Μητσοτάκη

globinfo freexchange
Οι γαλάζιοι υπηρέτες του κεφαλαίου ετοιμάζονται να ρίξουν άλλο ένα πακέτο δισεκατομμυρίων στις τραπεζικές μαύρες τρύπες. Αυτή τη φορά, θέλουν να τις απαλλάξουν από τα κόκκινα δάνεια και φυσικά ο λογαριασμός θα πάει, ως συνήθως, στα γνωστά υποζύγια.  
Όπως αποκάλυψε ρεπορτάζ του The Press Project:
Την έγκριση των ευρωπαϊκών θεσμών φέρεται να αναμένει η κυβέρνηση, ώστε να προχωρήσει σε σχέδιο «κρατικής υποβοήθησης» των τραπεζών, εφαρμόζοντας ουσιαστικά το σχέδιο του Ταμείου Χρηματοπιστωτικής Σταθερότητας (ΤΧΣ) για κρατική ενίσχυση προς κάλυψη των κόκκινων δανείων που αναμένεται να φτάσει τα 20 δισ. ευρώ. Την ίδια ώρα, οι τράπεζες προχωρούν σε τιτλοποιήσεις κόκκινων δανείων ύψους 6,5 δισ. ευρώ, με πρώτη και καλύτερη τη Eurobank και τις υπόλοιπες να ακολουθούν. 
[...]
Υπενθυμίζεται πως λίγες ημέρες πριν τις εκλογές, αλλά και μετά από αυτές, στο επίκεντρο της αντιπαράθεσης βρέθηκε το «μαξιλάρι» των 37 δισ. ευρώ της προηγούμενης κυβέρνησης και τα σχέδια της…

Bernie finally declares war on neoliberal fascists who destroy the planet

globinfo freexchange
Bernie Sanders proved again why he should be the next president of the United States. This time, he declared war on the neoliberal fascists who are destroying the planet on behalf of the corporate beasts.
Bernie tweeted:
                    Climate change is a global emergency. Bolsonaro and his corporate cronies are burning the Amazon rainforest for personal profit and jeopardizing our planet's survival. My Green New Deal will impose climate sanctions against corporations that threaten our global climate goals.
Climate change is a global emergency. Bolsonaro and his corporate cronies are burning the Amazon rainforest for personal profit and jeopardizing our planet's survival.

My #GreenNewDeal will impose climate sanctions against corporations that threaten our global climate goals. https://t.co/erZzHozviQ — Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 22, 2019
Recall that the previous right-wing corporate puppet in Brazil, Michel Temer, opened the door to t…

Roger Waters for Julian Assange

globinfo freexchange
On Monday, 3 Sept, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd will perform his classic 'Wish You Here' for Julian Assange outside the Home Office (interior ministry) in Marsham Street in the heart of London. John Pilger will be speaking. Join us at 6pm in solidarity with Britain's political prisoner.

On Monday, 3 Sept, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd will perform his classic 'Wish You Here' for Julian #Assange outside the Home Office (interior ministry) in Marsham Street in the heart of London. I will be speaking. Join us at 6pm in solidarity with Britain's political prisoner. pic.twitter.com/Lytg2GCZVQ — John Pilger (@johnpilger) August 30, 2019


Καταιγίδα επιχειρήσεων αποπροσανατολισμού από το Μητσοτακικό καθεστώς με τη βοήθεια της τραπεζομιντιακής χούντας

globinfo freexchange

Ο μηχανισμός του εγχώριου νεοφιλελεύθερου καθεστώτος επιδόθηκε τις τελευταίες μέρες σε έναν καταιγισμό επιχειρήσεων αποπροσανατολισμού προς τέρψιν του πόπολου, το οποίο έδωσε αυτοδυναμία στην πολιτική του συνιστώσα. Δηλαδή, στη χειρότερη δεξιά της μεταπολίτευσης.
Μετά το ταξίδι Μητσοτάκη στη Γαλλία, όπου είδαμε ένα χιλιοπαιγμένο έργο, το σόου του αποπροσανατολισμού ξεκίνησε από το Μάτι. Εκεί είχαμε ένα διπλό χτύπημα. Από τη μια τον Μητσοτάκη να ποζάρει στα καμμένα, διατυμπανίζοντας τη δήθεν αποτελεσματική του κυβέρνηση. Από την άλλη, την διαφήμιση των "καλών ιδιωτών", οι οποίοι ως καλοί Σαμαρείτες, ανέλαβαν δήθεν αφιλοκερδώς (Αφιλοκερδώς ΑΕ, όπως έλεγε και ο αξέχαστος Τζιμάκος), να καθαρίσουν την περιοχή από την επικίνδυνη καύσιμη ύλη.
Αμέσως μετά, απολαύσαμε άλλη μια κωμωδία από τις δυνάμεις καταστολής που έκαναν έφοδο στα Εξάρχεια για να τα "καθαρίσουν" από τους μετανάστες. Οι νεοφιλέλεδες της δεξιάς και τα ακροδεξιά δεκανίκια τους είναι μανο…

Citibank blocks funds for insulin: more than 450,000 Venezuelans affected

The US bank Citibank blocked, in August this year, part of the funds destined to import 300 thousand doses of insulin, a criminal act that affects more than 450 thousand patients, the Venezuelan Ministry of Economy and Finance reported.

On the other hand, the BSN Medical laboratory, based in Colombia, after receiving payment for the purchase of 2 million units of antimalarial treatment, denied the clearance of the drugs.
The ministry indicated that this fact caused the Swiss bank UBS AG to block the transactions made by the country with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), destined for the purchase of vaccines for the immunization program.
Given this circumstance, Venezuela and PAHO sought alternatives with banks from other countries, although this situation led to a 4 month delay in the immunization program.

The national government also revealed that other pharmaceutical transnationals such as Pfizer and Novartis refuse to sell medicines, reagents and supplies to Venezuela.
F…