Thursday, August 24, 2006

Why Democrats are Dangerous: Unfulfilled Promises

Let's start with a Norman Solomon article, about how the "War on Terror" is still a powerful meme, despite some pronouncements that it's losing ground. Specifically, regarding Iran.

Looking ahead, does anyone credibly think that Democratic Party leaders can be relied on to stand up against rationales for a huge air assault on Iran -- in the face of predictable claims that a massive attack became necessary to forestall the development of nuclear weapons by a Tehran regime that supports the “terrorist” Hezbollah organization and has pledged the destruction of Israel?

In late summer 2006, all you’ve got to do is read the news pages of the New York Times to see systematic agenda-building for an airborne assault on Iran. Right now, in front of our eyes, the propaganda blitz is rivaling the kind of war groundwork laid by the same newspaper four years ago, replete with endless coverage of the U.S. government’s supposed “diplomatic” efforts.

The Democrats... someone once said that they're like a dysfunctional relationship. You get excited when they call out the Republicans on some kind of bullshit. Bill Clinton, who had economic policies to the right of Nixon, still thrills with his oratory, charms with his charisma. You remember moments when it looked like Kerry would win; when Dean stood up against the received (corporate) wisdom, when Edwards started talking not just about the middle class, or the "working class", but the poor.

And then they fail to filibuster Alito, they rush off like lemmings to vote for the PATRIOT ACT, when they start sucking up to Israel no matter what outrage the Israeli government has propagated. They pass bankruptcy "reforms" at the behest of big banks. They vote for Iraq, they don't push impeachment. They ignore black-box voting problems.

One or two may stand up and say the right thing; three or four might propose some legislation that won't get anywhere. But at the same time, seven or twelve or thirty of them are off sucking the dicks of the telecoms, to get rid of pesky problems like a democratic (small D) internet.

And there are many many people who affiliate with the Democratic Party for all the right reasons. Zogby asks me: do you feel that the Democratic Party or the Republican Party more closely represents your values? and I answer "Well, yes, the Democrats are closer."

But sometimes they're so far, far away.

Back to Iran. When the manufactured incident comes up, when they find dead bodies in Iranian regular army uniforms in Basra, when the mushroom cloud is trotted out yet again to fill the Depends of our aged voting base, what will Joe Biden say? What will Hillary say? Dick Lugar?

And so many who want to believe in the Democratic party will beg for spine, when the problem is soul. While the Democrats have such definite ties to our corportate masters, while they let themselves be led (or willingly throw themselves) upon the biased altar of the corporate media, we - the people - will step further down the path paved with good intentions. Paved with intentions, but mortared by actions.

Sorry, folks, FDR was a long time ago. I'll leave you with these words from Steve Perry, editor of the Twin Cities basedCity Pages.

And how does the rank and file react? Why don't the Democrats... If only the Democrats... If the Democrats were smart... Hold on right there. Let's dispense with the ridiculous, shopworn notion that the Democrats don't get it, that they are too dim or too timid to do the things that are evident to the rest of us: tack left, talk populist, stand up to Bush, push hot-button issues like corporate malfeasance, health care, and campaign finance reform.

They see these things as clearly as the rest of us, and they choose not to do any of them. Why? Money is the simple, vulgar answer, and the correct one. The matter of corporate crime, to take one example, is not seen by the Democrats as an opportunity to capitalize on Republican weakness and seize an upper hand; it is seen as a problem shared in common with Republicans--the problem of helping one's cash clients in a tough time.

No comments: