August 09, 2013
Sadly True

Yves says:

The Democrats have been so deeply penetrated by the neoliberal/Robert Rubin/Hamilton Project types that they aren’t that different from the right on economic issues. Both want little regulation of banking and open trade and international capital flows. Both want to “reform” Medicare and Social Security. Both are leery of a welfare state, the Republicans openly so, the Rubinite Dems with all sorts of hand wringing and clever schemes to incentivize private companies that generally subsidize what they would have done regardless (note that Americans have had a mixed record in providing good social safety nets, but a big reason is our American exceptionalism means we refuse to copy successful models from abroad).

The powerful influence of moneyed interests on the Democratic party has achieved the fondest aims of the right wing extremists of the 1970s: the party of FDR is now lukewarm at best in its support of the New Deal. Most Democrats are embarrassed to be in the same room with union types. They are often afraid to say that government can play a positive role. They were loath to discuss the costs of income inequality until it became so far advanced that it is now well nigh impossible to reverse it. After all, that sort of discussion might sound like class warfare, and God forbid anyone on the mainstream left risk sound like Marx…

So the Democratic party (and remember, our two party system makes the Democrats the home by default for the left) pretends to be a safe haven for all sorts of out groups: women, gays, Hispanics (on their way to being the dominant group but not there yet), blacks, the poor. But this is stands in stark contradiction to its policies of selling out the middle class to banks and big corporate interests, just on a slower and stealthier basis than the right. So its desperate need to maintain its increasingly phony “be nice to the rainbow coalition” branding places a huge premium on appearances. It thus uses identity politics as a cover for policy betrayals. It can motivate various groups on narrow, specific issues, opening the way for the moneyed faction to get what it wants.


Posted by Jerome Doolittle at August 09, 2013 12:28 PM
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Before the 2008 elections, I felt that Obama was our only hope to take our country out of its economic tailspin. But Obama hasn't fundamentally changed our economy in any way. He hasn't re-instituted a single regulatory policy from FDR. He hasn't embarked on a single visionary infrastructure project such as connecting the country with high speed rails, or even the monumental effort it would take just to rebuild our crumbling bridges, sewer systems, or power grid. He hasn't pushed for any significant consumer protections from corporations, or worker protections from empolyers. He has done the exact same thing the last few presidents have done: keep the economy afloat while the wealthy vermin devour everything on board.

Someone once said that the difference between Democrats and Republicans is that the Democrats will at least look you in the eyes and tell you they love you while they are screwing you.

Posted by: Heather on August 9, 2013 7:23 PM
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