( – promoted by buhdydharma )
In looking back at the Bush debacle, one thing stands out. It would never have happened, at least not so blatantly and egregiously, had there been a healthy opposition party in America. Up until 2000 there was at least the illusion of the Democrats as a party in opposition to the Republicans, however ineffective. And the Republicans, though always venal, have never been so nakedly predatory, never so in-your-face ‘I’m going to take your shit and you’re going to like it’, never so openly disdainful of the Constitution and the law. Somewhere along the line, the notion of the Democrats as the voice of sanity counter-balancing Republican lunacy has become just so much political vaporware. What happened?
The entire government has failed us on Iraq
“You know, it is very important. The fact is, that this is not supposed to happen the way it’s happened in the last seven years. The framers, I think, would have been astonished by the absolute passivity, if not the collusion of the Democrats in protecting President Bush from impeachment. I mean, they created a system that was essentially idiot-proof, and God knows we’ve put that to the test in the past few years, but I don’t think they anticipated that so many members of the opposition would stand quietly in the face of clear presidential crimes.”
Jonathon Turley, Constitutional Law Professor on Countdown with Keith Olberman on June 10, 2008.
You can’t stand in opposition to selfishness and greed if you succumb to such temptations yourself. You can’t oppose corruption if you buy into it. At this point, the Democrats have gone from being the champions of the working class to shilling for the elite. Take the Sibel Edmonds case for example, a case involving the theft and sale of nuclear technology to terrorists on the black market by highly placed members of Congress.
Prior to 2006, Rep. Henry Waxman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee allegedly promised Ms. Edmonds that if the Democrats gained control of Congress, he would order hearings into her charges. But following the Democratic sweep, he has been less forthcoming. It is suspected that Mr. Waxman fears that the revelations might open a Pandora’s box, damaging Republicans and Democrats alike.
Another example is how John Conyers went from being a passionate advocate of impeachment to just another empty suit.
That means Chairman John Conyers now has the power to decide whether to hold impeachment hearings – or not.
Incredibly, 24 Republicans voted with 227 Democrats; the 166 no votes came exclusively from Republicans.
So what will Conyers do? After the Downing Street Memo was published on May 1, 2005, Democrats.com worked closely with Conyers to hold the famous basement hearings featuring Cindy Sheehan, Ray McGovern, and John Bonifaz. In August 2006, Conyers published all of the evidence of Bush’s crimes in The Constitution in Crisis. Many of us believed he would begin impeachment proceedings if Democrats won the House, which they did that November.
But in the spring of 2006, Nancy Pelosi declared impeachment “off the table.” And when Democrats took control and Conyers was sworn in as Judiciary Chairman, he fell firmly into line behind the Speaker. (Conyers insists Pelosi did not threaten to deny him the Chairmanship.)
Instead of opposing the ever-increasing influence of Big Money in our politics, the Dems somewhere along the line decided to fight elitism with elitism. They decided to compete with Republicans for the corporate money, to compromise themselves with special interests and corporate lobbyists, and to stop paying so much attention to all those pesky citizens – to out-republican the Republicans.
Big Money vs. Grassroots: The Fight For the Heart of the Democratic Party
by David Sirota
Every two years since 1992, the Democratic Party has trotted out Fleetwood Mac’s classic “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” as the theme song of its campaign. Now, after the party’s repeated election losses, polls suggest that the Democrats’ “tomorrow” could finally be dawning. November 7 is the big day. Yet even if the Democrats do well on that day, it’s not clear that things will change. In fact, there are ominous signs that a Democratic Congress would cause another song to start ringing in Americans’ ears: The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” with its harrowing line: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
To be sure, a change in congressional leadership would slow the advance of President George W. Bush’s dangerous agenda. And as the Associated Press has reported, the specific Democratic lawmakers in line to take over key committees are among the administration’s biggest critics, and among the most ideologically progressive in Congress.
But beyond this, there are troubling signs that the party isn’t serious about reforming America’s money-dominated politics. Many working-class swing voters are still suspicious of a Democratic Party that promised not to sell them out, and then supported President Clinton’s alliance with big business to pass economically destabilizing “free trade” deals. But that doesn’t seem to matter to the Beltway’s Democratic elites. That voters would be supporting Democrats in 2006 with the specific expectation of reform hardly seems to register with many of the party’s Washington insiders.
The arrogance is stunning. Here you have a national political party righteously hammering its opponents’ “culture of corruption.” Here you have a national party standing at the threshold of an Internet revolution that has shown itself more than capable of democratizing political fundraising by taking in huge sums of money, in small contributions, all without the usual expectation of cronyish legislative favors. And yet here is that same national party bragging to reporters that it is focused on doing everything it can to milk the corporate teat as effectively as Republicans.
They turned away from their traditional constituents, the poor and the working class. In doing so, they abandoned their roots and their principles. Instead of fighting for what was right and good and true, instead of representing the people of America against the powerful corporations and special interests, they sold out for the big bucks. They became willing slaves of the ruling elite and reduced themselves to simple pawns of the Military Industrial Complex, all for the basest motivation of all – money. They abandoned the grand vision of the founding fathers and their obligations to the American people to get their grubby paws on their thirty pieces of silver.
The Democrats Sell Us Out
I believe that we must all support Barack Obama and I’m excited about the hope he represents, but we must also realize that the Democratic Party won’t produce the change we seek unless we first change the Democratic Party. We must reclaim our role as champions of the poor and working class, we must return to our principles and abandon the politics of cynicism and amorality, and we must eschew and work against the influence of Big Money in our politics. We must divorce ourselves from the Military Industrial Complex and start leading the world to peace instead of to war.
We will get nowhere in fixing what the Republicans have broken unless we first recapture our own soul. That we might still do this is the only hope I can see for America.
And finally, once again, thank you Keith Olberman, David Sirota and Dennis Kucinich. You sirs, are men after my own heart.