“Bashing Democrats”

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

On numerous of occasions I have been accused of “bashing Democrats,” “hating Obama,” as well as, some outrageously, vile charges that won’t be repeated here. The accusations have been in response to criticism of President Barack Obama’s policies which have been not just disappointing for a Democratic administration but, in some instances, worse than any neo-con Republican. It’s baffling that the Republican party is bothering to oppose his reelection, he’s done most everything they would have done short of starting another war unless one considers the expansion of the “war on terror” to Yemen and Africa. My guess would be that the Republicans are jealous that Obama isn’t a member of the GOP.

I was asked the other day by my former precinct captain why I don’t criticize Republicans. My answer was that I do. It’s just that today they are called Democrats. On that note, I give you the Black Agenda Report‘s managing editor, Bruce Dixon, who says it quite succinctly:

[..] The fact is that 120% evil Republicans offer the only justification for our support of 100% evil Democrats. And with the dissolution of what used to be the black consensus for equality, civil liberties, full funding for public education, and opposing war spending and corporate privilege, Obama-era Democrats continue to flee rightward toward war, privatization and austerity.

This deformed puzzle is not the political logic of free and responsible people. It’s the cramped and twisted reasoning of someone trapped in a box urgently trying to convince himself that it’s not really a box, that pragmatic acceptance of the box as the whole of the great and free universe is really all that can be hoped, struggled and strived for. It’s not. Only a beaten, cowed and enslaved people can imagine their forbears sacrificed and struggled for them to choose among greater and lesser, but both still monstrous evils.

We at Black Agenda Report spend more time denouncing Democrats because they act like and enable Republicans. We don’t spend as much time denouncing the party of white supremacy because Republicans rarely bother to pretend to be anything else. African Americans haven’t voted Republican in 50 years. But we’re more unemployed than we’ve been in seventy years, and more imprisoned than we’ve ever been.

That’s what choosing “lesser evils” has earned us. It’s time to chuck the fake choice between evil Republicans and slightly less evil Democrats. It’s time not just to think, but to climb outside the two-party, lesser-evil box, to breathe the free air and get ready for something new.

What Bruce said applies to all Americans regardless of race, gender, religion or national origin.

Actor and activist, John Cusack, in his conversation with Constitutional law professor, Jonathan Turley, questions where are the “lines” that the “progressive left” will not cross and what it means in terms of voting for Obama.

Now that the Republican primary circus is over, I started to think about what it would mean to vote for Obama…

Since mostly we hear from the daily hypocrisies of Mitt and friends, I thought we should examine “our guy” on a few issues with a bit more scrutiny than we hear from the “progressive left”, which seems to be little or none at all.

Instead of scrutiny, the usual arguments in favor of another Obama presidency are made: We must stop fanatics;-he’s the last line of defense from the corporate barbarians-and of course the Supreme Court. It all makes a terrible kind of sense and I agree completely with Garry Wills who described the Republican primaries as ” a revolting combination of con men and fanatics…the current primary race has become a demonstration that the Republican party does not deserve serious consideration for public office.”

True enough.

But yet…

… there are certain Rubicon lines, as constitutional law professor Jon Turley calls them, that Obama has crossed.

All political questions are not equal no matter how much you pivot. When people die or lose their physical freedom to feed certain economic sectors or ideologies, it becomes a zero sum game for me.

This is not an exercise in bemoaning regrettable policy choices or cheering favorable ones but to ask fundamentally: Who are we? What are we voting for? And what does it mean? [..]

The entire transcript of the conversation was posted in this article by poligirl. It’s quite long but quite thought provoking assessment of Barack Obama’s presidency and how many of our principles of law and the constitution the “progressive left” has compromised and abandoned supporting him.

The line for me was Obama’s vote, as Senator, to renew FISA with all its unconstitutional provisions, after saying that he would filibuster if it were not fixed. I knew then that the “we’ll fix it later” line was the grand lie to a tired, desperate electorate that was in need of relief from years of war and economic stress.

Along with Bruce Dixon, John Cusack, Jonathan Turley and others, I will continue to criticize Democrats for pushing a right wing agenda. I’m still not ready to make nice.

25 comments

Skip to comment form

    • TMC on August 24, 2012 at 2:12 am
      Author
    • banger on August 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    On the surface we see the dilemma–enable Democrats to take for granted the support of the left because they are the lesser of two evils and despite what you say they are the lesser of two evils; or, we oppose the Democrats, vote Green (or whatever or don’t vote) and support our fellow leftists.

    Beneath the surface of this discussion lies what you might call “reality.” The reality is that most Americans are constitutionally and culturally opposed to the basic goals of the left as vaguely articulated; to be precise: that we ought not to be going around shooting up folks unless they are a real threat to us; and that creating a healthy public sector benefits all old, young, rich, poor, middle-class (by the way this can be objectively shown and lies at the heart of the Founders intention for this country. Most Americans, in my view, are addicted to violence as a means of solving problems because that is what the “entertainment” industry shows and has shown for generations–also, Americans are convinced (despite all evidence to the contrary) that the best thing for society is to be anti-social and pursue your narrow self interest while stepping on whoever you have to (with a smile of course). That’s reality today. This tendency was not typical of the past–it was more nuances at one time because American, perhaps because of the shared suffering of the Depression, WWII, the Cold War etc. people had a sense of the commonweal. That is, pretty much, gone now and thus sympathy for socialist or even communitarian principles just won’t fly in this country. Now, people will tell you that they want to fee the hungry, be good and all that but, for the most part, they are lying because their actions point in the complete opposite direction.

    One way or another we will be ruled by one or another faction of the oligarchy because they know how easy it is to manipulate a public who has, largely, lost any sense of civic or public virtue (except perhaps in their own neighborhoods and communities). There is no hope of civil liberties or real democracy in the future because there is very little interest in responsible citizenship in this country.

    There will always be 10-15% or the people who will sympathize with leftist ideals (if that) and there’s no sign that number will increase. We have two choices, either we organize our own communities and carve our own space within the global political economy or we ally ourselves with a faction of the oligarchy that is less destructive to our persons and values. Thus, since there is no fresh thinking on the left or any calls to collective action other than in the manner of infantile “movements” like Occupy I think the sensible thing is to ally ourselves with those that are culturally more congenial to the left, i.e., the Democratic Party. Or don’t suppor the Democrats and hope the fascism on the right doesn’t work and people will revolt after a failed Romney Presidency. Pick your poison–that’s the fruit of deciding, as a group, not to pursue raw power, not to orgnaize, not to create collectives. We could have a few years ago–now it’s to late–much too late.

    BTW, I’m not making you wrong–there are no good choices here.  

    • TMC on August 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm
      Author

    I forgot to add the link to Mr. Dixon’s article. It’s fixed.

    http://blackagendareport.com/c

  1. The glaring point is that the Democratic Party doesn’t even exist any more.  I think we’ve all seen how hard it is to debate people who refuse to acknowledge that. They’re almost as bad as Teabaggers, facts don’t matter to them.

  2. I believe in karma. You deserve this shit if you vote for it, and that Karma will affect you on a personal level (i.e. superseding politics).

    I voted for Bill Clinton’s first term but didn’t vote for his reelection because he signed NAFTA and GATT. I think the powers-that-be want us to deserve this shit, maybe thinking that we deserve this shit helps them sleep better at night.

    The Democratic party is fucked up in the head if they think I’m going to vote for torture etc. It may all happen anyway, but I don’t want to deserve it (and they want us to deserve it, or at least to believe we deserve it, (i.e. ‘you voted for it’ etc.) to ease their guilt.

    • pfiore8 on August 31, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    of all the people i’ve been reading over the last years, you (TMC) continue to surprise and impress.

    you’re a natural journalist.

    brava.

Comments have been disabled.