Gee it’s like these guys got inspired or something. I wonder why?
Why We Need a New Democratic Party
by Robert Reich
Thursday, November 10, 2016
As a first step, I believe it necessary for the members and leadership of the Democratic National Committee to step down and be replaced by people who are determined to create a party that represents America – including all those who feel powerless and disenfranchised, and who have been left out of our politics and left behind in our economy.
The Democratic Party as it is now constituted has become a giant fundraising machine, too often reflecting the goals and values of the moneyed interests. This must change. The election of 2016 has repudiated it. We need a people’s party – a party capable of organizing and mobilizing Americans in opposition to Donald Trump’s Republican party, which is about to take over all three branches of the U.S. government. We need a New Democratic Party that will fight against intolerance and widening inequality.
What happened in America Tuesday should not be seen as a victory for hatefulness over decency. It is more accurately understood as a repudiation of the American power structure.
At the core of that structure are the political leaders of both parties, their political operatives, and fundraisers; the major media, centered in New York and Washington DC; the country’s biggest corporations, their top executives, and Washington lobbyists and trade associations; the biggest Wall Street banks, their top officers, traders, hedge-fund and private-equity managers, and their lackeys in Washington; and the wealthy individuals who invest directly in politics.
Recent economic indicators may be up, but those indicators don’t reflect the insecurity most Americans continue to feel, nor the seeming arbitrariness and unfairness they experience. Nor do the major indicators show the linkages many Americans see between wealth and power, stagnant or declining real wages, soaring CEO pay, and the undermining of democracy by big money.
Median family income is lower now than it was 16 years ago, adjusted for inflation. Workers without college degrees – the old working class – have fallen furthest. Most economic gains, meanwhile, have gone to top. These gains have translated into political power to elicit bank bailouts, corporate subsidies, special tax loopholes, favorable trade deals and increasing market power without interference by anti-monopoly enforcement – all of which have further reduced wages and pulled up profits.
Wealth, power and crony capitalism fit together. Americans know a takeover has occurred, and they blame the establishment for it.
The Democratic party once represented the working class. But over the last three decades the party has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused instead on raising campaign money from corporate and Wall Street executives and getting votes from upper middle-class households in “swing” suburbs.
Democrats have occupied the White House for 16 of the last 24 years, and for four of those years had control of both houses of Congress. But in that time they failed to reverse the decline in working-class wages and economic security. Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama ardently pushed for free trade agreements without providing millions of blue-collar workers who thereby lost their jobs means of getting new ones that paid at least as well.
They stood by as corporations hammered trade unions, the backbone of the white working class – failing to reform labor laws to impose meaningful penalties on companies that violate them, or help workers form unions with simple up-or-down votes. Partly as a result, union membership sank from 22% of all workers when Bill Clinton was elected president to less than 12% today, and the working class lost bargaining leverage to get a share of the economy’s gains.
Bill Clinton and Obama also allowed antitrust enforcement to ossify – with the result that large corporations have grown far larger, and major industries more concentrated. The unsurprising result of this combination – more trade, declining unionization and more industry concentration – has been to shift political and economic power to big corporations and the wealthy, and to shaft the working class. This created an opening for Donald Trump’s authoritarian demagoguery, and his presidency.
Now Americans have rebelled by supporting someone who wants to fortify America against foreigners as well as foreign-made goods. The power structure understandably fears that Trump’s isolationism will stymie economic growth. But most Americans couldn’t care less about growth because for years they have received few of its benefits, while suffering most of its burdens in the forms of lost jobs and lower wages.
The power structure is shocked by the outcome of the 2016 election because it has cut itself off from the lives of most Americans. Perhaps it also doesn’t wish to understand, because that would mean acknowledging its role in enabling the presidency of Donald Trump.
7 Things We Must Do as Trump Prepares for the White House
By Michael Moore, AlterNet
November 10, 2016
1. Must quickly and decisively form an opposition movement, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 1960s. I will do my part to help lead this as I’m sure many others (Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, MoveOn, the hip-hop community, DFA, etc.) will, too. The core of this opposition force will be fueled by young people who, as with Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, don’t tolerate BS and are relentless in their resistance to authority. They have no interest in compromising with racists and misogynists.
2. Prepare to impeach Trump. Just as the Republicans were already planning to do with President Hillary Clinton from day one, we must organize the apparatus that will bring charges against him when he violates his oath and breaks the law—and then we must remove him from office.
3. Must commit right now to a vigorous fight (including civil disobedience, if necessary) that will block any and all Donald Trump Supreme Court nominees who do not meet our approval. We demand the Democrats in the Senate aggressively filibuster any nominees who support Citizens United or who oppose the rights of women, immigrants and the poor. This is non-negotiable.
4. Demand the DNC apologize to Bernie Sanders for trying to fix the primaries against him, for spinning the press to ignore his historic campaign, for giving Clinton the questions in advance at the Flint debate, for its latent ageism and anti-Semism in trying to turn voters against him because of his age or religious beliefs, and for its anti-democractic system of “superdelegates” who are elected by no one. We all know now that had Bernie been given a fair shot, he probably would have been the nominee and he—as the true outsider and “change” candidate—would have inspired and fired up the base and defeated Donald Trump. If no apology is soon forthcoming from the DNC, that’s okay—when we take over the Democratic Party (see yesterday’s To-Do List, #1), we will issue the apology in person.
5. Demand that President Obama establish a special prosecutor to investigate who and what was behind FBI director James Comey’s illegal interference into the presidential election 11 days before the vote was held.
6. Begin a national push while it’s fresh in everyone’s mind for a constitutional amendment to fix our broken electoral system: a) eliminate the Electoral College—popular vote only; b) paper ballots only, no electronic voting; c) Election Day must be made a holiday for all or held on a weekend so more people vote; d) all citizens, regardless of any run-ins with the criminal justice system, must have the right to vote (in swing states like Florida and Virginia, 30-40% of all black men are prohibited by law from voting).
7. Convince President Obama to immediately do what he should have done a year ago: send in the Army Corps of Engineers to Flint to dig up and replace all the poisoned pipes. Nothing has changed; the water in Flint is still unusable.
Will try to get these done by sundown.
Or at least by Monday.