100 Day Report Card

Oh, you thought I was talking about Trump. Sorry, that was yesterday.

The Democrats delivered one thing in the past 100 days: disappointment
by Cornel West, The Guardian
Monday 24 April 2017

The distinctive feature of these bleak times is the lack of institutional capacity on the left – the absence of a political party that swings free of Wall Street and speaks to the dire circumstances of poor and working people. As the first 100 days of the plutocratic and militaristic Trump administration draw to a close, one truth has been crystal clear: the Democratic party lacks the vision, discipline and leadership to guide progressives in these turbulent times.

The neoliberal vision of the Democratic party has run its course. The corporate wing has made it clear that the populist wing has little power or place in its future. The discipline of the party is strong on self-preservation and weak on embracing new voices. And party leaders too often revel in self-righteousness and self-pity rather than self-criticism and self-enhancement. The time has come to bid farewell to a moribund party that lacks imagination, courage and gusto.

The 2016 election – which Democrats lost more than Republicans won – was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The crucial issues of a $15 minimum wage and saying no to fracking, no to TPP, no to Israeli occupation and yes to single-payer healthcare were pushed aside by the corporate wing and the populist wing was told to quit whining or take responsibility for the improbable loss.

The monumental collapse of the Democratic party – on the federal, state and local levels – has not yielded any serious soul-wrestling or substantive visionary shifts among its leadership.

We progressives need new leadership and institutional capacity that provides strong resistance to Trump’s vicious policies, concrete alternatives that matter to ordinary citizens and credible visions that go beyond Wall Street priorities and militaristic policies. And appealing to young people is a good testing ground.

Even as we forge a united front against Trump’s neofascist efforts, we must admit the Democratic party has failed us and we have to move on.

(I)f a class-conscious multi-racial party attuned to anti-sexist, anti-homophobic and anti-militaristic issues and grounded in ecological commitments can reconfigure our citizenship, maybe our decaying democracy has a chance.

I’m not as despairing as Cornel West is, but he has a point. The Institutional Democratic Party is in complete and total denial that their self serving betrayal of the economic interests of the 99% and hypocritical lip service to the aspirations of the oppressed have anything at all to do with their electoral failure. Don’t forget it was Bill Clinton who abolished Glass-Steagall and signed the Defense of Marriage Act as well as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’. He’s also one of those Arkansas executioners.

What I advocate is a Tea Party of the Left that rewards our allies and boots our enemies to the curb, or at least makes them fear us. Without that the Democratic Party is pretty useless and has no reason to survive. We should love them because they are less evil? We should learn to ’embrace the suck’? There is no alternative?

Then democracy is dead and it’s time to get out of Dodge City.

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