The Republican Party was destined to implode the moment they decided to combine forces with the radical religious-right during the 80’s (which resulted in the horrific Ronald Reagan regime) and later combined forces with Wall Street. Now the Democrats are copying the Wall Street model and are facing the same fate.
If you ever wondered why income inequality has gotten so out of hand, it’s largely because Reagan slashed taxes for the wealthy by 50%. This allowed more wealth to pool at the top, the consolidation of which has continued exponentially. You can see this reflected in the data below:
After Reagan’s disastrous tenure (and a less-than-noteworthy blip from George H.W. Bush) the Democrats had an opportunity to change course when they finally took back the White House. It had been 12 years since they last held power, so the left had very high hopes in Bill Clinton.
Instead he signed several devastating bills into law: the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (1994), the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (1996), and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (1999).
The first law expanded the death penalty, provided $10 billion for building new prisons, eliminated federal funding for inmate education, intensified police surveillance and racial profiling, and put hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug offenders in cages due to the additional of federal minimum on drug offenders. This was all part of his tough on crime bullshit. The second bill doubled nationwide poverty, widening the gap between the rich and the poor even further than Reagan. And the third partially-repealed Glass-Steagall, a reform law that had been put in place after the Great Depression when 5,000 banks failed. Because of the repeal, commercial banks could resume engaging in risky investments with our money.
The Republicans gave us Reagan and he crushed the middle-class while helping the wealthy. Then the Democrats gave us Bill Clinton who was supposed to repair the damage. Instead he took the baton from Reagan and stabbed us in the back, selling out to corporate interests and aligning closer to Wall Street. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em would be a good summary of Bill Clinton’s governance. His betrayal of progressive
voters and impeachment for perjury killed enthusiasm and consequently led to a lower turnout in 2000, tainting Vice President Al Gore’s run for office. It shouldn’t have been nearly as competitive a race.
After the dust settled we were left with President George W. Bush, a less competent and more reckless version of Reagan. While income inequality continued to ramp up, income gains were relatively stagnant across the board. Middle-class income didn’t change much while incomes for the wealthy increased slightly. The Oligarchy that had grown in power and influence by the end of his 2nd term wasn’t satisfied with the results. Bush’s general idiocy and inability to be articulate didn’t win him any favors either, I’m sure. So the elites sought a better puppet to take the Oval Office, someone with enough charm to win votes, intelligent enough to be competent, but still willing to get their hands dirty. Since Bill Clinton was so effective, they opted for the obvious choice. His wife.
When Hillary ran in 2008, she was an early favorite of Wall Street. Look how much she raked in from 4 of the biggest banks (that her husband helped deregulate):
|JPMorgan Chase & Co||$446,479|
The Iraq War was a major factor in the 2008 election and running McCain and Hillary, two people that had both voted for it, didn’t take advantage of the growing anti-war sentiment. Senator Obama meanwhile had loudly vocalized his opposition. His youth also stood in stark contrast to the more elderly McCain (which is probably a big reason why McCain selected the much younger Sarah Palin). Obama was also more than willing to play ball for the Oligarchs. Superdelegates (mostly lobbyists working on behalf of the elites) then agreed to switch their vote to Obama and the tide turned from there.
And look how much more Obama received compared to Hillary from identical Wall Street donors:
|JPMorgan Chase & Co||$847,895|
SIDE NOTE: Hillary’s daughter Chelsea was dating Marc Mezvinsky, an investment banker for Goldman Sachs, during the 2008 election. He previously had served time after being found guilty of fraud in 2001. He even requested a Presidential pardon from Bill Clinton but it was either denied or never seen. I wonder if this played any part in Goldman favoring Obama over Hillary?
Again, there was great hope that a Democratic President would clean-up the mess left behind by a preceding Republican. But same as Bill Clinton, Obama only twisted the knife.
As revealed by Wikileaks, Obama received an email a month before he’d even won the Presidency with a list of candidates for cabinet positions. Eric Holder for the Justice Department. Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security. Robert Gates for Defense. Rahm Emanuel for chief of staff. Peter Orszag for the Office of Management and Budget. Arne Duncan for Education. Eric Shinseki for Veterans Affairs. Kathleen Sebelius for Health and Human Services. Melody Barnes for the Domestic Policy Council. All were approved by Obama. The emailed list of recommendations came from Michael Froman, a top executive at… Citibank. Of course. And who was the advisor passing this along to President Obama?John Podesta, Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff, Hillary’s current campaign chairman, and sick fuck that enjoys “spirit dinners”.
Feel free to read up on that grotesque vice here.
So right from the start, Obama lined his cabinet with whoever the Big Banks wanted under the close-advisement of the twisted Podesta guy. Most of those on the list also happened to have worked under (SPOILER ALERT) Bill Clinton. Just like that, Obama had sold-out to the Oligarchs. Hope and change? Dead on arrival. And that wasn’t even the knife twist.
The knife-wielder came from Citibank’s list of three choices (how generous) for Obama to select as Treasury Secretary. Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, or Timothy Geithner. Obama selected Geithner, Bill Clinton’s (sigh) former Under-Secretary of the Treasury.
Despite having worked for Bill, Geithner still voiced concerns in 2005 over the growing risk of deregulating the banks after Bill Clinton had gutted Glass-Steagal. Unfortunately he didn’t push the issue, instead only suggesting that the banks should have more capital set aside to fall back on in the event of a crash. Interestingly, Geithner favored a proposal in May of 2007 that would encourage less banks to set aside the very same safety nets he’d previously proposed only two years prior.
A few months later? BOOM. The Great Recession begins.
President Obama selected that fuck-up to become our Treasury Secretary and who would oversee the massive and unpopular bailout of the big banks. Revealingly, Citibank benefited most from the bailout: 45 billion in cash in the form of a government stock purchase, plus a 306 billion government guarantee to back up its worthless mortgage-related assets. Gee, no wonder they recommended Geithner. That investment paid off well for them, didn’t it? Sure did.
I’ve been bouncing around a bit here, but the over-arching theme here is that the Democrats keep advertising as champions of the middle-class to go up against the corporate-controlled Republicans while actually themselves being controlled by those very same corporate interests. Bill Clinton essentially turned the Democratic Party into a mirror of the Republican Party (before the GOP became the batshit anarchists they are today) and Obama kept that ball rolling. Now the Presidency is being handed back to the Clinton’s. Does that really sound like a good idea?
By all rights this should have been very easy to accomplish. In 2008 she had to go up against Joe Biden, John Edwards, Mike Gravel, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, and Barack Obama. Biden, Edwards, and Obama were all pretty serious challengers.
In 2016 she already had the superdelegates locked in, a treasure-trove of campaign funds, and only had to face Jim Webb, Lincoln Chaffee, Martin O’Malley, and Bernie Sanders. Webb and Chaffee were both a joke right out of the gate and dropped out quickly, O’Malley didn’t have much of a chance, and Bernie had been dismissed due to being a socialist. Sanders proved to be a surprisingly strong challenger by making a case that resonated with the middle-class and rejecting corporate interests, but once the rigged primary ended it should have been a cake walk to the White House for Hillary.
If the only person standing in the way was a sexist, racist, bigoted, xenophobic narcissist named Donald fucking Trump, how hard could it be? My left nut could earn more votes than him.
And yet she’s spent 70 million on TV advertising during the campaign. By comparison, Trump spent 4.6 million and only recently. In fact, as of the end of July he hadn’t spent a dime. Yet they’re still tied or within the margin of error!
The way I see it, the Democratic Party has been betraying their own purported principles and their progressive base since Bill Clinton was in office. The Democratic President before him was Jimmy Carter in the late 70’s, still the only modern President in U.S. history not to drop a single bomb on foreign soil. To give you a further idea of the kind of person he was, guess how he funded the majority of his primary campaign? By putting on Southern rock concerts featuring bands like the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Can you imagine?
If we return to the days when Democrats weren’t corporate sellouts and again start to reflect the kind of values that JFK, Carter, and Bernie Sanders could be proud of, then I’ll happily root for them again. But they need to lose in 2016. Wikileaks has revealed just how corrupt and money-driven the Democrats have become, the contempt they have for democracy itself. Losing to a candidate as weak as Trump might be the humbling smack-to-the-face they need to finally wake up from decades of being in a corporate-coma, to jumpstart a progressive agenda, and prevent complete implosion of the Party.
Or stick to more of the same and vote for Hillary. Whatever.