By Steven W. Thrasher
The Guardian (7/20/17)
Six months into Donald Trump’s term, and Democratic politician’s ability to be an opposition party is, in a word, pathetic.
When the poll came out saying that “Democrats stand for nothing more than opposing” Trump, I thought to myself, ‘If only that were true!’” But they can’t even do that well. When House Democratic Caucus chairman Joe Crowley was asked by the Associated Press just what his party’s core message was, he “hesitated” and then said, “That message is being worked on.”
It was as tone deaf (but honest) an answer as when Mother Jones writer Kevin Drum – as sycophantic a representative of the Democratic party in the punditocracy as there is – wrote about how people would have to be “crazy” not to “have a reflective disgust” of people who are homeless and mentally ill.
Considering homeless people are also disproportionately black, LGBT, disabledand, of course, poor, Drum managed to reveal the disdain the liberal elite has of wide swaths of Americans.
Indeed, many of the most powerful Democratic politicians and donors seem to hate the sick and poor almost as much as Trump does. How else to explain why Chuck Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and Representative Carolyn Maloney would party in the Hamptons with Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway and David Koch while the latter group was attempting to strip healthcare from tens of millions of people?
How else to explain that though a majority of Americans want a single payer healthcare system, an effort to achieve it in California has been killed … even though Democrats hold super majorities in their legislature and the governorship?
65% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they are likely to vote next year, compared to 57% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents.
The Democrat’s death drive didn’t debut with Donald Trump, of course. The DNC’s inability to be an effective opposition party has been almost a decade in the making, exacerbated by their loss of over 900 legislative seats since Obama took office in 2009; Obama’s failure to prosecute Wall Street bankers after they stole nearly half the black wealth in the country; the party’s failure to develop an economic vision that was little more than Republican Lite (or, as Obama put it, 1980s moderate Republicanism); and, unfairly helping Hillary Clinton during the 2016 primaries, even though Bernie Sanders consistently polled better than Clinton and the political winds (fanned by Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter) have clearly moved on from neoliberal Clintonomics.
Now, consider all the ways Democrats told us that we had to support Clinton because Trump was Lucifer/Hitler Incarnate and then – when she lost – have supported Lucifer/Hitler. When the New York Times analysed how senators voted on 22 Trump nominees, “no senators voted ‘no’ on every nominee” – not even among the Democrats. Clinton’s choice for vice-president, Tim Kaine, voted for more than half of Trump’s nominees. …
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )
On Point Audio: ‘A Better Deal’ For Democrats?
By Tom Ashbrook
On Point / WBUR (7/25/17)
Democrats try to rebrand the party with a new economic plan and the slogan “A Better Deal.” Will it win voters?
It’s been a rough patch for Democrats. In the last few years they’ve lost majority control on Capitol Hill. They’ve lost the White House to Donald Trump. They’ve lost sway over the future of the Supreme Court. And they’ve lost the confidence of many that they were the effective voice of the little guy in the U.S. economy. Yesterday, Democrats rolled out a new appeal. They call it a “better deal.” It’s their comeback cry, they hope. This hour On Point: The Democrats’ “better deal.”
- David Weigel, national political correspondent for the Washington Post. (@daveweigel)
- Michael Sandel, professor of political philosophy at Harvard University.
- Stephanie Kelton, economics professor at Stony Brook University. Consultant on the Democrats’ “A Better Deal” policy agenda. Former economic advisor to Bernie Sanders. Former chief economist for Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee. (@StephanieKelton)
- Steve Phillips, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. (@StevePtweets)
Link to Story and 50-Minute Audio
YUCK! One Snooty Hamptons Party Shows How Both Parties Play Americans For Saps
By Maureen Callahan
The New York Post (7/10/17)
For anyone still wondering why Middle America’s so angry, just take a look at the guest list for the annual bash thrown by Washington Post heiress Lally Weymouth, currently the paper’s senior associate editor, in the Hamptons last week.
It was full of politicians and power brokers — the ones who pantomime outrage daily, accusing the other side of crushing the little guy, sure that the same voter will never guess that behind closed doors, they all get along.
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner partied with billionaire Democratic donor George Soros, who rubbed shoulders with billionaire GOP donor David Koch.
Our battle isn’t red vs. blue, right vs. left: It’s about the 1% vs. the rest of us. They laugh as we take their political theater for real.
Chuck Schumer and Kellyanne Conway were there. So were Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Ronald Lauder, Carl Icahn, Joel Klein, Cathie Black, reporters Steve Clemons and Maria Bartiromo, columnists Richard Cohen and Margaret Carlson, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Ray Kelly, Bill Bratton and Steven Spielberg.
Oh, and Lally’s uncle, former Gov. and Sen. Bob Graham, and cousin Gwen Graham, who’s currently running for her dad’s old job as Florida’s governor.
Weymouth’s party is the latest reminder that for all the bruising rhetoric, the constant polls showing a deeply divided America and the most polarizing president in history, our battle isn’t red vs. blue, right vs. left: It’s about the 1% vs. the rest of us. They laugh as we take their political theater for real.
“If you believe any of these people care about you, you are mistaken,” Samuel Ronan tweeted. “The Hamptons might as well [be] another planet.” …