After eight long years of George W. Bush, millions of people are counting the days to the inauguration of a Democratic president. But would a Democrat in the White House and a Democratic Congress deliver on the promise of change that so many people want to see?
Lance Selfa is a SocialistWorker.org columnist and editorial board member of the International Socialist Review. His new book, The Democrats: A Critical History, documents how, time after time, the party that claims to represent ordinary people has betrayed their aspirations of ordinary people while pursuing an agenda favorable to big business.
In this excerpt from the book, Lance examines the era when Franklin Roosevelt’s Democratic Party cemented its alliance with organized labor–with unions as the junior partner.
Tag: Democratic Party
Sep 18 2008
Sep 09 2008
Are the Democrats willing to bet it all on preemptively striking McCain-Palin?
There is a major difference between the Democratic leadership and the Republican leadership. Democrats fight the political campaign as if it were an intellectual, academic exercise. The Republicans fight like it is an all out war, a brawl for control of the neighborhood. While the Republicans are willing to risk it all to save their hallowed ground, Democrats prefer to fight in a clean war mode. Republicans fight as if their futures depended on the win. Democrats fight as if they are right and, consequently, for the sake of fairness, deserve to win.
On any disagreement, the Republicans grab their guns and start shooting …it’s war. The Democrats pause to think. What is the problem? What are the facts? Can we negotiate with the potential aggressor? How can we avoid conflict? Should we wait until we are sure that the other party means us harm …wait until the other party throws the punch?
Sep 02 2008
Amy Goodman reported from the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul), site of the Republican National Convention, September 1, 2008, Labor Day:
Armed groups of police in the Twin Cities have raided more than a half-a-dozen locations since Friday night in a series of preemptive raids before the Republican convention. The coordinated searches were led by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher but conducted in coordination with federal agencies….
Minnesota Public Radio is reporting that the FBI is at least one of the “federal agencies” acting in concert with the Minneapolis/St. Paul police departments. A professor at the University of Minnesota has snapped a photo of FBI presence at one of the raids. Many of these police gestapo actions involved two dozen or more riot police entering private homes with guns drawn, handcuffing the residents, and rifling through the house to search computers, and political literature.
Aug 19 2008
This is a review of James Gustave Speth’s Bridge at the Edge of the World, intended as a supplement to the short review given of this book in the Monthly Review. Speth is a prominent environmentalist who has worked with the Democratic Presidential administrations of Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. His words, then, deserve our attention for their connections to political effectiveness.
(crossposted at Big Orange)
Jul 14 2008
(cross posted at dailykos)
The real issue is not the New Yorker and what its editors and artists consider satire. I wish it were. But look at the News Headlines for the last weeks. Which Candidate has been in the news? Which Candidate has made a “flub” more often? Which candidate has had a member of his “team” or a famous supporter make a flub. Which candidate has been labeled as having an erosion in his support?
Do you see where I am going?
Jul 10 2008
Rasmussen reported that 9% in a poll said that Congress is doing a good to excellent job.
That’s down from a 15% high of this year. Merely 3% of the all-important independents approve.
Further, only 12% of voters feel Congress has passed important legislation in the last six months. 62% say NO important legislation has been passed. We keep hearing from the Democratic leadership that they should make no serious attempt to protect the Republic. This would, apparently, displease the public. Instead, they tell us, they are focused on important legislation.
Add this together and here is the answer to the question:
“Is it that Congress thinks the people are stupid; or is it that Congressionals are actually the stupid ones?”…
Well the answer can only be a resounding “YES”.
It’s not just the liberals held hostage to the Democratic leadership that understands big changes are needed. America wants it, and wants it big time. If you think politicians will volunteer to make the changes we need, you might consider quitting dope.
Practically speaking, here’s one thing we might do:
Jun 23 2008
Niemand sieht mich, wenn er mich sucht;
doch überall bin ich, geborgen dem Blick.
Perhaps the commenter August Adams put it best, following upon a Robert Parry article on the Democratic capitulation on telecom immunity for illegal Bush administration wiretapping:
So we are a Capitalist State
So, fascism is led by a dictator, so how does a “super” capitalistic state, one where the President and the Congress and the Senate are all in lock Step, differ from a Fascist state where the Dictator simply seizes power.
I guess we live in a State where the leaders simply use the Corporate Controlled Capitalist Media to spin propaganda and the “electoral” process is manipulated to select our rulers.
Jun 17 2008
In looking back at the Bush debacle, one thing stands out. It would never have happened, at least not so blatantly and egregiously, had there been a healthy opposition party in America. Up until 2000 there was at least the illusion of the Democrats as a party in opposition to the Republicans, however ineffective. And the Republicans, though always venal, have never been so nakedly predatory, never so in-your-face ‘I’m going to take your shit and you’re going to like it’, never so openly disdainful of the Constitution and the law. Somewhere along the line, the notion of the Democrats as the voice of sanity counter-balancing Republican lunacy has become just so much political vaporware. What happened?
Jun 12 2008
By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional the provision of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that suspended the use of habeas corpus by detainees in Bush’s “war on terror.” The MCA was pushed by Bush, and overwhelmingly approved by Congress, including both supposed anti-torture politician John McCain and many Democrats.
From Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion:
Security depends upon a sophisticated intelligence apparatus and the ability of our Armed Forces to act and to interdict. There are further considerations, however. Security subsists, too, in fidelity to freedom’s first principles. Chief among these are freedom from arbitrary and unlawful restraint and the personal liberty that is secured by adherence to the separation of powers. It is from these principles that the judicial authority to consider petitions for habeas corpus relief derives….
The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times. Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the framework of the law. The Framers decided that habeas corpus, a right of first importance, must be a part of that framework, a part of that law….
Congress has enacted a statute, the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (DTA), 119 Stat. 2739, that provides certain procedures for review of the detainees’ status. We hold that those procedures are not an adequate and effective substitute for habeas corpus. Therefore §7 of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), 28 U. S. C. A. §2241(e) (Supp. 2007), operates as an unconstitutional suspension of the writ. (Thanks to Phil at Daily Kos for the quotes)
Jun 01 2008
I dunno why, I watched much of the Rules Committee meeting on C-SPAN today.
It’s strange — I haven’t been following the process in detail the whole time, and yet today I ended up watching most of the meeting.
And I also spent a lot of time reading comments at Daily Kos on open threads and diaries.
I feel like a virgin who just got laid — and it wasn’t terrible or anything, but it sure wasn’t very romantic.
Yeah it was that vulgar.
They say making laws is like making sausages, you don’t want to know too much about the details or it would nauseate you. I’d say the same for all of politics.
And I’m finally willing to be nauseated. Heh.
Apr 22 2008
Yesterday, I wrote about McCain calling Elizabeth Edwards’ comments as “a cheap shot.”
I had an inclination Elizabeth would not sit down too long to take any BS from McSame, who accused her of “cheap shots” when it came to his governmental coverage for healthcare.
And I was right. She wrote something for the Wonk Room at Think Progress, which is the bigger blog for the Center of American Progress…and where she is a senior fellow.
John McCain accused me of taking a “cheap shot” on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” yesterday for noting that people with preexisting conditions, such as he and I have, would not be able to get health care under his plan — and that he perhaps was not as sensitive to this problem as he should be since he has been in government health care his whole life.
More after the flip
Apr 12 2008
Buhdydharma, the intrepid web proprietor of Docudharma, has posted an article today asking if, after the revelations by ABC news that basically the entire top administration hierarchy has been implicated in the oversight and implementation of a secret torture program, right out of the White House, if after such a massive revelation Bush, Cheney, Rice, et al. “will they get away with it?”