The Democrats’ Mea Culpas

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.

— Patrick Henry: delivered to the Virginia Convention in 1775

The number of articles written by contrite Obama supporters that have appeared over the last year is almost uncountable. Forgiveness, however, requires not only that penitents renounce their sins but that they make a sincere resolve not to sin in the same way again. Democrats will never make such a resolve. Regardless of the number of whining articles by “progressive” Democrats, Rahm Emanuel — Obama’s political twin — who called liberal activists “retarded,” knows very well that Democrats, especially the self-styled “progressives” will never vote for anyone other than a Democrat. Regardless of Obama’s atrocities, the Democrats will line up behind him in 2012.

There can be no absolution for the Obaminable Democrats; they can be no more forgiven for supporting Obama than they can be forgiven for supporting John Kerry or William Clinton. Clinton, you will recall, was the president who killed a million innocent Iraqi men, women and children with bombs and sanctions while domestically destroying the women’s movement with “welfare reform” and American jobs with “free trade agreements.

These are the people who followed the inane philosophy of ABB (“Anyone is Better than Bush”)!  Imagine believing that Kerry would be better than Bush even though he promised that he would out-Bush Bush by sending 40,000 more troops to Iraq and declaring that, if he had been in charge, he would have burned Falluja to the ground. A few days later Bush granted his wish killing mostly women and children! Even the ever hawkish William Safire (d. 2009), columnist for the New York Times, was positively gloating after the September, 2004 Kerry-Bush presidential debate: “As the Democratic Whoopee Brigade hailed Senator John Kerry’s edge in debating technique, nobody noticed his foreign policy sea change. On both military tactics and grand strategy, the newest neoconservative announced doctrines more hawkish than President George W. Bush.”

Meantime, during this ABB farce, Michael Moore and Bill Maher assumed the typical Democrat position: kneeling and begging.  No, they were not begging for the scraps from the corporate table, the traditional Democrat plea.  This time they even more grievously disgraced themselves by begging the antiwar candidate, Ralph Nader, not to interfere with John Kerry’s plans to slaughter, more efficiently and effectively, the people in Iraq while continuing to outsource American jobs with so-called “free trade” agreements. These are the very same kind of bottom feeder who would have begged the Liberty Party to stop its opposition to slavery and let the lesser of two pro-slavery parties make things a little better for the slaves. These latter-day court jesters demonstrated that they lack even the dim flicker of sentience needed to qualify them as imbeciles. The Democrats are beyond redemption; they are to be condemned not forgiven. Their priority was to elect Kerry, not oppose the war.

The Democrats did not get a chance to whine about a Kerry presidency as they do about the Obama presidency. They did not even get a chance to continue maligning Ralph Nader for Kerry’s defeat. Now, since Barack Obama, the mocha messiah of the Democrats, has assumed the imperial mantle of George Bush, that dreadful sound can be heard once again rising up from the Democrats. Oh, the mind numbing din of whining Democrats!

Whether they thought Obama would end the wars instead of escalating them or stop the torture instead of outsourcing it to Jordan and Saudi Arabia or prosecute the torturers instead of giving them a pass or encourage the Congress to pass single-payer healthcare instead of cutting backroom deals with big Pharma and providing corporate welfare for the insurance companies or bail out homeowners instead of bankers, Democrats from Dave Lindorff to David Swanson can be heard wailing about the betrayal of Barack Obama who now gives every indication that he is more monstrous than George Bush.

To be sure, Bush was a war criminal who invaded Iraq to fulfill the mission of the Project for New American Century (PNAC) which was to secure a US-Israeli hegemony in the Middle East. That strategy was identical to the Democratic Party’s think tank the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI). Bush also invaded Afghanistan to secure a land area for a liquid natural gas pipeline. Obama plans to continue the occupation of Iraq, has escalated the war on Afghanistan (reinforcing the lies of the Bush administration) and rained down three times as many unmanned drones on Pakistan in one year than Bush did in his last three. Obama has also opened military hostilities against Yemen, Somalia and the Philippines. Obama recently proclaimed that he has the right to murder American citizens on the mere suspicion that they might be terrorists. This leaves us all vulnerable to murder at Obama’s whim. Those of us on the “watch list” must now say an extra prayer each night that our spouses and children are not slaughtered when Obama’s drone hits home. No wonder the Teabaggers are afraid of government and Obama in particular!

It must not be overlooked that Obama also plans to use Colombian insurgents to commit “false positive” border incidents blaming Venezuela as a pretext for a retaliatory attack, supported, of course, by Washington as a way to target and perhaps remove Hugo Chavez. He continues destabilization tactics for regime change in Iran and may, preemptively without cause, attack that nation’s nuclear facilities. He supports the worst of Israeli war crimes and oppression against Palestinians and keeps alive the long dead “terrorist organization” called Al Qaeda in order to suppress civil liberties at home, maintain the pretense of a flourishing economy through defense spending and ultimately secure corporate money for his re-election.

Democrat Talking Heads

To be fair, not all the Democrats are whining. Listening to “liberal” talk radio the Democratic Party talking heads can be heard spinning every one of Obama’s atrocities into an inspired strategy of golden fabric. According to the Democratic Party’s counterparts of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, Obama is a “master chess player” and all of his monstrous brutalities merely appear to be brutal.  When the mist clears however, according to “big Ed” Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Bill Press and the other skull splitting defenders of Barack Obama AKA “Barry the Bomber”, we will see that a brighter day has dawned; that the atrocities committed against all the nations Obama is devastating and the American working people he is crushing are simply pawn sacrifices made by the master gamesman and in the end we will all be thankful to “Barry the Beneficent”.

In case anyone is wondering about the “change” promised by Obama, fear not. Democrat talking head Rachel Maddow explained to us earlier this week that Obama’s nuclear summit was the promised change! As it turned out, “change did not mean that everybody suddenly had a job or that the banking crisis was suddenly fixed or that our wars magically ended.  But change, in part, has meant a return to diplomacy”. Of course, Israel, the greatest threat to world peace next to the United States, refused to participate and Iran was not even invited. Like all of the Democratic Party talking heads Maddow fails to mention the ever present threat from the Obama administration’s “diplomacy” when dealing with other nations: “all options remain on the table”. This is not a very diplomatic way to tell the world “you will do it our way or you will face the possibility of a US invasion or at the very least a carpeting of cluster bombs, white phosphorus and unmanned drone missiles”. This bogus nuclear summit is simply more advertising hype and does not represent any significant change from the second Bush administration.

The Incompetent Machiavellian 

Machiavelli refused to be deflected by utopian dreams or romantic hopes and by questions of right and wrong or good and bad. He rejected the entire concept of moral philosophy. He is often considered to be the father of modern political realism, or what has been called “realpolitik”. It is one of the most seductive ideas of our time. The constant cry of the Democratic Party is: “be realistic… you’re living in the real world…. it’s good to have idealistic visions of a better world, but you’re living in the real world, so be practical.” Every time Ralph Nader tried to get Democrats to stand on their hind legs, party leaders quickly reminded them that they must be “practical” that they must be “realistic”. Like Machiavelli, the Democratic Party is not concerned with right and wrong or good and evil. It has rejected all moral philosophy by accepting the Machiavellian concept that “the ends justify the means”.

How many times have the ideas and positions of Ralph Nader been demeaned as foolish idealism impractical in a world where one must “win elections”?

Realism is seductive because once it has been accepted as a reasonable notion that actions should be based on “practical” reality people are too often led to accept, without questioning, someone else’s vision of what reality is. It is a crucial fact of independent thinking, typical of Ralph Nader, to be skeptical of someone else’s description of reality. Democrats never question the “reality” presented to them by the Democratic Party. For this reason the Democrats present an even more dangerous and violent threat than the tea party movement which it has engendered and which it continues to empower by its own lack of moral clarity.

The Democratic Party’s talking heads from the most articulate and erudite to the more brutish philistine serve the same purpose as the Republican Party talking heads. Their job is to secure the election of Democrats not to present an objective evaluation of their performance and recommend the appropriate action. Far from playing the role of chess master, Obama is an incompetent Machiavellian. Virtually nothing Obama and his representatives in the liberal media (the talk show hosts previously mentioned) have told us about this health care reform bill is true. The entire thrust of the legislation was to prevent campaign contributions from big Pharma and healthcare insurance companies from flowing into Republican coffers. By euphemistically calling this piece of corporate welfare “health care reform” Obama has sacrificed the needs of the American public in order to achieve his re-election and that of the Democratic Congress. For Obama, the ends justified the means. No moral philosopher in Eastern or Western civilization condones such a philosophy. Only Niccolo Machiavelli advanced such a thesis.

Usually, those who try to get away with “the ends justifying the means” at least have some noble end in mind. The re-election of the Democrats is anything but noble and the means was a purely cynical act on the part of the Democratic Party. Even a Machiavellian, however, would be embarrassed at the incompetent execution of Obama’s loutish strategy. A good Machiavellian would certainly have planned for the possible unintended consequences of such a strategy and hence have prevented their occurrence. A competent Machiavellian would have started his administration by ensuring that the Senate changed the filibuster rule from 41 to 49 votes. This rule only requires a simple majority vote in order to be changed. It is a Senate rule, not a law. Moreover, the incompetent Obama administration, while achieving its ends created such blowback from the ridiculous right that the United States is now as close to collapsing into a fascist regime as it has ever been in its history.

The attitudes of the people in the tea party movement are completely justified. Not only has there not been any increase in the standard of living over the last 30 years while productivity has increased by over 78%, real incomes of working Americans have actually declined. While Reagan, the Bushes and Clinton are to blame for the adoption of “neoliberal economics” the Obama administration with its continuing support of the banking industry was the straw that broke the political camel’s back.

Obama, more than any Republican, is linked to the bankers. They supported him over McCain. When Obama started to criticize the bankers, in true Machiavellian fashion, he did an about-face proclaiming: “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free market system.” Of course, Obama is completely in error. Americans actually do begrudge the $17 million bonus awarded to Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase and the $9 million issued to Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs. No one should be surprised that Goldman Sachs contributed $1 million to Obama’s presidential campaign.

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans like to talk about class warfare but that is precisely what the incompetent, Machiavellian, cynical Obama administration has engendered. Unemployment is reaching near depression levels while Obama’s banking buddies bathe in bonuses beyond imagination and people are not happy about it. The job growth statistics quoted by the Democrat talking heads are mostly in non-tradable services area such as janitors, retail sales persons, waiters and waitresses, orderlies and attendants. These minimum wage paying jobs were created by corporations which have outsourced good paying American jobs in engineering, manufacturing and information technology.1 Such outsourcing continues under the “free trade” supporting Obama administration. Ironically, the highly trained workers in those well compensated fields are now used to account for the “new jobs” being created by the Obama administration. Such a clever way has the Obama administration devised for job creation; turning well paid information technology specialists into low paid retail clerks!

The working class has been marginalized as the costs of our economic collapse are socialized and profits are privatized. Frustration and outright rage is the natural and expected response to the callous Obama administration. Instead of getting answers from the left, however, they receive political placebos along with the puerile pabulum fed to them by Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.

Chris Hedges warns us of “the Weimarization of the American working class”.2 Just as demagogues in post-World War I Germany were able to play upon the despair of the working class, the same type of forces are now in place in the United States. He suggests that even though the tea party movement, itself, may be tiny, it is a well-funded and well-organized group. Properly managed, Hedges suggests “this tiny group can count on the sympathy and support of perhaps as many as 100 million evangelicals”. It would only take a crisis to catapult the leaders of this movement into power.

Naomi Klein in her work The Shock Doctrine3 spells out precisely how such a crisis could produce a disastrous political, social and economic revolution. Another terrorist attack would be all that is necessary. Such an attack is not just probable but inevitable. The resulting fascist order would face no resistance. At a time when violent resistance from the left might be required, the left has been disorganized and distracted by the Democratic Party.  As the left smokes Obama’s wacky tobacci and sings “Kum By Ya”, the forces which would destroy civil society as we know it are singing “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition”.

There is good reason to be afraid. We must not, however, confuse fear with cowardice. In the final analysis we either stand up for our convictions or we stand for nothing. The continued voting for the lesser evil has not, nor cannot, save this country; it can only hasten a total collapse. Those who are too afraid to voice their conscience and make it felt politically, by any means, are already slaves; they simply have not yet heard the rattling of their chains.

  1. Paul Craig Roberts, How the Economy Was Lost; (California: AK Press, 2010), 20-21. []
  2. Chris Hedges, American Fascists (The Christian Right and the War on America) (New York: Free Press, 2006): 266. []
  3. Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism; (New York: Metropolitan Books; Henry Holt & Co. 2007): 309. []

John Murphy was the independent candidate for House of Representatives in Pennsylvania's 16th district in 2006 and 2008 . He is a founding member of the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition where he represents the independent candidacy of Ralph Nader. He can be reached at: johnamurphy@comcast.net. Read other articles by John, or visit John's website.

17 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Rehmat said on April 15th, 2010 at 9:57am #

    PITY – Barack Obama with all his bending backward to win back a position in AIPAC’s ‘good leadership book’ – has climbed down to his lowest approval rating (44%) according to latest CBS poll.

    Obama: “All options are on the table”
    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/04/14/obama-all-options-are-on-the-table/

  2. Case Wagenvoord said on April 15th, 2010 at 1:50pm #

    The only course left for progressives is to boycott the 2012 election. It is only by crashing the Democratic Party that party leaders might realize the bankruptcy of their corporate centrism. (Though, God knows if their salvation is possible.) Granted, this would put a lot of rightwingers in office, but at least we’d know who we were fighting. Bush may have been a bastard, but he was an honest bastard and an easy target for our barbs.

  3. Morpheus said on April 15th, 2010 at 3:40pm #

    Are there any third parties that might be some of the traditional liberal to them (anti-imperialist, feel that anti-trust action should be possible against Pharma and Wall Street Bankers?, etc. ) I would really like to know. I agree about Bush, as much as I clench my teeth for putting up with him, it wasn’t hard to tell what he was heading for. I would probably, as hard as it sounds, recommend Mitt Romney just because he wouldn’t be willing to undo some of the actual liberal policies enacted so far, but actually keep some of them intact.

  4. Deadbeat said on April 15th, 2010 at 6:04pm #

    Missing from those ABBer’s like Michael Moore and Bill Maher were

    Howard Zinn,
    Michael Albert and the ZMag contingency,
    Norman Solomon
    Medea Benjamin as a Green Party provocateur
    Phyllis Bennis and her “War for Oil” mantra.

    Yes these so-called “Left acolytes failed to step up when they has a real chance to make a difference.

    Nice article. It’s refreshing to see someone from the Left acknowledge PNAC and the role and influence it had leading to the War on Iraq and the way the “Left” responded to it.

    More articles like this one from John Murphy and recently from Ron Jacobs are sorely needed to keep the pressure and scrutiny on the Left.

  5. Case Wagenvoord said on April 16th, 2010 at 2:44am #

    The time is certainly ripe for a third party. For years we’ve been voting for the “lesser” evil. With Obama’s ascension, we have discovered that there is no “lesser.”

  6. Max Shields said on April 16th, 2010 at 6:39am #

    Yes this is a good article, and for the very reason that it named exactly who has undermined a progressive alternative.

    It’s quite clear why John Murphy would not have included Howard Zinn in this list, Deadbeat. It’s more than clear what Michael Moore represents and that what he represents in terms of integrity and consistency is very different than Zinn. Conflating Zinn with the likes Moore and Rachel Maddow is the kind of double talk propaganda that the MSM like to use.

    I do agree, deadbeat, with your inclusion of Norman Solomon
    Medea Benjamin, Phyllis Bennis as infiltrators of anything approaching progressive change. Albert is mostly irrelevant.

  7. Max Shields said on April 16th, 2010 at 7:06am #

    Correction, though I wouldn’t put him in the same ideological bag as the rest, Zinn using the faux reason t0 pull the ballot trigger for Obummer did in fact make that claim. (He tried to walk it back but the damage was done.)

    But let’s not be hypocrits. Those arguments that down played Obama on this DV blog were plentiful in spite of the claims made here for Nader.

  8. Danny Ray said on April 16th, 2010 at 8:48am #

    Being completely honest, the left is as afraid of splitting the vote as the right is. Both sides see the other as an absolute evil and will do anything in its power to prevent the evil side from winning. We on the right saw the results of splitting the vote when that freaking dwarf took a third of Bushes votes away and we have been afraid of a third party every since. You people just experienced it when Nader took a large part of the votes and got Bush elected.
    A number of the left that I am in contact on a regular basis would love to vote green and have a valid green or even a Socialist Workers Party here in the states but can’t because it will split the vote and let the right have the run of Washington again.
    I myself am almost a fanatical Tea Party member, however I live in fear that the Tea party will try to run candidates and split the Republican Party.
    We on the right say hell yes let Nader run again; let’s send him twenty bucks to help him out. And if you guys on the left had any brains at all you would be doing your best to help out the Tea Party.
    Forgive me for being brutal but this is America in the twenty first century and there are only two viable parties and unless you don’t care who wins you need to make a choice between the two.

  9. r jackowski said on April 16th, 2010 at 12:54pm #

    Check the facts. Nader did NOT get Bush elected.
    About the Tea Party – why did none of you oppose all of the money that goes to killing innocent civilians in Iraq, Pak, Afghan, etc. OK – I think I get it. The Tea Partiers only oppose health care benefits that go to keep their fellow citizens alive.

  10. Danny Ray said on April 16th, 2010 at 1:25pm #

    Rosemary, I did not write the above to piss you off, this is not a recruiting tool for the tea party, I fully understand that you will never care about the tea party or care enough about fairness to listen to what we believe. I just used that as an example as to what can happen when you split the vote. Trust me nothing would make me happier than the left split into two or more parties, the same as would make you happy if the republicans split. It would insure the other party’s power for the next twenty years.
    Nader said himself that 25% of his voters would have voted for Bush, 37% would have voted for Gore, and the rest would not have voted. You may spin that anyway you want but Nader was still a spoiler. Thats on the Nader web site

  11. Danny Ray said on April 16th, 2010 at 1:32pm #

    The Arabs will tell you that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, the Chinese will tell you that it is good to strike the serpent,s head with someone else’s hand.

    Rosemary we each see each other as an ablolute evil and will do anything to stop the other.

  12. r jackowski said on April 16th, 2010 at 2:02pm #

    Danny… On the contrary. I agree with the Tea Partiers on a couple of issues. I agreed with them when they advocated for “Killing the Health care Bill”. I believe that it is likely to do more harm than good. I support Single Payer.
    I also have defended Sarah Palin – even wrote an article about her when she was selected as a candidate. I believe that the criticism of her should be limited to her position on the issues.
    I usually do not see people who hold a different world view as ‘evil’. I believe that they are misinformed. BUT, maybe those who stand by silently while the USA slaughters innocent civilians are of a questionable moral class.

  13. beverly said on April 16th, 2010 at 3:12pm #

    Case Wagenvoord: instead of boycotting the 2012 elections (the mid-terms or any local or state election in between), it is better to vote for alternative candidates on the ballot. No alternative candidate on the ballot? Write in the name of someone. Do what you can to agitate for easier ballot access for third party and independent candidates. Encourage, support, and get the word out to your community about independent candidates. “Change” is not going to come from the feckless and wreckless assholes who inhabit the two-party mafia.

  14. Danny Ray said on April 16th, 2010 at 3:27pm #

    Rosemary, Then I owe you an apology, Please forgive me, I always read your articles as soon as they come out. What I stated above was the general drift of what you write as I see it. As to me having a different morality perhaps I do. We two see the wars through a different perspective.

  15. Hue Longer said on April 16th, 2010 at 4:39pm #

    Hello Danny,

    This isn’t a Dem Forum

    Not many here contributing (although in fairness more probably just walking by) see fracturing Republicans to get Dems in as a better option than the Republican getting in. The” right” is Dem and Repub alike and rooting for one to win makes as much difference as your favorite football team winning the big game. Tea partiers who love Reagan love Clinton and Obama even more…when they get past xenophobia, racism and illogical tax premises, they may notice that the only righteous anger they may have is misplaced.

  16. Danny Ray said on April 16th, 2010 at 5:15pm #

    Greetings Hue,

    I understand, I was just pointing out ( to use a quote stolen from ol’ Ben)
    if the left don’t hang together they will surely hang seperatly. The left from center to far left will have to work together. No matter how bad you dislike the center you need them and vice versa. the worst possible outcome is a one party state for either side that will be the death of the republic.

  17. Hue Longer said on April 16th, 2010 at 7:09pm #

    Danny,

    The people you would describe as center are every bit as right as the people they pretend to be more moderate than. Not sure to whom you refer when you say far left, but if it’s anyone with a D before their name, they are the nice face of the right wing…. ( I forgot to say “should” before “love Clinton and Obama”)

    There is only one party and funny you should say it but the republic IS dead.