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Game Over for the Democrats?
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In 2008, the American people voted overwhelmingly for change. They never got it. Hence, Trump.

To pretend there’s no connection between Obama’s failed presidency and the subsequent rise of Donald John Trump, is to ignore the obvious and shrug off responsibility for the situation the country is in today.

Obama created Trump, the man didn’t simply emerge from the ether. Had Obama acted in good faith and kept his promises to shake up the status quo, end the foreign wars, restore civil liberties, hold Wall Street accountable and relieve the economic insecurity that working families across the country now feel, Hillary Clinton would have been a shoe-in on November 8th. As it happens, Obama made no effort to achieve any of these objectives, which is why Hillary was defeated in the biggest political upset in the last century.

The point we want to emphasize here is that the Democratic leadership is responsible for Trump, not the working class people in the red states who merely did what they had to do to effect change. These people can’t be blamed for voting for their own best interests. That’s what people always do. Had Obama done anything to genuinely improve the economy, things might have turned out differently. But he didn’t, in fact– as popular as Obama was– a full two-thirds of the American people thought the country was headed in the wrong direction. In other words, the election was a referendum on Obama’s performance as the primary steward of the US economy. Obama lost that referendum.

Even so, the DNC could have reloaded and taken a different approach to the economy under Hillary. But they didn’t. They thought the “recovery” meme would be effective enough to put them over the finish line. But it wasn’t effective enough, because too many people saw that the recovery was a fraud, that there was no recovery, that it was all a slick Madison Avenue public relations swindle aimed at concealing the fact that Obama had restructured the US economy in a way that deliberately kept growth at-or-below 2 percent so the Fed could continue pumping cheap cash to its constituents on Wall Street while everyone else saw their personal debt-load grow, their standards of living slip, and their retirement savings vanish into thin air. Isn’t that what really happened?

Obama’s grand restructuring project has resulted in perennial economic stagnation and widespread pessimism about the future. The former president oversaw the greatest transfer of wealth from working class people to parasitic plutocrats in the history of the country. It wasn’t an accident. Obama was following a blueprint that was given to him by his handlers at the DNC.

So now the country is going to be led by a brash billionaire reality TV celebrity who has no previous political experience and who seems unusually sensitive to any kind of personal criticism. Not surprisingly, there’s no sign that the Democratic leadership has either learned its lesson or feels any responsibility for this extraordinary development.

Why is that? Why hasn’t anyone in the DNC admitted their failure, admitted that they didn’t accurately gage the mood of the country or the hunger for change? Why haven’t they acknowledged that putting the most untrustworthy candidate of all time –a thoroughly dislikable, warmongering harridan– on the ticket was a mistake? Why?

It’s because this vile collection of corporate Dems who run the party are incapable of self reflection, right? It’s because the Podesta throng — who still hold the party in their deathgrip –truly believe that bamboozling their base with Potemkin executives like Barack Obama, is a tip-top way to run the government. They think Obama’s tenure as president was a success story, mainly because his grandiloquent bloviating and larking around on stage with sleeves rolled up like some comical mid-level plant manager– diverted attention from the trillions of dollars that were being sluiced to the banking whores and speculators on Wall Street. Isn’t that why the Dems haven’t changed?

They actually think they’ve discovered the secret formula for winning elections, and that the election of Trump in 2016 was just a “one off”, a temporary setback.

But it’s not a one off. The rise of Trump has been accompanied by the rise of rightwing parties and ideology across the planet. What we are seeing is a fundamental change in the zeitgeist, which is “the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time.” In this view, Obama represents the culmination of the values and ideas that emerged during the 1960s and persisted until just recently when they collapsed. The utter corruption of the progressive vision –due, in large part, to the cynical and reactionary policies of the Democrats– has paved the way for a new era, the Trump Era, in which state repression is bound to increase even while personal liberty and economic security are steadily eviscerated.

And what is the Democrats response to this new phenom?

Why, nothing at all. The whole matter seems to be over their heads entirely. They don’t seem to grasp the shifting public mood, the changing epoch, or how it will impact their future plans. Instead, they are doing everything in their power to make themselves even more irrelevant. It’s pathetic.

And keep in mind, that ever since the election, the Dems have made no effort at course correction, no effort to reconnect with the millions of working people in the red states who used to vote Democrat but switched because they wanted change. No. Instead, party leaders have embarked on a moronic character assassination campaign aimed at discrediting the new president by alleging Russian “hacking” of the election. And while they have produced absolutely zero hard evidence to substantiate their loony claims, the Dems, the media and the thoroughly unreliable Intel agencies have continued this scapegoating onslaught thinking that they are shaping public opinion in a way that undermines President Trump.

It would all be laughable if it wasn’t so serious. But it is serious. The rise of Trump poses significant challenges to democratic government, but, regrettably, the opposition party is in the middle of a major nervous breakdown. How are they going to stop this autocratic juggernaut in their present state of collapse?

They won’t be able to. They’re going to continue to get beaten to a pulp unless they get it together and stop running around with their hair on fire yelling, “The Russians are coming”. That kind of idiocy doesn’t win elections. It’s a turn-off.

The Democratic Party has to be more than a membership register attached to a donor’s list. It needs to reconnect with its base by committing itself to basic progressive values, civil liberties, non intervention, and economic fairness. It needs to try to understand why working people are either leaving the party altogether or are so disgusted they won’t even make the effort to vote.

How about a little self examination, eh? How about clearing out the deadwood starting with crooked Hillary and her sleazy compadre, Podesta? How about committing to a vision for change that’s more than a public relations scam aimed at hoodwinking your base? How about ending the buck-passing bullshit and pushing legislation that offers some tangible relief for student debt, dwindling retirements, stagnant wages, and spiraling health care costs.

The Democratic party doesn’t have to be a place where progressive ideas go to die. But they’d better get it together fast or it’s going to be game-over.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at [email protected].

(Republished from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
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  1. This is an excellent commentary. Though I’m not sure that Trump is as bad as suggested, though it is possible he may be, the democrats have fully jumped the shark becoming textbook neoliberals and militarists. Trump’s positive aspect is that he gives other western countries increased scope for independence. The Russians did it reveals the moral and political bankruptcy of the democrats, who have actually become the more rightwing of the parties. I actually see Trump, though seriously flawed, as, in his own view, at least, representing the public interest. A new real left needs to form before anything substantive can be achieved in the US. Canada is also looking bad because Trudeau revealed his true colours by appointing a professional Ukrainian fascist, the descendant of the Nazis’ chief quisling Ukrainian newspaper editor, as External Affairs minister. Parties which used to represent rightist formats, like Fidesz in Hungary and Le Pen’s nationalists in France actually take less reactionary positions than sellout former socialists, the problem in the US, Europe and elsewhere. It has now become the power structure versus those hostile to it. One now has to look at who the opponents are, and if George Soros is a chief opponent, the person involved is positive.

    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
  2. Instead, they are doing everything in their power to make themselves even more irrelevant.

    They are not irrelevant, they represent global financial capital. The traditional Republicans also represent global capital.

    Global capital is, obviously, an extremely power actor (pretty much the only actor) in American politics.

    This time, someone who appears to represent the (fading) national capital had won presidency, but that was a fluke, an accident.

    I guess they feel that it’ll pass and be forgotten, and they’ll go on their merry way…

  3. And what is the Democrats response to this new phenom?

    Why, nothing at all. The whole matter seems to be over their heads entirely. They don’t seem to grasp the shifting public mood, the changing epoch, or how it will impact their future plans. Instead, they are doing everything in their power to make themselves even more irrelevant. It’s pathetic.

    I don’t think it’s as pathetic as it is inevitable and enjoyable. All that you’re saying about the Dumbocrats can also be said about the rancid field of sappy Republikkans that Trump made mince meat out of. In other words, the two party concept was a fraud from the beginning. THE party has been the welfare-warfare party for decades, and I’m happy to see that people seem to be getting tired of being gulled; not there’s much any of us can really do about it other than recognize that everything has a shelf life.

  4. So now the country is going to be led by a brash billionaire reality TV celebrity who has no previous political experience and who seems unusually sensitive to any kind of personal criticism.

    When people lie about him, slander and insult him, Trump responds. This endears him to us deplorables because said lies, slander and insults are directed at us as much as him.

    Trump destroyed the Grand Poobah’s of both parties including their propaganda ministry commonly known as the Corporate Media. It took the combined abuse of the Clinton, Bush, and Obama Administrations to finally produce Trump. The Question now is do you stand with the Neocons who want perpetual war and the Neo-Liberals who want Global Feudalism or do you stand with Donald Trump.

    • Agree: CK
    • Replies: @in the middle
    , @gustafus
  5. jim jones says:

    Central planning has failed as an economic strategy and identity politics is in the process of failing, where can the Left go next?

  6. anon • Disclaimer says:

    And George W. Bush created Obama.

  7. Anonymous [AKA "A Generational Mistake by DNC in Not backing Sanders"] says:

    I agree with the premise this article but it misses one important point…the DNC’s most egregious mistake – and most powerful evidence of their inability to self evaluate – was their railroading of Bernie Sanders.

    Here you HAD an entire NEW generation of millenial voters who had been well mobilized by Sanders, and in true DNC fashion they refused to believe it, whistled pass the graveyard, and of course lost like anyone with half a brain expected.

    The sadest part? That moment in time has passed. Those kid voters are lost possibly forever after seeing that the system doesn’t work.

    Nice job screwing it all up DNC

    I love the fact that Bernie is withholding his massive list of supporters from the DNC unless / until they put new leadership in place and admit the error of their ways.

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
  8. Mike,

    you have chosen some beautiful and aptly descriptive terms like “harridan” for Hillary, “Potemkin” for Obama, and “grandiloquent” for their speech. I love artistry in the aesthetic use of the English language to succinctly get one’s point across while marveling at the craftsmanship of the woven tapestry. But then you go and blow it by using “shoe-in” instead of “shoo-in”!

    Nit-picking aside, you make it sound like the reason the DNC failed is because they chose the wrong candidate in HRC. Perhaps picking Bernie instead would have given them the edge over Trump. Maybe.

    So What?

    Whether it is Bernie or it is Trump, it would only kick the can down the road for a bit. Unless the deep state is removed from the equation, rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic won’t avoid the looming iceberg ahead.

    This means cleaning the Aegean stables that is our Congress.
    This means shutting down the Federal Reserve and the debt-based economy.
    This means shutting down the police state and the nanny state.
    This means liberating our nation from the yoke of Jewish power.
    This means kicking corporate and globalist capitalism to the curb.
    This means declawing the MIC.
    This means abolishing foreign lobbies.
    This means …

    Is there a Herculean individual out there who can perform these tasks?


    • Replies: @WorkingClass
  9. @Anonymous

    BS is crazier than a loon, and the vision of him running the country runs shivers down my back, even though HC was just as bonkers.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

  10. We want President Trump to do all for us. What are we doing to help in doing what you assign our President to do? Once heard some one saying that change begins with you! If we start by the herculean task of purchasing what we need instead of what we want, and starting teaching our children to be frugal, and fallow with us personally, so as to stop all the garbage we purchase from those stores stacked with cheap Chinese made stuff.

    Second, inundate or representatives with calls to stop spending our nation’s treasure in wars and wasteful government programs such as giving welfare recipients which is costing more than the national defense expenditure, six months max to get on their feet and finding a self sustaining program such as a job! Get out of the house, and visit a park, instead of spending our time playing games in our consoles, etc. And other things, that my limited imagination cannot fathom, but things that we can help, in our daily lives. So lets have ideas, and we all can make America Great Again, together.

  11. @WorkingClass

    With so much garbage from the commercial media against President Trump, people who supported him with their vote, should stand firm with the President, against all those trying to undo him. Lets have some cojones, and stand behind Him. Of course he is not perfect, so be ready to accept that he has some issues, but over all, he is doing what he promised! Finally some one who does what he said that he would do. May God Bless our President Trump.

  12. Thirdeye says:

    Nothing I’ve seen from any of the national Democratic Party leaders – Pelosi, Schumer, Dean, etc. – indicates that they have a grasp of what they need to change. They think it’s just a matter of putting better lipstick on their neoliberal globalist pig. It’s going to take a bottom-up rebellion to get rid of the money-grubbing Wall Street whores who run the party. One good sign from the last election is that a smart campaign with a good social media strategy can overcome disadvantages in finance and party machinery. If anybody thinks their fundraising ability gives them a lock, they’d better think again.

    • Replies: @iffen
  13. iffen says:

    Sally Boynton Brown and Keith Ellison as co-chairs of the DNC should take care of business for the next 25-30 years.

  14. @Cloak And Dagger

    Is there a Herculean individual out there who can perform these tasks?

    No. Trump is as close to Herculean as they come. But he cannot deliver on your excellent laundry list of reforms. He can possibly steer us clear however of nuclear winter and/or global feudalism, both of which were and are the desired outcomes of his opposition. I speak of course of elite opposition and not the ravings of BLM’s, SJW’s and Pussy Hats.

  15. gustafus says:

    Trumpets are steadfast. You dump on him.-we cheer when he dumps on you.

    END OF DISCUSSION. The siege mentality is set in stone. And I love it.

    The left cannot help itself. I know if the Beast had won.. I would be just as apoplectic. The murder suicide pact between unlike species on the left is held together with the spit and glue of HATRED for all things TRUMP.

    That leads to poor choices.

    This was a revolution for the fate of Western Civilization. Gays and Trannies for Muslims is just foolishness. Blacks for unlimited immigration by 600 million Latinos to the south is just knee jerk HATE THE MAN.

    The virulent feminism is fueled by nasty dykes.. they are defining the terms to the detriment of heterosexual women, making them more and more unhappy.

    Add secular Jews who think it’s “enlightened” to embrace the enemies of their crazy cousins in Israel… and you have a full blown MURDER SUICIDE PACT among unlike species.

    Oh, and did I mention that blacks and muslims won’t vote for a white liberal any time soon. This low IQ voter base has tasted power… and won’t be supporting anything less in the foreseeable future…. Blacks vote Melanin. Latinos vote Latino. Whites on the left?…. done for

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