Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why the US Democratic Party Needs a Split

Sadly Obama has sold out the Democratic base and silently joined the Republican party in gutting the US social safety net and the social programs that the middle class relies on: Medicare and Social Security.

Democrats need to wake up and "purge" their party of right wing Republican lookalikes and set up a real alternative instead of the corporate Tweedle-Dum Tweedle-Dee political choice over the last 30 years.

Here are some bits from an article in the UK's Guardian newspaper by Glenn Greenwald that spell out the extent of the Obama betrayal:
... it is now beyond dispute that President Obama not only favours, but is the leading force in Washington pushing for, serious benefit cuts to both social security and Medicare.


Therein lies one of the most enduring attributes of Obama's legacy: in many crucial areas, he has done more to subvert and weaken the left's political agenda than a GOP president could have dreamed of achieving. So potent, so overarching, are tribal loyalties in American politics that partisans will support, or at least tolerate, any and all policies their party's leader endorses – even if those policies are ones they long claimed to loathe.

... Obama has continued Bush/Cheney terrorism policies – once viciously denounced by Democrats – of indefinite detention, renditions, secret prisons by proxy, and sweeping secrecy doctrines.

He has gone further than his predecessor by waging an unprecedented war on whistleblowers, seizing the power to assassinate U.S. citizens without due process far from any battlefield, massively escalating drone attacks in multiple nations, and asserting the authority to unilaterally prosecute a war (in Libya) even in defiance of a Congressional vote against authorising the war.


And now he is devoting all of his presidential power to cutting the entitlement programmes that have been the defining hallmark of the Democratic party since Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. The silence from progressive partisans is defeaning – and depressing, though sadly predictable.

... Obama is now on the verge of injecting what until recently was the politically toxic and unattainable dream of Wall Street and the American right – attacks on the nation's social safety net – into the heart and soul of the Democratic party's platform. Those progressives who are guided more by party loyalty than actual belief will seamlessly transform from virulent opponents of such cuts into their primary defenders.

And thus will Obama succeed – yet again – in gutting not only core Democratic policies, but also the identity and power of the American Left.
If the Democrats can't undertake an internal purge and split the left from the right, then America will spend the next 5 years with two right wing parties, the Republicans and the Republican lookalike "Democrats". Tragic.

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