Democratic Utopianism and Liberal Disillusionment

Though Tom Jensen at Public Policy Polling states that "liberal unhappiness with Barack Obama is still largely anecdotal and not very widespread," the anecdotal evidence is spread throughout the liberal-progressive web. At FDL's The Seminal, Jeff Morris provides his take on the Democrats' bailout of the medical insurance industry, otherwise known as the health care reform bill, which is making its way through the Senate:
If this is the final bill, I’m done with the Democratic party. It will be third party time for me. The House and Senate Democrats are making fools of themselves by compromising the bill to the point where it isn’t worth passing . . . If you pass a watered down worthless compromise of a final bill, I and I believe many others, will be done with you for any future support or votes for your party and its candidates.
At the Daily Kos, Kos writes:
The administration may be happy to declare victory with a mandate that enriches insurance companies, yet creates little incentive to control costs or change the very business practices that have screwed so many people. But I'll pass. Democrats are demoralized, and have little incentive to turn out next year.
Yet, many liberals continue to believe that the Democratic Party stands for something other than the maintenance of the global warfare and corporate welfare state. They do this against all the evidence and their better judgment. At Planet POV, Chernynkaya states:
When you get right down to it, I am a Democrat, in agreement with what the Democratic Party stands for . . . So I don’t need a Third Party as long as my Party stays true to its platform. And that’s the problem; too many haven’t. How do we make them?
Until Americans declare their political independence from the Democratic and Republican Parties, they will continue to be held hostage by the party machines and the interests they represent, which are diametrically opposed to the interests of the American people. At Alternet Joe Bageant asks "the hope and change crowd – how's that working out for you?":
Obama's public approval ratings are taking a beating. Millions of his former cult members have awakened with a splitting hangover . . .

This frustrating ping pong game in which the margin of first time, disenchanted and undecided voters are batted back and forth has become the whole of American elections. That makes both the Republican and Democratic parties very happy, since it keeps the game down to fighting the enemy they know, each other, as opposed to being forced to deal with the real issues, or worse yet, an independent or third party candidate who might have a solution or two.

Thus, the game is limited to two players between two corporate parties. One is the Republican Party, which believes we should hand over our lives and resources directly to the local Chamber of Commerce, so the chamber can deliver them to the big corporations. The other, the Democratic Party, believes we should hand our lives and resources to a Democratic administration -- so it alone can deliver our asses to the big dogs who own the country. In the big picture it's always about who gets to deliver the money to the Wall Street hyena pack. Americans may be starting to get the big picture about politics, money and corporate power. But I doubt it.

The Socialist Worker, however, sees "sparks of resistance in the labor movement":

After a grim year for organized labor, those committed to class-struggle unionism can find a few good reasons to be cheerful this holiday season. At the top of the list are strike victories by Philadelphia transit employees and University of Illinois graduate employees, a "no" vote on major contract concessions at Ford, and election victories by reformers in transit and Teamster union locals in New York City.

Nonetheless, you really have to wonder about those people who continue to think that the Democratic and Republican Parties are capable of representing anything other than the perverted interests of the political class and the financial oligarchy that supports them.

1 comment:

Ross Levin said...

I agree with what Cindy Sheehan told me when I interviewed her - the best, and possibly only, way to create a formidable third party that's progressive (or something close) is to get the support of unions. They are some of the only things in the nation with the organizational structure and power to take on the major parties.

Also, a writer you might be interested in is "Cassiodorus," who posts identical blogs to Daily Kos and Docudharma: