The Real Conservatism of the ‘Liberal Establishment’: The ‘Liberal’ Establishment Is Far From Progressive, And Isn’t Even Authentically Liberal: It’s Just Corrupt

Preface by Washington’s Blog:

We agree with much of what Eric Zuesse writes. For example, we believe that the Democratic bigwigs – including Hillary Clinton – don’t represent true progressive values.

But we also believe that the two mainstream parties are virtually identical in terms of issues of war, liberty, crony capitalism, bailouts, big oil and nuclear energy, genetically modified foods, and other core issues which affect our basic health, freedom and prosperity. And see this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

Indeed, we believe that true liberals are more similar to true conservatives than (1) liberals are to neoliberals like Hillary Clinton or (2) conservatives are to neoconservatives.

-By Eric Zuesse:

No one represents America’s Liberal Establishment better than does Hillary Clinton, but one thing that Ms. Clinton is not (and never has been) is progressive; and the Democrats who will be voting in 2016 Presidential primaries will get to know lots about that before they cast their votes. The question is whether they will care; whether they will care about her being a conservative — which is what she actually is, on many issues.

Right now, Clinton is riding high for the 2016 Democratic nomination. She is about as much of a front-runner for a U.S. Presidential contest, three years before it happens, as any non-incumbent ever has been in U.S. history. This is shown not only in the extensive polling that has been done of potential 2016 candidates (which places her way out front), but also in the major-media feature stories about her, such as the one recently in the New York Times Magazine, on January 26th (January 24th online), “Planet Hillary,” which describes the expansive network of advisors who circle around her. Even when the recent leading Republican prospective Presidential candidate for 2016, Chris Christie, was at his heights, before the bridge scandal, he never attracted that intensity of major-media news coverage — and Hillary Clinton doesn’t hold government office, while Chris Christie is the Governor of New Jersey.

I received flak from readers for pointing out, some time ago, that Hillary Clinton has a long record of corruption, and that Chris Christie is similarly corrupt. Especially some of my fellow Democrats didn’t like to have Hillary’s corruption pointed out and documented. Republicans don’t seem to mind that Christie is corrupt, or at least they’re not contesting that (at least not yet), but Democrats responded with statements such as “Hillary is one of the most vetted Americans ever,” as if there had been any authentic investigative journalism examining her record, which isn’t the case at all (though I’m starting it). People seem to think that because Republicans focus on the petty Benghazi matter, there’s nothing much else, nor more serious, to criticize about Hillary Clinton’s record in public office. That’s a false assumption. In fact, because of Hillary Clinton, a fascist regime today controls Honduras, and it’s a regime that was championed also by the Republican Koch brothers and by their agent Jim DeMint. Also because of her, a fraudulent State Department environmental analysis recommended construction of the Kochs’ destructive Keystone XL Pipeline project, which still awaits Obama’s approval, though he knows that environmentally concerned Democrats will be furious at him if he finishes off the deceit that Hillary started there. And when I acknowledge “Obama’s rot,” the common response from many Democrats is similar incredulity, such as, “Obama’s rot? please the gop is the only thing that is ROTTEN in American politics today” — as if Republican lies against Obama are the only argument that can be cited against Obama’s performance as President. However, actually, the real arguments against both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama aren’t available for Republican politicians to use against them, because, with both Clinton and Obama, it’s a “Democratic” politician whose corruption has been chiefly in service to big Republican donors, such as to the Kochs and Wall Street — and Republicans therefore simply cannot afford to go after that corruption, even though it’s done by “Democrats.” That corruption, in service to big Republican donors, is thus beyond the reach of Republicans, and they won’t charge it against them, because they must protect their donors.

I have pointed this out in several previous articles, regarding Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, but apparently few people seemed to have noticed the mechanism here: Republicans ignore — they don’t bring up — the real rot in the records of deceptive conservative Democrats, such as Clinton and Obama, who have actually been serving to protect Republican big-money donors. For Republicans to expose that would be for them to expose also their own corruption, and that of their paymasters, whom they were paid to protect. That’s out of bounds.

For example, when Barack Obama twists the arms of European Union trade negotiators, and tries to force them to reduce their anti-global-warming regulations so as to allow into the EU the world’s dirtiest and global-warming worst oil, from the two million acres of Alberta Canada’s tar sands that are owned by the Koch brothers, how can this sneaky operation by Obama be publicized by Republican politicians, who are heavily indebted to the Koch brothers, the biggest of all Republican “bundlers,” besides being the biggest financial backers of Republican think tanks (and thus crucial to the “research” behind Republican Party propaganda)? They can’t do it, so they don’t — but I and a few other progressive journalists can expose it, and we did (though you won’t read about it in places such as The New York Times or Washington Post).

And when Hillary Clinton served as the key person getting President Obama to not declare a “coup d’etat” (and thus to cut off U.S. funding) the fascist putsch in Honduras on 28 June 2009 that removed that country’s popular progressive democratically elected President and that installed dictators in their stead, and thus enabled the U.S. to prop up the fascist regime there, even though the regime made clear that they were going to turn their nation into a narco-state, how could Republicans in Congress expose this to the public, since their own far-right leader, Jim DeMint — the former South Carolina Senator recently installed by the Kochs as the head of the Heritage Foundation — was actually leading the battle in Washington to declare the Honduran fascists to be the legitimate rulers of that country and thus deserving of continued U.S. aid? The Honduran aristocrats who were behind the coup had far more support from Republicans in Congress than from Democrats in Congress; Republicans are favorable to fascism, just as they were “isolationists” about Hitler before FDR forced their hands on the matter and they voted shamefully against supporting England when crucial Lend-Lease aid came up for a vote on 8 February 1941, and Democrats overwhelmingly passed that historic bill into law despite the Republicans voting 135 to 24 against it; and Hillary Clinton now was leading the Republican battle for the fascist Honduran kleptocrats inside the Obama Administration — and she ultimately won Obama’s support for their junta.

Furthermore, even though her husband, Bill, the former President, wasn’t as corrupt as Hillary, and instead he waited until only late in his Administration to deregulate derivatives securities, and to terminate FDR’s crucial Glass-Steagall Act, and so to set the stage that enabled the ultimate 2008 financial collapse and the resulting enormous taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street investors, Bill Clinton too was no progressive. However, who can publicize that this was the case — the Republicans who get even more money from Wall Street? Can Republicans charge such a thing as that “Bill Clinton was too favorable to Wall Street, and to deregulation, and that’s why he wasn’t a good President”? Hardly. Only progressive journalists can, even if “Democrats” don’t want to know it.

When a “Democrat” is catering to the mega-sources of Republican campaign money (such as Obama, and Hillary, and even Bill, have done), who will there be to point out the actual reasons that such a “Democrat” (now Hillary) ought not to become the Democratic Party’s nominee? It won’t be Republicans who will point things like this out. It won’t be Fox “News,” or the Wall Street Journal, or Rush Limbaugh, or others in America’s fascist party, because they’d then be attacking especially their own chief sponsors. And it certainly won’t be Establishment “liberal” newsmedia such as The New York Times, which covered for George W. Bush’s blatant lies about “Saddam’s WMD,” and which now covers for the Koch brothers’ campaign to deceive the public about global warming.

Choosing a corrupt Democrat to represent the Democratic Party in the 2016 contest against the Republican nominee will produce, yet again, only a corrupt President in the White House, even if “Democrats” “win.” For example, how can any Democrat read this story from Kate Sheppard at Huffington Post and not recognize that Barack Obama is fighting for the Kochs, especially considering that they own more than half of the tar-sands oil? Do we want eight more years of this type of leadership in the White House? If Obama is George W. Bush II, then do we really want George W. Bush III? The only major difference between Democratic and Republican Presidents then becomes the difference between conservative judges versus fascist ones, but can’t America do better than that? We used to.

There are only four Democrats with clean records and who are mentioned anywhere as being progressives who might possibly emerge to become the progressive opponent to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 contest for the Democratic Presidential nomination: Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Alan Grayson, and (if he switches to become officially a Democrat) Bernie Sanders. Only if progressive Democrats, early in the Presidential contest, unite so as to endorse one-and-the-same one of these four as being the progressive candidate in the Democratic Presidential contest, so that each one of the other three publicly joins in endorsing that person to be the Party’s nominee — if this happens before the 2016 primaries start — can a possibility exist that the leadership of the Democratic Party will be passed back again to the Party’s progressive wing. The key here is that the progressive forces mustn’t be split as had happened in 1968, when Eugene McCarthy opposed the Establishment candidate Hubert Humphrey, and Robert F. Kennedy then entered the race and split the progressive vote so that Humphrey won the Party’s Presidential nomination (after RFK was assassinated and McCarthy was rejected by RFK’s supporters because RFK had been running against his fellow-progressive McCarthy).

And unless there is a progressive winning the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, there can be no hope for this country. Hope can’t and won’t come from the Republican Party. It also can’t and won’t come from another Ralph Nader insuring a Republican “victory.” But what does it mean to be a “progressive”? What does it mean to be, really, a Democrat? It means rejecting corruption and the corrupt.

The only thing that is essential to the ideology of progressivism is its core concept of “public service,” which is that government officials should be elected on the basis of full public participation, one-person-one-vote, instead of on the basis of corruption: one-dollar-one-“vote.” We progressives don’t get that idea of one-person-one-vote from any conservative: not from the Republican Party (which tries to exclude from voting all poor people they can), and not really from any corrupt “liberal” such as Obama or the Clintons, who are always looking for the big-money-backers to be their real constituency, always competing for the aristocracy’s favors. All conservatives revere dollars; their supreme goal is kleptocracy, not actual democracy. Wall Street, and Big Oil, are their actual clients; the public is not. For example, that’s why, when the Clinton-Obama agent, Timothy Geithner, left the U.S. Treasury Department so that he could become a mere 10 months later the figurehead president of the Warburg Pincus private equity fund, with the realistic prospect of emerging ultimately as quite possibly a billionaire, the “Top Recipients” of Warburg-Pincus’s political cash were the “Republican National Cmte” in the top slot at $234,820, and “Mitt Romney” got “$86,250,” as compared to “Barack Obama” at $35,162.” Overall, most of their money went to Republicans, but (as with Obama) corrupt Democrats also received some of it. It’s rot.

If the Democratic Party takes the path of Clinton and Obama and continues to rely largely upon the same sources of funding as the Republican Party does, then it will continue to be just a different version of conservatism; it then cannot be progressive; and the corruption within the Democratic Party will continue on, and will continue to be shielded by both the Republican Party and the mainstream “liberal” press; there will then be no realistic hope for a return of progressive dominance within the Democratic Party, and so within the country-at-large. There will then be no realistic hope at all for reversing global warming. There will be no realistic hope for avoiding another economic crash. And there will be no realistic hope for avoiding yet another bailout, of the politician-sponsoring aristocrats by America’s taxpayers, and consequent soaring federal debt. Unless the public is served, only the aristocracy will be served. Those people are insatiable.

The ugly reality is that the Republican Party (ever since the assassination of Abraham Lincoln) has been controlled by, and serving strictly, the big-money interests, while the Democratic Party has instead been split between those same corrupt types, on the one hand, versus the Party’s progressive wing on the other. The only realistic hope for good governance in America resides in a restoration of the Party’s progressive wing to power; otherwise, this nation can not and will not recover, and America will instead continue its miserable downward slide, into kleptocracy.

If progressives in this country cannot unite around one candidate before the 2016 Presidential contest starts, then the future of the U.S., and of the world, will be bleak, because the only path out of this morass will inevitably then be blocked.

The conservative “liberal” Establishment is ultimately on the side of kleptocrats, just another version of the Republican Party. We’ve been down that path with Bill Clinton, then again with Barack Obama, and the result if it happens yet again and yet more, with Hillary Clinton, won’t be any better, and will probably be even worse.

The next time around, the Democratic Party must do better than that, or else the consequence might be conservatism sliding into outright fascism.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • cettel

    This is Eric Zuesse, responding to George Washington’s intro to my article:

    Where I part company from George here is that I acknowledge the systematic differences between the Republican and the Democratic Parties — such as I did here, where I noted that, “That corruption [by conservative Democrats], in service to big Republican donors, is … beyond the reach of Republicans, and they won’t charge it against them, because they must protect their donors.” Note the dis-equality here: Corruption by any Republican (such as by George W. Bush) CAN be charged by Democrats against those Republicans, because the core of the Democratic Party isn’t corruption. Whereas some Democrats are corrupt, all Republicans are corrupt; and Republicans NEED to be corrupt, because the basic Republican belief is that the super-rich should rule, that merit is proportional to a given individual’s wealth, and that the “superior” people, i.e. the richest, thus deserve to rule — therefore, corruption is terrific, as Republicans see it. Democracy, in their view, stinks.

    Whereas a Democrat will be ashamed if he’s corrupt, a Republican will be ashamed if he’s not rich; because the fundamental values are different between the two Parties. George Washington doesn’t acknowledge this; and that’s sad, because, when that reader responded to my earlier piece by saying, “Hillary is one of the most vetted Americans ever,” and so assumed that any corruption on Hillary’s part would already be well known (so, he figured, she’s not corrupt), he was being just as clueless about this basic systematic difference between the two Parties as is George, and that’e the reason why he doesn’t understand why Hillary might actually be able to get away with being super-corrupt: no one (other than a few Democratic writers such as I) will even TRY to point out her corruption. (There’s no “percentage” in it, for Republicans to do that.)

    Thus, if Hillary can win the 2016 primaries, she’ll be practically home free, able to f–k with the big-money people as much as she and they want. That makes her super-scary, in my book.

    • No RNC

      Interesting post…but thinking the Democrats are less corrupt than the Repubs gives you a touch of the old collectivist mindset…..go w/ Liberty forget both D & R puppets

  • Charlie Primero

    Liberal means liberty, the exact OPPOSITE of what victims of the Orwellian word reversal think it means.

    Grammar must be performed before Logic and Rhetoric. This has been known for thousands of years.

  • Don Robertson

    Big money interests? Trust me on this. The big money interests have the U.S. high on their list of priorities.

    The biggest swindle coming up is the push to raise minimum wage.

    Raising the minimum wage is a regressive gimmick. Why?

    There has been a lot of talk about raising the minimum wage, just as if more policy planning could erase the ObamaCare and Obama-Recovery debacles that are menacing all the Democratic candidates who are up for reelection. Let’s consider the real truth about raising the minimum wage. I have seen the minimum wage raised since the minimum wage was a dollar an hour. I would go back to that economic pay scale were it ever possible. We all would. Now, let me explain why.

    1) Whenever the minimum wage is raised, very quickly inflation more than consumes the purchasing power difference. The result of raising the minimum wage can be shown historically to reduce the purchasing power of the wages paid to lower wage earners. Lower wage earners lose out when the minimum wage is raised, because of a corresponding rapid rise in inflation, which leaves lower wage earners with less money in their pockets at the end of the every month. Raising the minimum wage is tantamount to devaluation of the currency. Of course Maine will probably raise the minimum wage, if the rest of the country does. Maine cannot fight this ridiculous and regressive Democratic money-gimmickry unilaterally. Mark these words, impoverishing and budget-killing inflation will happen very quickly, if the minimum wage is raised.

    2) Raising the minimum wage clearly destroys job opportunities. This is just plain economic sense. Fewer people will hire a kid to rake leaves or baby-sit at $10 an hour than will hire a kid at the current minimum wage of $7.50 Everyone knows this intuitively. Even the $7.50 an hour minimum wage in Maine is regressive. It restricts and eliminates the job opportunities for kids who simply are not worth $7.50 an hour. I know of a twenty-one year old autistic kid who is absolutely beside himself, because he cannot find a job he can keep. He desperately wants to work. But he is clearly not worth $7.50 a hour just starting out. There are lots of workers like that. There are kids in their twenties who have never held a job for more than a short period of time, because their employers quickly saw, these kids were not worth paying minimum wage. That is the truth about the regressive nature of minimum wage laws.

    3) Raising the minimum wage will also make more employees minimum wage earners. How so? How does that work? Because when the minimum wage is raised, employees who have worked hard to get a raise above the current minimum wage, fall backward and become re-encompassed by the higher minimum wage. Imagine someone who has worked five or ten years to get several small raises, say a stay-at-home mom whose kids have left the nest and she has entered the workforce late in life. Imagine that working mom suddenly being put back at the beginning of her employment pay scale, making minimum wage again. The resulting rise in inflation caused by raising the minimum wage will literally wipe out all her appreciated wage gains. Raising the minimum wage simply makes the money everyone earns worth that much less due to the inflation caused by raising the minimum wage.

    4) Raising the minimum wage causes inflation greater than the amount of the rise in the minimum wage. That is the cold, hard reality of raising the minimum wage.

    5) The Obama Administration and the FED have adopted disastrous economic policies that have tried to raise inflation. And now they have partially succeeded, after six years of lavishing trillions on Wall Street. The Obama Administration and the FED have raised the cost of housing, food and fuel, and Americans are really hurting. The remedy is not to raise the minimum wage however, as this will only cause even greater economic pain for lower income Americans. The solution is to get back to free market principles, and to tell the government to stop meddling in the economy.

    I am sure the Democratic opposition in the race for Maine Governor is going to be in favor of raising the minimum wage. They are desperate due to the massive failures of central planning. Raising the minimum wage is a crooked gimmick. Raising the minimum wage is a gimmick that will hurt lower income workers. The inflation resulting from raising the minimum wage again very rapidly will increase already rising poverty. Raising the minimum wage will raise inflation on food, fuel and housing. There are no free rides in a real economy. The focus in Maine should be on building a real economy, by cutting out the waste and fraud, and, eliminating the red tape. Maine should not be made the victim of those who make false promises about doing something for low income wage earners, by raising the minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage will hurt low income workers. Raising the minimum wage is a gimmick that will hurt the economy and certainly no less especially low income workers.

    Look at this true anecdote. When I was twelve years old, in 1962, the minimum wage was $1 an hour. Now consider that the price of a gallon of gasoline in 1962 was nineteen cents, and price of a loaf of bread was about the same. The minimum wage has been raised many times since 1962, and every time the minimum wage has been raised, the resulting minimum hourly wage ended up buying less gasoline and less bread. Think about it. When I was twelve years old I was being paid a dollar an hour. At nineteen cents a gallon, I could buy five gallons of gasoline with the wage I was being paid per hour and have enough left over for a nickel soda pop. Today the minimum wage buys barely two gallons of gasoline. And if the minimum wage is raised, the minimum wage paid per hour will very quickly buy less than a gallon of gasoline. The cause and effect is, raise the minimum wage, and inflation very quickly will take more than what was gained for low income wage earners. It works like that in part, because everyone expects a raise when the minimum wage is raised, everyone from the minimum wage earner to the people who set the price of gasoline want a raise commensurate with the rise in the minimum wage. That is why lower income earners lose out when the minimum wage is raised. Everyone right up the line seeks a percentage gain the same as the worker making minimum wage.

    This is about the future. This should not be about quite literally -ignorant- politicians trying to make low income voters believe they are on their side because they support raising the minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage immediately will cause substantial inflation, inflation well beyond any gains low income wage earners realize due to the rise in the minimum wage. Inflation hurts everyone. And inflation especially hurts those who are making minimum wage regardless how high it might ever be raised. If that were not true, then we should raise the minimum wage to $200 an hour! But we all know that would solve nothing.

    Raising the minimum wage is a gimmick. And the premise behind the gimmick is a lie. Workers will not be better off, if the minimum wage is raised.

    I support Governor LePage. Let’s put the real economy back to work. Reduce the waste, fraud and the red tape!

    Don Robertson
    Limestone, Maine

  • gozounlimited

    Poll: 63% Don’t Have Confidence in Obama to Make Right Decisions …….
    A majority of Americans. 51 percent, also believe Obama is not a strong leader.

    Liars, murderers, terrorists tip lickers, and friends of….aren’t going to win a popularity contest in this Country………

  • Robert Barsocchini

    My contribution: List of pro-war record, complicity in major crimes, and depravities of Hillary Clinton: