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.
-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.