Not 4 Sale: A Principle and a Slogan for Real Democrats

By William K. Black, Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and the former head S&L regulator. Originally published at NewEconomicPerspectives.org.

Overview

This article explains three critical reasons why the Democratic Party’s leaders are far more insane than all but a few Democrats understand.  It focuses on the leaders of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the New Democrats.  The DNC leadership is composed of New Democrats.  Debbie Wasserman Schultz had to resign in disgrace when the leaks proved that she was putting the DNC’s thumbs on the scale to favor Hillary Clinton (a New Democrat) in the presidential nomination contest against Bernie Sanders.  Wasserman Schultz also took large contributions from big finance and, until she faced the prospect of a serious primary challenger, she supported efforts by predatory lenders to use Congress to bar the regulators from stopping their abuses.

Donna Brazile, a New Democrat, now runs the DNC.  In this article, I show that Brazile denounced Democrats who refused to cheer President Bush’s invasion of Iraq (and his “Mission Accomplished” declaration) as so disloyal that when their country needed them they went “AWOL.”  Not satisfied with that libel, she added the homophobic smear that voters would view Democrats who failed to cheer Bush’s lies and invasion as “effete.”  Best of all, she said that Democrats should take as their role models Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Frank Gaffney – Bush’s “chicken hawks” that devised the campaign of lies that led to the disastrous invasion of Iraq.  Gaffney is now spreading hate of Muslims – and advising President Trump.

The DNC is also in the news because it has just accepted a $20 million “donation” funded by Third Way, a Wall Street front group, to study why the white working class “abandoned” Hillary Clinton.  Clinton is a leader of the New Democrats.  Wall Street has long been the largest single funder of the New Democrats various institutions.  The New Democrats, at the behest of Wall Street, have waged the “long war” against the working class since their formation in 1984.  The New Democrats did not simply abandon the working class – they targeted it for scorn and assaulted it with policies that harmed many Americans, but caused the greatest harm to the working class.

Particularly in light of the Trump’s election, the logical reaction of the DNC would have been to refuse to take the Wall Street buyout and announce that the New Democrats would never again do Wall Street’s bidding.  They would return to the Democratic Party’s historic role as the party that championed the rights of workers.  Brazile, of course, ensured that the DNC eagerly took the $20 million Wall Street buyout.  The New Democrats not only continue to be for sale (or rent) by Wall Street – they continue to show that they continue to for sale for chump change.

The DNC does not need $20 million to figure out why the white working class “abandoned” the New Democrats.  They can check out from their local library Tom Frank’s books warning that this would happen and explaining in detail why the New Democrats’ long war against the working class was making it happen.  Tom Frank has been writing books warning about this since 2004.  If the DNC were under new management, it would have invited Tom Frank to meet with its entire staff in November.

Third Way is following the New Democrats’ unbroken tradition of servitude to the most despicable corporate patrons eager to see Republican anti-public policies triumph.  Virtually every American is disgusted by the New Democrat’s embrace of the “Vampire Squid” (Goldman Sachs) exemplified by the Clintons’ mercenary speeches and Trump’s appointment of four senior officials with strong ties to Goldman Sachs.

What people need to know is that the New Democrats’ historic business patrons are more despicable that Goldman Sachs.  The New Democrats’ first formal organization, created in 1984, was the Democratic Leadership Coalition (DLC).  The DLC was funded overwhelmingly by huge corporations, but two of its donors are worthy of special note – the Koch Brothers and the Bradley Foundation.  Tom Frank made this point forcefully in in 1984 in What’s the Matter with Kansas.  The DLC spawned another Wall Street front group with an even more dishonest name – the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI).

Large corporations provided the bulk of PPI’s funding, but like the DLC it was also heavily funded by the Bradley Foundation.  Harry Bradley, along with the Koch brothers’ father, was a charter member of the John Birch Society.  That means they were off-the-charts looney and ultra-right wing.  Mr. Bradley’s passion was his hatred for organized labor.  He was a notorious for his employment discrimination against blacks and women.  At the time the DLC and the PPI formed, the Bradley Foundation was the Nation’s most destructive funder of ultra-right wing efforts to influence policy.  Today, it is the force behind Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s war against organized labor.  The Nation’s most virulent and effective enemy of organized labor funded the New Democrats.  The New Democrats knew what they were choosing to lie down with and they knew exactly what they were signaling to organized labor about their hostility to unions and disdain for the working class.

Third Way, the DLC, and the PPI shared another trait common to the New Democrats– they all tried hard to keep Democrats from knowing who their corporate donors were and how much they gave.  They craved dark money for the usual reasons.

Stop and ask yourself why the Kochs, Wall Street, big oil, and the Bradley Foundation funded the New Democrats.  Then ask yourself why the two most recent DNC leaders have (1) shilled for predatory lenders and (2) tried to defeat Democrats who saw through Bush’s lies about Iraq, tried to ridicule them as “effete,” and urged that Democrats copy Bush’s “chicken hawks” who framed Bush’s lies and spread religious hate to Trump against Muslims.

The DNC is also in the news because another New Democrat, former President Obama, has been intervening repeatedly to try to prevent Representative Ellison, the progressive candidate to replace Brazile, from becoming the DNC’s leader.  Worse, major corporate donors to the Democratic Party are seeking to block Ellison, even sinking to the level of anti-Semitism smears.  Losing to Trump has not been a sufficient wake-up call to the New Democrats to convince them to abandon their policy of abandoning and assaulting for 33 years the core principles and core supporters of the Democratic Party.  Instead, they rushed to prostitute themselves to Wall Street on the Potomac (Third Way).  They are doing everything possible to prevent breaking free from Wall Street and restoring the Party’s soul.

Third Way’s co-founder sought to defeat Elizabeth Warren in her 2012 Senate election, smearing her as “catastrophically anti-business.”  The opposite is true.  Senator Warren wants to reestablish the rule of law and end the rigged system – so that honest business people can prevail instead of the frauds that cause our recurrent financial crises.  She is not “anti-business,” but rather with colleagues like Bernie Sanders, the champions of honest business people.  Third Way champions keeping the financial system rigged in favor of the predatory CEOs and against the customers, creditors, workers, and shareholders.

What Needs to Happen

Democrats need to say that the conduct I describe in this article is unacceptable.  (It is also politically suicidal.)  Brazile is unfit to run a precinct, much less the DNC.  She should resign immediately.  The new interim head of the DNC should immediately return the $20 million to Third Way.  The DNC should adopt, and live up to, the promise that it will never again serve the interests of Wall Street.

I suggest a foundational principle (and a slogan) for the newly reconstituted Real Democrats – NOT 4 SALE.

Former president Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton should formally support the election of Representative Ellison to run the DNC.  Representative Ellison should adopt a policy of the DNC raising funds solely through small contributions from individuals.  If Wall Street remains in charge of the DNC, the democratic wing of the Democratic Party should found a new party free from Wall Street and big corporate influence.

Background on Third Way

With the arrival of Donald Trump, the preposterous has become the norm for the Republican Party, but the Democratic Party is moving from the farcical to the preposterous and (even more) suicidal.  Donna Brazile, the New Democrat who runs the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has just accepted a $20 million donation from Third Way, which is “Wall Street on the Potomac.”  Third Way falsely claims to be a progressive arm of the Democratic Party.  Third Way is actually one of Wall Street many bases located in Washington, D.C.  Wall Street funds it.  Wall Street bosses run it.  Third Way is a group of self-described “New Democrats.”  The reality is that it acts, as its founders and funders intended to enrich and champion Wall Street CEOs.  Jonathan Cowan, its leader, was a Pete Peterson protégé.  Peterson is a Wall Street billionaire.  He is a Republican.  He devotes his money and time on his three obsessions: (1) creating and spreading a “moral panic” about the federal deficit and debt, (2) pushing austerity, particularly cuts to the safety net, and (3) pushing Wall Street’s greatest dream – the privatization of Social Security.

The Origins of the New Democrats, the DLC, and the PPI

A little history is in order for those not versed in the New Democrats’ origins.  Senator Henry (Scoop) Jackson was a Democrat who was a fervent military hawk with a special passion for Israel.  He wanted to be President, but he was never popular enough with Democratic voters outside of his home State of Washington to succeed.  He formed two right-wing groups designed to push for a dramatic increase in U.S. military funding and a more aggressive foreign and military policy.  Neither group succeeded in becoming a powerful force in Democratic politics, but they helped set the stage for the creation of the Democratic Leadership Coalition (DLC) in 1984.  The DLC’s original source of members was politicians from Southern and border-states.  DLC members described themselves as “New Democrats,” in order to highlight their denunciation of New Deal progressivism as hopelessly antiquated.

The DLC was exceptionally successful in winning the Democratic Party’s nomination for the presidency.  Bill and Hillary Clinton and Al Gore were all DLC leaders.  President Obama, early in his first term, told the Congressional coalition of New Democrats: “I am a New Democrat.”

Jimmy Carter Was a Proto-New Democrat

The DLC began under the Reagan administration and adopted a wide-range of Reagan’s policies.  Jimmy Carter, from Georgia, became president before the DLC formed, but he was a proto-DLC president.  He had been a senior military officer.  He appointed Paul Volcker to run the Fed knowing that Volcker was one of the Nation’s leading deficit and inflation hawks.  One of Carter’s leading domestic policies was deregulation.  He produced more substantive deregulation in one term than Reagan did in two terms.  Carter’s deregulation of trucking is almost universally praised while his deregulation of airplane fares is broadly praised.

Deregulation Spells Disaster: The DLC Seeks to Prevent S&L Reregulation

By 1984, when the DLC formed, the Reagan administration’s paramount act of deregulation – the savings and loan industry – was proving catastrophic.  By mid-1983, the federal examiners were warning that the deregulation, desupervision, and de facto decriminalization of the S&L industry (the three “de’s”) were producing a surging epidemic of elite fraud.   By late 1983, Reagan’s (deeply conservative, Republican) appointee as top S&L regulator, Ed Gray, had begun reregulating the industry in order to contain the epidemic of elite financial fraud.

In late 1984, the New Democrats and the Republicans in the House joined in co-sponsoring a resolution calling on Gray to cease re-regulating the industry.  Had Gray done so the elite frauds would have grown to the point that it would have produced bubbles in commercial (and eventually residential) real estate that would have rivalled the recent housing bubble.

On their first major policy call, the DLC allied itself with Reagan’s most disastrous policy.  Reagan’s S&L deregulation purported to “modernize” a New Deal regulatory structure – and nothing is more anathema to the New Democrats than the New Deal.  The New Democrats’ hatred for the New Deal is pathological.  Joining with Reagan in trying to prevent the essential reregulation of the S&L industry started two unbroken patterns for the New Democrats.  First, the policy differences that the New Democrats identify as separating themselves from the democratic-wing of the Democratic Party are all policies on which the New Democrats adopted the hard-right Republican position.  Second, on those defining policies that New Democrats say separate themselves from other Democrats, the New Democrats’ policies have invariably proven dead wrong and extremely harmful to the public and (with a lag) the Democratic Party.

I discuss note four of these defining DLC policies relevant to this column.  DLC members were proud military hawks.  They were fervent supporters of fiscal austerity.  They were impassioned foes of regulation, particularly financial regulation.  They were pro-business.  They were hostile to organized labor and the working class.

The New Democrats’ Donors Represent the Worst of Big Business and Wall Street

I have described the funding of the DLC, PPI, and Third Way.  The New Democrat Coalition is a congressional group.  Corporations, particularly Wall Street, provided the overwhelming funding for it.  Wasserman Schultz is a member.  Hillary Clinton was a member.  Its members have championed the interests of Wall Street’s CEOs.

Third Way’s Chutzpah

The premise of Third Way’s $20 million “donation” (“investment” would be more apt) to the DNC is that the “New Democrats” that led the Democratic Party and the American people to political, ethical, and policy failure and led to the election of our fraudster-in-chief are here to tell the Democrats what went wrong and how to fix it.  That’s right, the same Wall Street CEOs that corrupted the New Democrats and ruined the Democratic Party, caused devastating harm to America and Americans (and Iraqis), and led to the election of Donald Trump are here to “save” the Democratic Party.  Specifically, Third Way had the audacity to say that it was investing in the DNC to “launch a campaign to help Democrats reconnect with the voters who have abandoned the party.”  The voters who abandoned the Democratic Party did so because the New Democrats deliberately abandoned those voters decades ago in order to curry favor (and contributions) from Wall Street elites.

The New Democrats did not limit their abandonment to benign neglect.  Instead, they waged the “long war” against the working class.  In 2016, the Democratic Party nominated (yet another) New Democrat who had spent a quarter-century as a senior ally of Wall Street’s long war against the working class.  If you ever wondered what the word chutzpah means, Wall Street on the Potomac has just provided you with a classic example.

The New Democrats’ Efforts to Defeat Progressives

The white working class “abandoned” the New Democrats because the New Democrats abandoned the working class and chose instead to become the Wall Street-wing of the Democratic Party.  Wall Street is scared to death of the democratic-wing of the Democratic Party.  This is why it denounced Elizabeth Warren, when she was running for the Senate in 2012.

The political director for the US Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday morning that “no other candidate in 2012 represents a greater threat to free enterprise than Professor Warren.”

The comments about Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic Senate candidate, came as the the national business lobby handed its formal endorsement to Senator Scott Brown’s reelection bid.

“The American business community is tired of being lectured by Professor Warren,” said Rob Engstrom, senior vice president for political affairs and federation relations for the chamber.

The elite fraudsters that drove the financial crisis and the Great Recession were desperately “tired of being lectured” by a woman who skewered their attempts to evade responsibility.  Warren kept pointing out the reality that the mythical “free” economic system Wall Street rhapsodized about was actually “rigged” by Wall Street to enrich Wall Street elites.  Wall Street predated on the people.  Like most successful predators, it was a parasite.

Wall Street viewed preventing her election as their highest priority in 2012.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has become a rabidly right-wing group devoted to Republicans, launched a blizzard of ads trying to defeat Warren.  The Chamber’s mailers highlighted Third Way’s attacks on her as “catastrophically anti-business.”  The message was that even Democrats knew that Warren was beyond the pale.  Third Way’s co-founder authored that dishonest attack on Warren.

The New Democrats, at the behest of Wall Street, led the “long war” on the working class in conjunction with their Republican allies.  Third Way (Wall Street on the Potomac) was desperate to prevent the most effective opponent of the Wall Street frauds from becoming a Senator.

The New Democrats’ “Long War” Against the Working Class

This article discusses three fronts in the New Democrats’ long war against the working class.  Tom Frank has been warning the democratic-wing of the Democratic Party for roughly 15 years that the consequences of waging the long war on the working class would prove disastrous not just for America, but also for the Democratic Party.  Please read What’s the Matter with Kansas and Listen, Liberal to see how openly, repeatedly, and vehemently the New Democrat’s make clear their decision to abandon the working class base of the Party in favor of Wall Street, high tech, and Hollywood.  It is sickening (and suicidal politics in the longer term).

The logical reaction, the one that would display integrity, of the DNC leadership would have been to publicly reject and denounce the proposed Wall Street investment.  If the DNC leadership were capable of logic or integrity, of course, Trump would not be the putative (Putin-ative?) President.  New Democrats still control the DNC.  Debbie Wasserman Schultz, its prior leader, had to resign in disgrace when leaks disclosed that the DNC, despite her denials, was secretly and repeatedly putting its thumb on the scale to win the nomination for her fellow New Democrat, Hillary Clinton.  Schultz is so deeply in Wall Street’s deep pockets that she opposed regulatory efforts to limit predatory lending.   (She later flip-flopped when it became clear she would face a progressive challenge to her seat.)

The New Democrats have proven wrong on every major issue they chose as defining how they differ from the democratic-wing of the Democratic Party.  Wasserman Schultz illustrates their willingness to shill for even the worst of the financial plutocrats, those that predate on the poor, particularly minorities.

Brazile, Wasserman Schultz’ (interim) successor at the DNC, exemplifies the murderous role that New Democrats have played in the use of military force.  She co-wrote the infamous op ed, which they chose to place in the Wall Street Journal, attacking progressive Democrats for refusing to praise President Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq based on the lies that it was supporting terror attacks on the United States and intended to use weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against us and Israel.  Brazile complained that Democrats were “criticizing the president’s handling of the war against al Qaeda.”  She was appalled that this criticism occurred immediately after Bush’s even more infamous speech (on the very expensive prop, the aircraft career Abraham Lincoln, bedecked with the massive, fraudulent banner “Mission Accomplished”) claiming our invasion of Iraq to be a triumph.  Bush, wearing a flight suit, arrived in a Viking naval aircraft.  He proceeded to spread the myths that (1) the conflict was effectively over and (2) the Iraqi people welcomed our invasion and supported our troops as liberators.

We thank all of the citizens of Iraq who welcomed our troops and joined in the liberation of their own country.

In the images of celebrating Iraqis, we have also seen the ageless appeal of human freedom. Decades of lies and intimidation could not make the Iraqi people love their oppressors or desire their own enslavement. Men and women in every culture need liberty like they need food, and water, and air. Everywhere that freedom arrives, humanity rejoices.

One had to read behind the lines, but Bush was already revealing that we actually did not know of any WMD sites and had found no WMD despite supposed ironclad intelligence and dozens of fruitless searches of the supposed sites as to which we supposedly had “ironclad” evidence of WMD.

We have begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons, and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated.

Bush then repeated the lie that Iraq had been supporting al Qaeda.

The Battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001, and still goes on.

The reality was that Iraq was an opponent of al Qaeda before the U.S. invasion.  It was only the U.S. invasion that made possible al Qaeda’s later entry into Iraq (and eventually ISIS’ entry into Iraq).  Bush also claimed falsely that we had “destroyed” the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Bush then combined the two falsehoods that were his pretext for invading Iraq.

The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We have removed an ally of al-Qaida, and cut off a source of terrorist funding. And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the regime is no more.

Iraq under Saddam Hussein, who was strongly secular, was an active opponent of “al-Qaida” (a fundamentalist Sunni group) rather than “an ally.”  It would have aroused fierce opposition from Iraq’s majority Shia population if Hussein, a nominal Sunni, embraced al Qaeda, which teaches that Shias are heretics who should be killed.

We all know that Bush’s lies led to catastrophic results for Iraqis and Americans.  The Americans killed or maimed in Iraq came overwhelmingly from our working classes because there is no draft.  The New Democrats, however, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, were enthusiastic and uncritical supporters of Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq despite the Republican chicken hawks’ infamous reputation for dishonesty and thirst for war.

On September 12, 2001, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld suggested to Bush that the terror attacks provided the U.S. with an opportunity to invade Iraq.  We know now that Paul Wolfowitz, the leading “chicken hawk” used the 9/11 attacks as a pretext to promote a war against Iraq on September 15, 2001.  (Wolfowitz, being Wolfowitz, proposed that we invade their primary oil production areas, install a puppet regime run by Ahmad Chalabi, a convicted bank fraud, and bankrupt the actual government of Iraq by cutting off its revenues.)  The Jordanian court that convicted in absentia when he fled to avoid arrest found that he was running what criminologists would call an “accounting control fraud.”)  Indeed, the “chicken hawks” were actively planning the steps required to invade and create a new government in Iraq months before the 9/11 attacks.

The Bush administration’s lies, eagerness to launch an offensive war, its embrace of the convicted bank fraud to lead Iraq who had no support among the Iraqi people, its fantasy that the Iraqi people supported our invasion, our failure to protect the museums (we protected only the oil ministry), and the extraordinary incompetence of the occupation (largely due to the neocon’s ideology, rather than military ineptitude) promptly led to catastrophe.   I urge people to read Imperial Life in The Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran (2007).  It is a frightening account of the witches’ brew created when you combine neoclassical economic nostrums, neocon ideology, the destruction of the rule of law, ignorance and disdain for the “other,” and massive conflicts of interest.  I believe that the Trump administration is creating such a witches’ brew in America.  By 2010, 74% of Democrats agreed that invading Iraq was a “mistake.”

With this background for context, we can return to Brazile’s WSJ op ed excoriating Democrats for not beating the war drums in favor of our invasion of Iraq.  Brazile charged Democrats who did not enthusiastically support Bush’s lies and invasion with being cowardly deserters of their positions during war:  reinforcing a public perception that “we are AWOL on national security.”  (AWOL is a military acronym for absent without leave.)

That attack on Democrats who saw through Bush’s lies was not sufficient for Brazile.  She next channeled her homophobia, saying that Democrats who failed to cheer Bush’s lies and invasion rightly led the voters to consider them “feckless and effete.”

Brazile then offered her remedy, which also provided the title of her article – “What Would Scoop Do?”  Brazile’s Democratic hero was “Sen. Scoop Jackson — the Democratic mentor of some of today’s most prominent Republican hawks….”  Senator Henry (“Scoop”) Jackson, a conservative Democrat, represented the State of Washington.  It was not surprising that he was a loyal servant of Boeing, the State’s massive employer and defense contractor.  The intensity of his devotion to Boeing led to his congressional moniker (“the Senator from Boeing”).  Jackson favored greatly increased defense spending and an aggressive use of our military, particularly if it could aid Israel.  He was the mentor of at least three of the “most prominent Republican [chicken] hawks” – Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Frank Gaffney.  They were dubbed chicken hawks because while they were eager to send working class American service members to war they made sure they never served in the military.  Wolfowitz and Perle played prominent roles in ensuring that we would invade Iraq and in framing the lies that would serve as the pretext for launching that war.  Gaffney is probably the Nation’s leader of the effort to demonize Muslims and concocting baseless conspiracy claims that President Obama (and Grover Norquist!?!) are traitors committed to the cause of “radical Islam.”  Trump, of course, is a great fan of Gaffney.  Jackson mentored not only the Republican chicken hawks that orchestrated the campaign of lies that produced the disastrous invasion of Iraq, but also set the stage for the creation of the DLC and its infamous dedication to being more hawkish than the Republicans.

To sum it up, Brazile is running the DNC even though all the folks who call themselves “leaders” of the Democratic Party know that she used the Wall Street Journal to attack the democratic-wing of the Democratic Party as traitors to the Nation because they did not support Bush’s dishonest, unlawful, and catastrophic invasion of Iraq.  Further, she praised, and demanded that Democrats emulate, three of the worst chicken hawks who framed the lies, chose the bank fraud as their puppet, and bungled the occupation of Iraq.

So here is my obvious question: what political party in its right mind would choose Brazile as its leader?   She is a disgrace.  Listen to the jingoistic and juvenile phrase she used to sum up the New Democrat’s pro-war policies, particularly in light of her denunciation of Democrats who opposed Bush’s lies as “effete.”  “[Democrats] “need to return to … muscular national security principles.”   “Muscular?”  Of course, people who invade and kill people on the basis of lies are “manly” while those who oppose such invasions are “effete.”  Manly men are “muscular.”  They do not think.  A man that uses his brains rather than his muscles is not smart; he is “effete.”  We should glory in “regime change” because it is “muscular” – even if it transforms Iraq into an ally of Iran and leads to a series of sectarian civil wars in Iraq.  On the issues that separate the New Democrats from progressives, Brazile represents everything that the Democratic Party should be opposing.

Note also that Brazile, unintentionally revealed the massive ideological contradiction, the black hole of hypocrisy that forms the New Democrats’ gravitational center.  The New Democrats purportedly stand for the “end of big government,” deep distrust of government workers and programs, and austerity.  The New Democrats rushed to cheer Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq even though it was the quintessential “big government” endeavor.  They rushed to spend trillions of dollars on the Iraq war and military spending that exceeded the collective spending of the next nine nations with the highest military spending.  The New Democrats demanded that all Democrats cheer this wasteful government spending, which harmed our military, maimed and killed our troops, and maimed and killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.  The New Democrats claim that the federal budget deficits and so-called “funding gaps” on the safety net mandate massive cuts in social spending programs.  They promote invasions and unnecessary and harmful military spending programs that could easily “pay for” those social programs if austerity really were a desirable policy (it is not).

Note that each of these examples of the New Democrats’ black hole of hypocrisy also represented an assault on the American working class.  Our service members are typically working class.  The people hurt most by austerity’s denial of full employment are the working class.  The people who gain enormously from austerity are Wall Street elites and the top one-ten-thousandth of one percent.  The people hurt most by budget cuts in social programs and the safety net are the working class.  The people hurt most by the New Democrats’ embrace of the three “de’s” are the working class.

The New Democrats are shocked that after waging their long war against the white working class – the white working class turned on the New Democrats’ candidate.  Who could ever have guessed that after the New Democrats abused the working class for over 30 years, the white working class would decide to return the favor?  (Again, yes, I understand that the Trump administration is betraying the working class.)

Wall Street and the New Democrats Continue their Long War on the Working Class

The New Democrats supported not only the actual war against various factions in Iraq, but also the economic and political war against the American working class and the middle class.  They did so by inflicting austerity on our Nation and people, by attacking the safety net, and by pushing for the three “de’s,” particularly for Wall Street.  This created the criminogenic environment that led to the fraud epidemics of the Enron-era and the most recent crisis, which hyper-inflated the two largest bubbles in history (creating the faux economic growth that the Clintons’ still brag about), caused the financial crisis (and Enron-era crash), and caused the Great Recession.  (Bush’s “wrecking crew,” as Tom Frank aptly labeled them, followed the same policies.  They share fully in Clinton and Gore’s culpability for the most recent crisis.)

The key take away is that Wall Street and the New Democrats want to continue the long war.  They know that their long war has devastated the working class, enriched Wall Street elites beyond their dreams in 1984 when the funded the creation of the DLC, allowed the New Democrats to dominate the Democratic Party – and made Trump president.

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  • diogenes

    I have immense respect for William K. Black, which the body of work he has produced plainly merits, and for his discussion here of the presentday subversion of the Democratic Party by its Wall Street owners, but I also need to point out that that this corruption is not new. It is a feature of the Democratic National Committee that goes back at least to the 1860s, when its chairman was August Belmont, the most powerful banker on Wall Street and the primary agent of Rothschild interests in America from his arrival here from Poland by way of Germany in 1839 until his retirement in the 1880s. Similarly, among Wilson’s primary backers on Wall Street were Paul Warburg, creator of the Federal Reserve, and Bernard Baruch, and a principal purpose in their backing was to eliminate the populist element that had been drawn into the party and betrayed by Bryan. This history and much more to go with it, is available and probably known to Prof. Black. It deserves more attention and more weight. The reason — to answer his question — that the powers that be behind the DNC chose Bazille is that she perfectly represents the traditions and positions they are intent on forwarding, which are the de facto traditions and policies of the Wall Street puppet that wears the donkey mask.

    In view of all this, and all that might be said along these lines, I ask him: Why attempt to revive this diseased corpse? I would also urge him to re-read and re-consider Lawrence Goodwyn’s specatular contribution to our historiography, Democratic Promise. He might also take a look at my essay, posted elsewhere on this site, The Distribution of Wealth In America.

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