Politics Of The Next 4 Years: Part 2 (Last Chance For The Democrats)

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

In yesterday’s post, Politics of the Next 4 Years – Part 1 (Rise of the ‘Dirtbag Left’), I discussed the fact that a very potent grassroots movement has emerged to the left of corporate, neoliberal Democrats. This self-described “Dirtbag Left” and its allies have the potential to not just drive the Democratic Party into extinction, but also ultimately challenge Trump on the national stage. Although I’m not a Democrat or a leftist (I’m not a Republican or conservative either), I welcome this development for a number of reasons.

First, if economic populism becomes aggressively embraced by those who lean left, it will force Trump to become genuinely populist on at least some issues in order to compete in 2020, as opposed to the fake populism he has enthusiastically embraced since the election.

Second, it will present corporate Democrats with a choice, either “bend the knee” as the folks at Chapo suggested, or die. Nobody believes in neoliberal ideology other than donors and their corporate media spokespeople. The entire thing is a discredited failure and isn’t coming back. As such, today’s post will explain why this is the last chance for the Democratic Party.

The political world was abuzz yesterday with chatter related to Charles “Chucky” Schumer’s op-ed in The New York Times in which he suddenly proclaims himself an economic populist, and disingenuously claims the Democratic Party has somehow changed. It consisted of many comforting phrases, but I wouldn’t believe a single line of it until I see actual action on the ground. It’s easy to talk a big game when you have zero power, but talk is cheap, as we all should have learned from both Barrack Obama and Donald Trump.

Before I get into some specifics about what I think all of this means, let’s take a look at some excerpts.

Americans are clamoring for bold changes to our politics and our economy. They feel, rightfully, that both systems are rigged against them, and they made that clear in last year’s election. American families deserve a better deal so that this country works for everyone again, not just the elites and special interests. Today, Democrats will start presenting that better deal to the American people.

What took you so long? Serious question, considering this deplorable situation has been obvious for a very long time, and was already entrenched when Obama was President and Democrats controlled Congress.

Today’s working Americans and the young are justified in having greater doubts about the future than any generation since the Depression. Americans believe they’re getting a raw deal from both the economic and political systems in our country. And they are right. The wealthiest special interests can spend an unlimited, undisclosed amount of money to influence elections and protect their special deals in Washington. As a result, our system favors short-term gains for shareholders instead of long-term benefits for workers.


And for far too long, government has gone along, tilting the economic playing field in favor of the wealthy and powerful while putting new burdens on the backs of hard-working Americans.


Democrats have too often hesitated from taking on those misguided policies directly and unflinchingly — so much so that many Americans don’t know what we stand for. Not after today. Democrats will show the country that we’re the party on the side of working people — and that we stand for three simple things.


First, we’re going to increase people’s pay. Second, we’re going to reduce their everyday expenses. And third, we’re going to provide workers with the tools they need for the 21st-century economy.


We are in the minority in both houses of Congress; we cannot promise anyone that this Congress will begin passing our priorities tomorrow. But we have to start raising our voices to present our vision for the country’s future. We will seek the support of any Republicans willing to work with us, but more important, we must start rallying the American people to support our ideas.

This is key. It’s easy to make Santa Claus level promises when you have no power and can’t actually deliver. He’s basically using the same old tired language of Obama and saying “it’ll be different this time.” Why should anyone believe him?

In the last two elections, Democrats, including in the Senate, failed to articulate a strong, bold economic program for the middle class and those working hard to get there. We also failed to communicate our values to show that we were on the side of working people, not the special interests. We will not repeat the same mistake. This is the start of a new vision for the party, one strongly supported by House and Senate Democrats.

It’s not so much that Democrats have “failed to articulate” stuff. It’s that Democrats constantly fail to take action on what they articulate. David Sirota put it perfectly yesterday:

It takes quite a bit of nerve for Chucky Schumer, the consummate corporate Democrat to pivot toward populism. While he mentions various industries in his piece, he fails to mention financial institutions or Wall Street even once. This is extremely telling considering the grave danger this industry presents to the wellbeing of the nation.

To see why Schumer doesn’t dare mention “too big to fail or jail banks,” let’s take a look at excerpts from a piece published back in 2015 titled, Four “Too Big to Fail/Jail” Banks Threaten to Hold Back Funds to Democrats Over Elizabeth Warren:

WASHINGTON — As the financial crisis jolted the nation in September, Senator Charles E. Schumer was consumed. He traded telephone calls with bankers, then became one of the first officials to promote a Wall Street bailout. He spent hours in closed-door briefings and a weekend helping Congressional leaders nail down details of the $700 billion rescue package.


The next day, Mr. Schumer appeared at a breakfast fund-raiser in Midtown Manhattan for Senate Democrats. Addressing Henry R. Kravis, the buyout billionaire, and about 20 other finance industry executives, he warned that a bailout would be a hard sell on Capitol Hill. Then he offered some reassurance: The businessmen could count on the Democrats to help steer the nation through the financial turmoil.


“We are not going to be a bunch of crazy, anti-business liberals,” one executive said, summarizing Mr. Schumer’s remarks. “We are going to be effective, moderate advocates for sound economic policies, good responsible stewards you can trust.”


The message clearly resonated. The next week, executives at firms represented at the breakfast sent in more than $135,000 in campaign donations.


But Mr. Schumer, a member of the Banking and Finance Committees, repeatedly took other steps to protect industry players from government oversight and tougher rules, a review of his record shows. Over the years, he has also helped save financial institutions billions of dollars in higher taxes or fees.


He succeeded in limiting efforts to regulate credit-rating agencies, for example, sponsored legislation that cut fees paid by Wall Street firms to finance government oversight, pushed to allow banks to have lower capital reserves and called for the revision of regulations to make corporations’ balance sheets more transparent.


At times in Congress, Mr. Schumer has teamed up with Republicans, like former Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, who aggressively promoted a free-market agenda. Mr. Schumer pushed for the Gramm-Leach-Bliley law, passed in November 1999, which knocked down the walls between investment banks and commercial banks and allowed financial supermarkets to flourish. The law also weakened regulatory oversight by fracturing it among different agencies.


In 2001, Mr. Schumer and Mr. Gramm jointly proposed legislation that would cut fees paid by Wall Street firms and others to the S.E.C. in half, or by $14 billion, over the coming decade. Their proposal included some extra money for salaries of commission employees.


Mr. Schumer’s argument prevailed, and the fee cut passed overwhelmingly.


“He built his career in large part based on his ties to Wall Street,” said Christopher Whalen, managing director of Institutional Risk Analytics, which advises investors on the regulatory system. “And he has given the Street what it wanted.”


And he is seeking some regulatory concessions for some Wall Street supporters. He has proposed, for example, that the government lift a cap on how big the giant banks can get, an issue important to institutions like JPMorgan Chase. Lifting the cap would allow the biggest banks to absorb weaker ones, but it would also limit competition and increase the risks to the financial system posed by failure of one of the giants.


In recent weeks, Mr. Schumer has listened to Wall Street leaders for advice on what should come next. At a dinner at Morgan Stanley’s headquarters the night before the presidential election, John Mack, the chief executive, and a dozen top hedge fund officials talked with Mr. Schumer about possible changes affecting their industry.

The idea that this guy could somehow be a champion of “the people” is not merely laughable, it’s insulting and dangerous.

Fine, so what are you supposed to do if you’re a left-leaning American who doesn’t want to be played for a fool for the thousandth time? I have some simple advice, and it consists of focusing on the donors. Any politician who claims to be for the people yet takes massive amounts of money from Wall Street, assorted billionaires and other special interests is entirely full of shit and should not receive a vote or any support whatsoever.

If Bernie Sanders can fund his campaign with small donations, others can do it too. There’s enough demand from the public for politicians to stick it to corrupt oligarchs, and if a politician isn’t funded by the people, he or she will not work for the people. It’s that simple.

That being said, there’s one small positive about Schumer’s op-ed and the overall attempt to rebrand the Democratic Party, irrespective of how dishonest and superficial all of it is. Democratic leadership is on the ropes and they know it. If you let them off the hook because of a few soothing paragraphs in the New York Times, you know what’s going to happen. The same thing that’s happened every other time.

Just take a look at how aggressively Hillary donors are rallying around Kamala Harris for 2020. This is no accident. They’re already mobilizing their media mouthpieces to propagandize this puppet all the way to winning the Democratic nomination. This merely proves the point I made earlier. Unless you deal with the donor problem, you will never, ever take control of this party.

To conclude, the Democratic Party as we know it is finished. The only question is whether or not grassroots Americans can take over the party from the donors and run an economic populist in 2020. If not, and donors once again force a terrible candidate like Kamala Harris, the party will cease to exist as a political force from that moment, transitioning into a fascinating subject for historians to ponder.

Finally, considering I do not identify with any political ideology, tomorrow’s post will discuss how I see myself participating in the political landscape going forward.


LetThemEatRand Tue, 07/25/2017 - 20:21 Permalink

Both parties are bought and paid for.  In simple terms, that is why Trump won.  He convinced many of us that he wasn't owned.  The Blue Team is delusional if it thinks more than a few idiots are going to forget that just because they double down on saying it ain't so with their party.

iconic (not verified) Tue, 07/25/2017 - 20:27 Permalink

In the two party that is one party paradigm, the democrats are a total and utter joke. What is worse, for them, is they don't understand that. Republicans are not far behind, but democrats are just so totally pathetic, it truly boggles the mind.I really feel sorry for that young antifa tatted sexually confused pierced commie running around out there. The leaders of his party are old gasbags like Schumer, Pelosi, and Waters. Throw in a few of the black luminaries, like Al Green and John Lewis, not to mention fearless sell out jewish leader Sanders, even from their twisted minds and perspective, that is a very bad lineup.Their media to tell them all the 'truth' they need to know, with empty bookshelves in their bedroom, are the likes of CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and NBC.The bottom line is, unless these idiot democrats change their song and FAST, with respect to the two party game, they are going to get absolutely wrecked in 2018, and 2020. In fact, the democrat party might become extinct at the rate they are going.

Mini-Me Tue, 07/25/2017 - 20:31 Permalink

I am personally taking great joy in watching both parties self-destruct.  What's scary is that something worse may fill the vacuum. I'd prefer to have a second American revolution.  We may get a second French revolution instead.

Felix da Kat Tue, 07/25/2017 - 21:45 Permalink

So democrats are embarking on yet another charm offensive ? Don't believe it. They are scheming just as a high-school senior on a first date with the flashy car, who promises the moon but whose only real objective is to get laid.  (Eight years of Obama is proof enough).

pparalegal Tue, 07/25/2017 - 20:50 Permalink

I say they succeeded masterfully already. Over 40% of the next gen mal-educated Millennials believe capitalism has failed and want socialism. Although when asked they can't define the word beyond sharing. This is now a battle of oligarchical government coming for the last of it and people over 40.

rickv404 Tue, 07/25/2017 - 21:05 Permalink

Absolute rubbish. The Democratic party will come back. Republicans will see to that. Whether they come back in old, liberal style or as populists, it makes no difference. They will continue their march to destroy free-enterprise, with help from Republicans.

Playtime's Over rickv404 Tue, 07/25/2017 - 22:51 Permalink

Not comin back.  The stench of OBAMA will linger in the olfactory of voters for decades.  People have yet to come to grips with the enormity of what is happening. The direction for Dems in downward and a couple of press conferences with the jackass looking down his nose at you is laughable.  Millenials will follow the ball when they see they have a better option. The culture has been taken over, it will take time to change.  If it doesn't maybe quickly.  With lots of tears and pain.

In reply to by rickv404

praxis Tue, 07/25/2017 - 21:11 Permalink

Krieger is right about one thing: the shit heads are already pushing Kamala Harris.  The Washington Post simply adores her!  Today's Harris puff piece describes her wanting to get to the bottom of this Russian thing and she's just the woman to do it even if she has to deal with a little mansplaining from Senate Republicans.  

AKKadian Tue, 07/25/2017 - 21:29 Permalink

The only way Demoncats will ever win, disavow their communist ways and stand-up for a Constitutional Republic, embrace Austrian Economics, put the two hillbilly Clinton's and Obanger in prison, institute term limits for congress, down size the federal government by 80%, ban PAC's corporate campaign money and no foreigner can donate money, ban lobbying. The list can go on forever, but short of being more conservative than the most conservative, they might as well all commit suicide. They will never win again.!!!    

tyrone AKKadian Thu, 07/27/2017 - 01:11 Permalink

yes, they may not win ever again. They STILL are stuck
in their last failure not understanding why.

And with regards to Kamala Harris: no.. not going to get another black president for at least another century. By the time the Democrats begin to recover, the realzation that going with another unqualified (like Obama) black candidate will have widely settled in, as another potential colassal failure. Even if you could cheat and scheme and lie to get one as the candidate, they would never get elected. By then, several dozen books would have been written documenting what a dismal 8 years we had under Obama and why the economy took so long to recover. Mind you, several of these books will have been written by liberals, socialists, as well as conservatives. And most of these will call out the Obama years as abyssmal retrograde disasters. Never minding the monstrous coverup of who Obama REALLY was.

In reply to by AKKadian

junkyard dog Tue, 07/25/2017 - 21:48 Permalink

The democrats are depending on old farts to do their bidding. The democratic party reminds me of living in a three bed room house with two 50+ women. All these two did was fight over who was in charge of anything and everything. They each had their own bathrooms! They argued about everything and anything. Then, when they were not going to get their way, they stopped talking to each other. This is what you get with old farts. The democrats should get rid of every congressperson over the age of 45 years. If they do, they will have a super majority quickly and the POTUS. Otherwise, or, that being said, the 50+ republicans are going to steal everything they have and, will ever get.

And for this post, it is bullshit.

MuffDiver69 Tue, 07/25/2017 - 21:52 Permalink

Trump just gave a speech in Youngstown which was an older white democrat bastion until 2016...These people vote and turned the Blue Wall red...The democrat party will be seen as forever anti-white in these areas and you will,start seeing many white democrats like Ryan in Ohio be turned out of office..The RINO will go blue, but the electoral numbers will favor republicans for at least one more election...No democrat can give the speech Trump gave tonight and survive in today's Perez/Ellison party...

The problem with white Jews like this author is he wants what has been shown to be an illusion...The demographic time will come, but his friends and family will be strung up on a tree by the New Democrat party...He's living in a dream world..

gregga777 Tue, 07/25/2017 - 21:55 Permalink

I am a former US Marine and a former Aerospace Engineer retired from the Aerospace Industry. I had a Top Secret special background investigation clearance to work on code word programs primarily for the United States Air Force. We had regular meetings with Senior Non-Commissioned and Commissioned officers from the US Air Force's SPO (System Program Office) or BMO (Ballistic Missile Office) depending on type of program. No we could give a US Air Force Senior NCO or Commissioned Officer so much as a free cup of coffee or can of Coca-Cola. They had to publicly pay for refreshments and meals. Water from the drinking fountains was still free.

Now, in contrast, a political parasite, with "companions", can fly to, let's say, a Hawaiian resort for free on a Crony Capitalist CONporate jet. The parasite can stay for free for however long. Then the parasite can collect $50,000 or even as much as $250,000 for making a boring hour long speech. Then the parasite and companions can fly back to wherever on another Crony Capitalist CONporate jet.

One of the big problems that America has is that the political parasites have no skin in the game. They always win regardless of whether or not America wins. In fact, the political parasites have been consistently winning for at least 50 years while America has been losing. A small percentage of Americans, but still a lot of people, foresaw that the government, and many CONporations, were making pension promises that they were never going to be able to keep, especially considering their MORONIC actuarial assumptions based on half-century to century old data. But, remember they NEVER lose, so to them it doesn't matter if every state in the Union and the Union itself goes bankrupt. They got theirs and they could care less about the rest of us.

sinbad2 Tue, 07/25/2017 - 22:12 Permalink

It doesn't matter what the Democrats do, they could bite the heads off chickens and still get a good vote.Americans can only vote red or blue, so as long as some don't like the republican candidate, the Democrats will still get votes.That's what happens when people are brainwashed into believing there are only 2 choices.

HK VP9 Tue, 07/25/2017 - 23:58 Permalink

Want my vote, Democrats? Here's what you have to do: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....go FUCK yourselves and your vote. I don't even vote for the red team fag anymore since voting is a joke, but if I did I would do it 1000x before voting for the party of Clinton.