SYNDICATED COLUMN: The Democrats Are a Lost Cause

Image result for kamala harris hillary clinton

There they go again.

Hillary was a two time loser. Weirdly, her people are still in charge of the Democratic Party. Clintonista militant moderates haven’t learned a thing from Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump — so they’re trying to sell Democratic voters on more of the same.

Remember what happened when Hillary ran on “never mind your crappy low wage job, vote for me because ‘first woman president'”? Now we’re supposed to get excited about center-right California Senator Kamala Harris because she ticks off two boxes on the identity politics hit parade.

Remember the ugly optics when Bill and Hillary took their excellent fundraising adventure to the Hamptons? Kamala 2020 is already doing the same thing.

Remember how well it worked out when Hillary snubbed Bernie and insulted his progressive supporters, then ran a tack-to-the-right general-election campaign that targeted Republicans who were never going to vote for her? Here comes Kamala with rhetoric that makes her sound like a Rand Paul Republican: “I agree we must be talking about wasteful spending in our country…we must be talking about tax reform.” Also lots o’ tasty “tough on crime” (since she’s black it can’t possibly be the racist dog whistle it sounds like).

The DNC is still partying like it’s 1999: Third Way/DLC/center-right triangulation is king. Dick Morris, call Kamala.

Memo to the Dumocrats: Trump’s polls are in the toilet. Still, Trump (or, if Trump gets impeached, Pence) might beat the Dems again in 2020. “Double haters” — voters who hated Trump and Clinton — were a deciding factor in 2016, accounting for “3% to 5% of the 15 million voters across 17 battleground states,” according to political author Joshua Green. They broke for Trump.

They — and Bernie voters snubbed by Hillary who sat home on election day — cost Hillary the 2016 election.

To be fair, some establishment Democrats know how to count. “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,” Chuck Schumer wrote in The New York Times yesterday.

Sounds great. So what exactly is in Chuck’s stillborn (Republican president, Republican House, Republican Senate) Better Deal?

“Rules to stop prescription drug price gouging… allow regulators to break up big companies if they’re hurting consumers… giving employers, particularly small businesses, a large tax credit to train workers for unfilled jobs.”

These are good ideas.

But they’re so small.

If enacted, the Dems’ Better Deal wouldn’t do a thing about the problems that afflict most voters.

The #1 problem is the economy. There aren’t enough jobs. The jobs there are don’t pay enough. Bosses have too much power over workers.

A massive new WPA-like program, in which the federal government hires millions of Americans to rebuild our crumbled infrastructure, would create jobs. A $25/hour minimum wage — that’s about what it would be if raises had kept up with inflation — would guarantee that a full-time job yields full-time pay. Abolishing America’s inhuman, archaic “at-will” employment, which gives employers the right to fire you without a good reason, would restore balance to labor-management relations. The U.S. is the only nation with at-will.

The #2 problem is healthcare. Attempts by Republicans to repeal Obamacare have made the ACA more popular than ever. Most Democrats want single-payer, where the government pays for healthcare — why doesn’t the Democratic Party?

The answer, of course, is that the party leadership is owned by Wall Street, the Fortune 500 and big-monied special interests in general. Figures like Harris and Schumer and Clinton will never give the people what we want and need because their masters will never allow it. The question for us is, when do we stop giving them our votes — and start organizing outside the dead-end of the electoral duopoly?

(Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall) is author of “Trump: A Graphic Biography,” an examination of the life of the Republican presidential nominee in comics form. You can support Ted’s hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.)

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditDigg thisShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

19 thoughts on “SYNDICATED COLUMN: The Democrats Are a Lost Cause

  1. “A massive new WPA-like program, in which the federal government hires millions of Americans to rebuild our crumbled infrastructure, would create jobs.”

    Ted, what (in your opinion) is preventing the federal government from instituting such a program?

  2. “We were on a path that would have eventually gotten all those things, btw. Who derailed it? “Progressives” who thought their “purity” was more important than stopping fascists.”

    Who came up with this lie about progressives having a purity test? Bernie was never perfect and “pure.” The way I remember it, it was like, “Primary Candidate B represents my views better than Primary Candidate A, so I will vote for B. What? Candidate A rigged the election, refused to embrace any of Candidate B’s ideas, dismissed me as inconsequential to her winning, and is now running a terrible campaign against an orange-haired bully?”

    “None of which are possible without a minimum of a decade of hard work and political engagement, regardless of who is President(One of the great missed opportunities of a Bernie win, was that when even he was unable to grant their demands; “progressives” would’ve been forced to do a reality check about how unreasonable they are)”

    Yep, the social safety net our parents and grandparents used to enjoy and that many Europeans and Asians currently enjoy is totally unreasonable and will never happen. But at least we got trillion-dollar jets to show off.

    • When 20 trillion dollars is given to the criminal banksters and the class of owners of “things that pay them” even while—and even if they only—sleep, not much is left for the people who must spend their days working to produce real things people like and need to buy.

    • >“Primary Candidate B represents my views better than Primary Candidate A, so I will vote for B. What? Candidate A rigged the election, refused to embrace any of Candidate B’s ideas, dismissed me as inconsequential to her winning, and is now running a terrible campaign against an orange-haired bully?”

      The above sentence contains less than 10% truth. But I already know who came up with that lie-delusional, selfish “progressives” with an assist from Russian troll-bots.

      • “The above sentence contains less than 10% truth.”

        I was there, dummy. Not you. That’s exactly how it went down. By the way, Hillary lost to Trump in case you missed it.

        “But I already know who came up with that lie-delusional, selfish “progressives” with an assist from Russian troll-bots.”

        Progressives and Russian bots came up with a lie that you repeat as the truth. Okay. I’m sure Joy Reid will hire you any day now.

  3. Back when Ike was president, the top marginal tax rate was 91% on unearned income, and 50% on earned income. The CEO earned about 5 times as much as the median worker, and for good reason. With state taxes, the marginal rate went to 101% at any salary that was much more than 5 times that of the median worker, since the IRS said executives who set their salaries higher than that weren’t really earning the money, so the IRS called it unearned income, and the rate went to 101%, and it doesn’t make sense to earn in the 101% bracket. Since Reagan, median wages have been rather static, while executive salaries went through the roof. And that’s the way a majority of the voters seem to like it. Republicans say the tax laws are too complex, and they’ll lower taxes and make filing much easier. But the problem is, if you have any income that’s not on a W2, you have to provide proof of all the expenses associated with that income, and that’s hard. Once you’ve gotten your gross taxable income in the box, you can look up your taxes in the instruction book (or use an on-line form). But the voters keep falling for the same lines.

  4. Ted-
    >Remember what happened when Hillary ran on “never mind your crappy low wage job, vote for me because ‘first woman president’”?

    Link or it didn’t happen. You’d have pinprick of a point had you used “vote for m

    • “vote for me cause I’m not Trump”, but Hillary never said anything even remotely close to “never mind your crappy low wage job”, and only the most hardcore HDS sufferers would try to twist her words so that she did.

      >A massive new WPA-like program, in which the federal government hires millions of Americans to rebuild our crumbled infrastructure, would create jobs. A $25/hour minimum wage — that’s about what it would be if raises had kept up with inflation — would guarantee that a full-time job yields full-time pay. Abolishing America’s inhuman, archaic “at-will” employment, which gives employers the right to fire you without a good reason, would restore balance to labor-management relations. The U.S. is the only nation with at-will.

      None of which are possible without a minimum of a decade of hard work and political engagement, regardless of who is President(One of the great missed opportunities of a Bernie win, was that when even he was unable to grant their demands; “progressives” would’ve been forced to do a reality check about how unreasonable they are) We were on a path that would have eventually gotten all those things, btw. Who derailed it? “Progressives” who thought their “purity” was more important than stopping fascists.

      >The question for us is, when do we stop giving them our votes — and start organizing outside the dead-end of the electoral duopoly?

      Please do. I would like nothing more than for “progressives” to spend 50 years in the political wilderness in a vain attempt to form a third party. I can think of no faster way to put the adults in the room-the people who understand how politics actually WORSK-back in charge of saving this country.

      Glenn-
      >How many times will voters accept promises the parties have no intention or ability to fulfill?

      Thank you for confirming what I’ve always said- “If you understand the party can’t meat your demands and piss and moan and generally sabotage the party every chance you get anyway: YOU’RE the problem, not the party”

      • > YOU’RE the problem, not the party

        Yesssss, it’s our fault the party doesn’t represent us.

        We are guilty of disliking an unlikable candidate. Of deciding who to vote for instead being told who to vote for. Of thinking for ourselves when The Party has already decided what we should think.

        In fact, we should give up on voting altogether, sign our proxies over to The Party and then we’d never have to think again. (How’s that been working out for you, Whimsy?)

        Alternatively, The Party could represent us instead of the 1% – but that’s just crazy talk.

      • The Clintonbots all know that St Hillary was the very best candidate for president the US of A has ever had. Whimsical says every decent American must always vote a Democrat straight ticket.

        The Clintonbots know it was Rall, Dowd, Comey, and Putin who stole the election, St Hillary did everything right, and should have gotten at least 75% of the vote. Dowd wrote, ‘Everyone must vote for Clinton in spite of her flaws.’ Comments all screamed, ‘Fire this Republican liar. St Hillary is completely and utterly flawless, and that’s a proven fact.’

        Sadly, while just about everyone who reads the New York Times voted for St Hillary, she still lost. But they’re sure she can win in ’20.

      • I’d love it if any party could “meat” my
        demands, throw in a bit of potatoes and veggies, and serve up dessert.

        Now THAT’s the ticket!

      • CH-

        >Yesssss, it’s our fault the party doesn’t represent us.
        >Alternatively, The Party could represent us instead of the 1% – but that’s just crazy talk

        The party represents you to the best of its (admittedly limited) ability, and given those limitations does an A- job, consistently delivering around 90% of what can be reasonably expected of them in the eyeblink between elections.

        So either:
        A) You’re delusional about what can actually be accomplished in the eyeblink between elections
        Or worse:
        B) You’re the six year old who knows daddy can’t buy him a pony right now, but has found a box of matches and is trying to burn down the house everyone lives in because you want your pony and you don’t give a damn about who you hurt in retaliation for not getting it- Even though there isn’t a soul on Earth who could’ve given it to you.

        But delusional or childish, any hurt fee-fee’s/disappointment are entirely your fault. As is always the case when people who do not have reasonable expectations whine and tantrum about them not being met.

        >We are guilty of disliking an unlikable candidate.

        That’s not something you need to feel guilty about. I didn’t like Hillary; but one of the big differences between you and I (besides the obvious fact that I’m a progressive and you aren’t) is that I’m not delusional/childish enough to think that my dislike was sufficient justification for setting progressive causes (not to mention the country) back decades, by handing America over to the fascists.

        You are guilty of (and should be ashamed by) putting your feelings ahead of progressive causes and the good of the country. But I doubt you’ll ever achieve the necessary self-awareness or emotional maturity to understand the substantial, possibly irreversible, harm you’ve done not just to the country, but to causes you (laughably) claim to care about.

        >In fact, we should give up on voting altogether, sign our proxies over to The Party and then we’d never have to think again. (How’s that been working out for you, Whimsy?)

        Wouldn’t know, as that’s never been my position. And you know that’s never been my position. Your continued pulling out of this hoary strawman instead of answering the points I’ve actually made just continues to demonstrate how bankrupt your position actually is.

      • @Whimsy, eh-HEM, “How’s that been working out for you?”

        You like to apportion blame, so let’s talk about that.

        You backed an unwinnable candidate, in spite of the fact that every poll said she’d lose against Trump where Bernie would win. What would have happened if you’d thrown your support behind Bernie early on? If he’d peaked sooner, he’d have won the primary and gone on to win the Presidency. But you – and all the other Pavlovian-conditioned suckers – backed Hillary. You LOST. You get that, right? You did not win. The other guy won. You came in second place, you missed the brass ring, your grand strategy FAILED again.

        And what is your reaction? A little soul-searching? Reassessment of said strategy? Oh, hell no – you want to blame those of us who warned you beforehand. (“Told ya’ so.”)

        Trump didn’t win because some of us saw something better than Hillary – he won because the ‘undecideds’ liked him BETTER than Hillary. Forget your righteous indignation for two seconds and contemplate that. Your candidate LOST to an unqualified man-baby – is it possible that she may share some of that blame? Could it be possible that her enablers share some of that blame?

        You represent approximately 48% of the voters, yet you persist in believing that 1% have more sway than you and all your fellow sheep. Perhaps you should find someone who passed grade-school arithmetic to explain ratios to you. YOU are in control, if you steer the ship to the right, it goes to the right. Blaming those of us who want to steer left accomplishes nothing.

        If you seriously wanted change – you’d work for change. Instead you fight *against* those who do want change. You obviously believe you’re supporting the left, when in reality you’re doing the right’s job for them.

        How’s that been working out for you?

      • Whimsical, Ted’s most recent cartoon showing the difference between the Reagan era and Trump era seems to both contradict and reinforce your plea for incrementalism.

        On one hand, the reactionary right has been leading a counter revolution in this country ever since they were scared to death of the long haired kids of the late ’60s. This counter revolution has pulled the entire political spectrum further and further to the right to the point where we now have a troglodyte, neo-fascist as president. But it has also pulled the mainstream left far to the right. So incrementalism worked for the right. They beat back those dirty hippies and now they have a billionaire wonderland that the unwashed masses not only accept, but demand and fight for.

        However, incrementalism doesn’t work for the left the way you envision it. The reason: the candidates that run, win primaries and the ones who get elected don’t push the needle to the left. At best, they tread water. But mostly, mainstream Democratic administrations normalize policies and positions that in previous Republican administrations were deemed a reactionary reach. Setting up the next crop of Republicans to frame policies even further right. It’s not a winning strategy. And that is probably the point of it all.

      • @ Meursault –
        That’s the first realistic and rational analysis of this subject that I’ve seen on these boards. Thank you!

      • >You backed an unwinnable candidate, in spite of the fact that every poll said she’d lose against Trump where Bernie would win.

        Actually, the majority of polls said Hillary would run away with it. And the polls that said Bernie would win would’ve wound up being even LESS accurate than those.
        The more I research it the more I am convinced Bernie would’ve not only been unable to overcome Russian interference in the election, he would have actually lost the popular vote. Eichenwald’s piece at Newsweek about the myth that Bernie would’ve won was a key piece in my coming to that decision. If I remember later, I’ll try to link it for your education.

        >What would have happened if you’d thrown your support behind Bernie early on? If he’d peaked sooner, he’d have won the primary and gone on to win the Presidency

        Hey, I backed Bernie at first, despite my concerns that he was lying to his hard core supporters about how long it would take to get his agenda enacted. I figured, at least that when even St. Sanders couldn’t deliver “progressives” demands in an entire term, let alone in the eyeblink between individual elections, “progressives” would be forced to take a hard look at how unreasonable their demands had become.
        I didn’t switch to Hillary until it became clear that Bernie was mathematically eliminated and had no legitimate way to overturn the will of the people and needed to quit with the attacks, drop out and endorse or all he’d being doing is what “progressives” always do- help the people who want to blow everything up get in. I didn’t even start to get seriously annoyed with Bernie until he refused to do the same.
        Side note: I’m sure that you are, as are most “progressives” hoping that Sanders runs again in 2020. I don’t think he will; by then, he’ll be neck deep in his own scandals. I’ll vote/work for him if he gets the nom because I am neither childish nor crazy but I will work against him getting the nomination unless he agrees to drop out, endorse and end all attacks against the Democratic Party within 24 hours of being mathematically eliminated.

        >Trump didn’t win because some of us saw something better than Hillary – he won because the ‘undecideds’ liked him BETTER than Hillary.

        No, Trump won because Russia was able to micro target HDS sufferers on the left to carry the torrent of bullshit (and use it against the persuadable middle) with which they were micro targeting HDS sufferers on the right. And as all “progressives” do when they don’t get what they demand(despite the facts that their demands are impossible.), they obliged.
        Had they refused; had every “progressive” who wanted to “send a message” done the rational, mature thing and voted for the Democrat who went as left as it was possible to go, Trump wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near the WH and not had the opportunity to damage the country as he has.

        >Forget your righteous indignation for two seconds and contemplate that.

        You voted to hand this country over to fascists to save yourself from doing something you didn’t like. I’m never going to be able to put that aside.

        > Your candidate LOST to an unqualified man-baby – is it possible that she may share some of that blame? Could it be possible that her enablers share some of that blame?

        Sure, Hillary gets some blame. Are you capable of admitting that those who took actions that made it easier for the fascists to win deserve some of the blame? Hell, I’ll even be a mensch and not make you admit the “progressive” fascist enablers deserve more blame than Hilllary.

        >You represent approximately 48% of the voters, yet you persist in believing that 1% have more sway than you and all your fellow sheep. Perhaps you should find someone who passed grade-school arithmetic to explain ratios to you.

        Let me explain the actual ratios to YOU. There is 28% of the country that is hardcore sexist/racist/misogynist/homophobic. This is the Republican base that votes for them no matter what.
        There’s another 20% that have bought into the bulllshit “progressives” have spewed out for 40 years: “both sides are the same”, “your vote doesn’t matter”, etc etc. Despite the fact that besides being untrue, all that does is enable the fascists to win.
        Let’s see: 28+20=48. Why, both sides are tied. And any grade school statistician can tell you, when there’s a tie; the remaining voters have all the power..And that’s the 4% of people you represent.

        >YOU are in control, if you steer the ship to the right, it goes to the right. Blaming those of us who want to steer left accomplishes nothing.

        Nobody who wants to steer the ship left would empower those who want to blow the ship up. Tantruming by withholding your support when your impossible to meet demands aren’t met (*shocker*) only accomplishes making it easier for the fascists to win

        >If you seriously wanted change – you’d work for change. Instead you fight *against* those who do want change. You obviously believe you’re supporting the left, when in reality you’re doing the right’s job for them.

        And they say irony is dead. If you want to see someone doing the rights job for them, all you need to do is look in the mirror. If you seriously wanted change, you wouldn’t take actions to empower those who will roll back change.
        Aiso, I’ve advanced progressive causes, you’ve set them back;and the only people I fight against are those who empower the right
        I understand you think you’re supporting the left. No, wait I don’t. Its so transparent that you’re empowering the right with everything you do. I can’t imagine how you can think anything else.

        .>How’s that been working out for you?

        Your empowering the right? Not super well. You’ve set all the causes you laughably claim to care about back decades. Not to mention the country.
        We were on track for my kids to inherit a better world, which is all I ever wanted. All “progressives had to do was be mature, realistic and rational.
        Should have known that’d be too much to ask.

  5. “Abolishing America’s inhuman, archaic “at-will” employment, which gives employers the right to fire you without a good reason, would restore balance to labor-management relations. The U.S. is the only nation with at-will.”

    This just goes to show how the LA Times let their contempt for Ted overrule their “better judgment”, which would have been to keep their mouth shut when firing him by ending his employment silently and politely, instead of trying to end his entire career by defamation.

    But the fake news organizations are used to creating “enemies of the people” for the interests of the duopoly and their big money owners, so the temptation to destroy someone for their own pleasure and on their own initiative must have proved to be too great to resist.

    “Sounds great. So what exactly is in Chuck’s stillborn (Republican president, Republican House, Republican Senate) Better Deal?”

    The Democratic Party plans for revitalization is like Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, in that in it promised freedom for slaves in the South, where they couldn’t actually give it, while keeping slavery intact in the North, where they actually could have ended it.

    I expect the party, as it is now, will do exactly what it did during the first two years of Obama’s deflation of “Hope and Change’ rhetoric when they had to confront the terror of not having anyone to blame, or any excuse, for not using their complete control of the Congress and Presidency to make the big post-Bush changes they promised and the people expected.

    How many times will voters accept promises the parties have no intention or ability to fulfill?

    All I get out of these parties is a sense of the contempt they feel for the people they expect to get their votes from.

Leave a Reply