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In the discussion thread: Pitchforks Against Plutocracy [View all]

Response to Martin Eden (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 06:07 PM

3. I think alot of damage has occurred from Republicans passing themselves off as Democrats.

To our party and to our country...and to our planet.

And the switch we saw between candidate Obama & president Obama only echoed what happened with the previous Democratic president~

...As one of them said to the Washington Post recently, inequality “just didn’t exist then as a public issue.”

But of course it did. It existed then more sensationally than at any time until the second George Bush brought it back in full force in 2008. In 1992 the country was basically in flames over the economic effects of Reaganism. That year, Jerry Brown, Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan and, yes, Bill Clinton all ran as populists who would rescue the declining middle class by one method or another. On the campaign trail, Clinton reportedly carried with him and quoted from a copy of a three-alarm best-seller called “America: What Went Wrong?” Get it off the shelf today and you’ll find that its first two sentences run as follows: “The wage and salary structure of American business, encouraged by federal tax policies, is pushing the nation toward a two-class society. The top 4 percent make as much as the bottom half of U.S. workers.” And here are the first few paragraphs of a New York Times story that ran in May of 1992:

When Bill Clinton wants to galvanize his audience, he thunders from the podium that the top 1 percent of families got 60 percent of the gains from economic growth during the 1980s and owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.

Governor Clinton, the likely Democratic Presidential nominee, had been searching for months for facts to illustrate his claim that America’s middle class benefited little from 12 years of Republican rule. The explosion of riches at the top struck him as a perfect vehicle. Not only did the widening gap between the rich and the rest of Americans conflict with traditional notions of democracy, but it also went right to the pocketbook sources of middle-class discontent.

In 1992, one might conclude, the nation chose to reverse the plutocratizing effects of neoliberalism. What we got was something else—a soft Reaganism that admitted, “the era of big government is over.” And that’s why, in the months and years to come, we will see Clinton loyalists do all they can to delete that New Gilded Age from memory even as they rail against the current New Gilded Age. Were we to judge Bill Clinton by the standards of 1992, his presidency was something of a failure, eight years of deregulation and New Economy platitudes. If we judge him by the rich rewards that his booming stock market showered on the wealthy, however, his term in the White House was a towering success.

The original Gilded Age ended when Democrats and Republicans came together around the old populist program of financial regulation, antitrust enforcement, income tax, and legitimacy for organized labor. This time around there is no end in sight, because Republicans and Democrats have come together on a program that is almost the opposite
—dismantling the regulatory state at the behest of the One Percent while assuring an ever angrier public that they feel our pain, that they’re Putting People First, that they’d be great to have a beer with, that Yes We Can. The heart sickens at the thought of these many long years of fake populism, and the stomach turns to imagine how little time there is before we are swept up in it all over again.


We need Democrats to be Democrats once elected, otherwise, what is the point of having 2 parties? Lets just call it what it is, one big corporate party with different colored jerseys.

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RiverLover Jan 2015 OP
Martin Eden Jan 2015 #1
LineLineNew Reply I think alot of damage has occurred from Republicans passing themselves off as Democrats.
RiverLover Jan 2015 #3
Martin Eden Jan 2015 #4
RiverLover Jan 2015 #5
yallerdawg Jan 2015 #6
RiverLover Jan 2015 #7
yallerdawg Jan 2015 #8
sabrina 1 Jan 2015 #9
Enthusiast Jan 2015 #2
RiverLover Feb 2015 #10
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