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What Opposition Party?

The leading lights of the Democratic Party are hiding in the shadows on virtually every important issue, avoiding taking progressive stands on anything of consequence. Handed every conceivable opening by a corrupt and incompetent ruling party, they are refusing to offer an alternative. Roosevelt must be rolling in his grave.

Iraq War going to hell, with U.S casualties approaching 2000 dead and 25,000 wounded, at a cost of $200 billion and rising.

Poverty in America on the rise in a period of supposed economic growth.

Republican Party a cesspool of corruption.

White House being investigated for outing undercover CIA agent.

Abortion rights under serious threat and civil liberties on the chopping block, with the Supreme Court being packed with right-wing judges.

New Orleans, just drying out from disastrous flood, being raped by White House-linked corporate pirates and scam artists.

Budget deficit topping half trillion dollars.

Gas and heating oil crisis looming, while oil companies reap record profits.

Bush poll numbers hit historic low as even some Republicans abandon him as an incompetent.

Oh yeah?all this and global warming and the end of human life as we know it.

Man, if you were an opposition politician looking to make a run for Congress next years, or for president in 2008, this would be a magical time.

But where's the opposition?

The media tell us that the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008 are Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Bill Richardson and maybe John Kerry.

What all these people have in common is their deafening silence on all the issues of importance facing Americans and America.

Not one dared show her or his face at the record demonstration against the Iraq War held in front of the White House last weekend.

None has spoken out on the Republican corruption scandals.

None has called for a public program to hire all the displaced of New Orleans to put them to work rebuilding the destroyed city. Instead, they are allowing Bush and the Republican Congress, with the acquiescence of Louisiana's corrupt local Democratic Party, to bring in speculators and the same profiteers who have been sucking up the reconstruction money in Iraq.

None has offered a plan to attack the U.S. deficit and the hollowing out of the American economy.

None of these "leading opposition candidates" has even taken any kind of strong stand on global warming?for example calling for a tax surcharge on low-mileage cars and trucks and strict limits on carbon emissions by power plants plus a crash program to develop alternative energy sources.

The truth is that when it comes to the Democratic Party, the purported opposition party, there is no there there. It no longer exists.

You'd think the sorry experience of the last two presidential campaigns, where two Democratic candidates, Al Gore and John Kerry, ran spineless, uninspired campaigns that managed to avoid taking a progressive stand on any critical issue of the day, and predictably went down to defeat, dragging Democrats in Congress down with them, would have been a lesson: political cowardice and wedge issue pandering has no future.

Yet here we are five years into the Bush presidency, with Republicans imploding on their own greed and ineptness, and the Democrats are still afraid of their shadows.

Unless someone comes forward soon with an inspired progressive agenda, it's probably time to let the Democratic Party go the way of the Whigs.

Simply letting the Republicans flounder will not win a single election, much less the race for the White House.

It used to be said that pulling the lever for a third party candidate was wasting your vote. These days, voting for a Democrat is wasting a vote.

For other stories by Lindorff, please go (at no charge) to This Can't Be Happening! .

homepage: homepage: http://www.thiscantbehappening.net

Why bother? 29.Sep.2005 08:32

Shaker

I really hope that we get tired of speculating and discussing whether the Democractic Party is a bucket full of shit or shit filling a bucket. Kicking that bucket only spills shit. The party has outlived its usefulness, needs to be recycled, like all good shit, and the corrupted bucket thrown out with it...Good practice for what should happen to the Republicans, too.

John Conyers for president 29.Sep.2005 13:58

John Conyers for president

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Dave.

Here it is: I post anything under the name "John Conyers for President" and all I get is griping that Conyers wouldn't be any different. No matter what he does or says, he's a damn Dem and therefore a fraud and a sell-out and a crook. Convicted before he even has heard that someone is suggesting him for president.

The same goes for the Greens, because they went for lesser-evilism. Only Nader was pure, but he can't get enough votes to piss in the wind of our two-party system.

How about this, Dave? You say that "The media tell us that the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008 are Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Bill Richardson and maybe John Kerry." I say this: we are drowning in a bucket of shit if we look to the media to give us our reality! But we don't hafta tune them in. Why do we credit "the media" with ANYTHING?

The truth is that Hillary has no popular support outside of her home state, nor do Biden nor Richardson nor Kerry. It's a load of shit, but why do you willingly swim in it?

Talk is cheap. Everybody talks about the great "third party" but nobody does anything about it. Except the Greens and the Libertarians. Oh, but they don't count, I guess.

If the people keep acting like sheep, they'll continue to be slaughtered.

Myself, the "media" doesn't speak for me and I mostly ignore it.

As for the Democratic Party, it's a machine -- neither evil nor good in itself. The problem is that the system stinks, so anything that operates within the system is going to be less than pure, that's for sure. The Supreme Court will soon review the campaign financing thing again. Lots of luck with that.

So here we are on a runaway train to hell, we know that the engineer is a rabid-ass idiot, and you're telling us that we need to give up on the firemen. Why? Because some of them are playing "good ol' boy" with the engineer and the talking heads are telling us that even if somehow we could get rid of the engineer, the only possible firemen who could take over for the engineer somewhere down the line, they'd be too much like the engineer we already have. Okay. Probably so. Meanwhile the train is carrying us over a cliff and the engineer is protected by railroad bulls with guns and keeps busy posing for television (that the railroad company owns) BUT there's a few little guys among the firemen talking about how fukt it is and that the engineer is nuts. So, me, I like the way those little guys are talking and, if I get the chance, I'll throw ALL the other firemen AND the engineer off the train and see if we can't bring the whole thing to a graceful STOP before we all go over the cliff. Meanwhile, if some of the little guys talk sense and try to mobilize the passengers and the crew, I don't give a shit if they call themselves Democrats or Communists or Greens or whatever.

Dave: I like what you publish at IndyMedia and at your site, but I think you might pay a little more attention to HOW changes can be made, to Nader and what he's doing these days, to the Greens, even to the Libertarians, to the continuing battle of the struggling progressives within the Democratic Party, to the brave few Republicans that dare to oppose our feuhrer -- AND A LOT LESS ATTENTION TO THE MEANINGLESS "MEDIA"!

Get the order of things right 29.Sep.2005 15:06

Mike stepbystpefarm <a> mtdata.com

FIRST you conceive of a coalition of interests, all of which are outside the ruling coalition and which are willing to work together in mututal support. Or a coalition of such outside interests willign to make a tempting enough offere to one of the interests currently inside (and that feels it isn't gettign a fair share of the spoils).

THEN you can worry about a "vehicle", an opposition party.

Get it? The reason that there is not (meningful) opposiiton party is that there is no such opposition coalition. To be sure, there are plenty of outside interests, but these are NOT willing to come to a reasonable mutual support arrangement. Each wants the opposition policies to be based upon THEIR understanding of what is important. Look, it doesn't matter who is "right" here. I don't care if your ideology is perfectly clear about the right way to proceed, that's YOUR belief system, not that of your (potential) coalition partners.

Right now we see a ruling coalition made up of the "big business" interest (the large scale capitalists), the "foregin interventionist" interest, the "social conservative" interest, etc. These people do NOT necessarily share each other's goals, but they are willing to work together. And they will succeed in continuin gtogether as long as none of these partners gets betrayed by the others -- as long as there is a divying up such that each group gets enouhg of what they want.

You want to oppose this, fine, decide who would make good partners for your opposiiton coalition. Decide what you would be willing to offer these potential partners to come aboard and what of the things you want you would have to give up on at least for now to make that work. As long as you simply bitch an moan that there is no opposition because other people won't join the fight for YOUR objectives and no political party is willing to be your vehicle in this struggle you simply aren't ready yet to engage in real "politics".

"the order of things" is that American 'politics' DOES NOT EXIST. 29.Sep.2005 18:38

happy landings

Corporations do, though.

the 'politics' and 'political parties' are just window dressing for rubber-stamping corporate bootlickers at this point.

it's a fascist state.

Mike is right on 30.Sep.2005 11:43

Jesse Jackson, Jr. for president

Jesse Jackson, Jr., has proposed that Democrats can work with other progressives. He introduced legislation to assure Nader a spot in presidential debates. AND HE IS APPEARING THIS WEEKEND WITH DAVID COBB of the Green Party.

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/09/326016.shtml

For some interesting thoughts, see Jackson's speech "WHERE DO PROGRESSIVES GO FROM HERE?"

 link to www.progressivegovernment.org

The problem is that Democrats, even many progressives, are still caught up in the Y2K Gore defeat (in the Supreme Court, not in the election) and afraid of a narrow defeat and more Bush fascism resulting from it. They don't see the opportunity of opening up an alliance with other parties, even though others are opening up to them. Like Medea Benjamin and Code Pink -- it's the inside/outside strategy. To really make it work, we'd need IRV and other election reform. BUT the Democratic Party should, for its own survival, start NOW with a platform that includes IRV and opens up to alternative parties and candidates. The Dems are unable to see how powerful a message could be sent, for example, by REFUSING to debate with Bush unless others (Nader) were included.

WOULDN'T IT BE COOL IF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WOULD FEATURE DEMOCRACY AS A MAJOR ISSUE IN ITS PLATFORM AND PRACTICES?

Here's something from Jackson's Congressional website:

 http://www.house.gov/jackson/VotingAmendment.htm

<<Even though the "vote of the people" is perceived as supreme in our democracy - because voting rights are protective of all other rights - Justice Scalia in Bush v. Gore constantly reminded Al Gore's lawyers that there is no explicit or fundamental right to suffrage in the Constitution. The Supreme Court majority concluded: "the individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States." (Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98, 104 (2000)). . . . The United States is one of the eleven nations in the world that doesn't provide an explicit right to vote in its Constitution.>>

Jackson has proposed three constitutional amendments, all pending as House Resolutions. Here's the skinny on his "rights" approach, from the congressional website:

 http://www.house.gov/jackson/ConstitutionalAmendments.htm

More background --

 http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/6/17/185720/847

no no no 30.Sep.2005 18:48

Diebold makes the democrats irrelevant regardless

The Democrats will be out of power forever in the absense of a new wave of federal voting-rights legislation.

I don't know how long it will take for this new permanent minority party to realize that it's become somebody's caged pet monkey.

Things are much more serious than most people will publicly acknowledge.

Even on this web site, apparently.

Why democratic politicians didn't show up at protest 30.Sep.2005 21:03

Steve

If Kerry, Kennedy, Clinton or any other major Democratic party member marched along side the "Free Palestine" and "Smash Capitalism" extremists who usually swamp these demonstrations, it would guarantee their political downfall.

you can't get elected 02.Oct.2005 12:11

if you won't send your kids to die for the Wall

It's pretty sad when NOT dumping more and more money down the maw of a decades-long intra-Semitic civil war is "extremism."