The Death of the Democratic Party

W.J. Astore

How quickly the abnormal becomes normal.

If you had told me three months ago that Russia would invade Ukraine and that the U.S. response would be $54 billion in “aid,” much of it consisting of missiles, artillery, bullets, and other forms of weaponry, and that this huge amount of “aid” would be supported by every Democrat in the House and Senate, without exception, I don’t think I would have believed you.

Not a single Democrat is against spending more than $50 billion that will serve to feed a war rather than putting a stop to it?

$54 billion represents roughly 80% of what Russia spends on its military for an entire year. How much is the U.S. government prepared to spend if the war drags on for the next few months? Another $54 billion? More?

The Democratic Party can’t get all its members to vote for a $15 federal minimum wage, or for student debt relief, or more affordable health care and lower prescription drug prices, and similar promises made by Joe Biden as he ran for president in 2020. But weapons for Ukraine brings instant and total accord and rapid action.

Feeding the military-industrial complex and perpetuating war is more than a sad spectacle. It’s more than the death of the Democratic Party. It heightens the risk of nuclear war with Russia, because the longer the Russia-Ukraine War drags on, and the more the U.S. gets involved in it, the riskier the situation in Europe becomes. What’s needed is deescalation through negotiation, not escalation through more rhetoric about Putin being a genocidal war criminal who must go.

I’ve already witnessed the death of the Republican Party with its open embrace of Trump and Trumpism. And now I’ve witnessed the death of the Democratic Party with its open embrace of peace through war.

We are increasingly “a nation unmade by war,” to cite a book written by Tom Engelhardt. We refuse to sufficiently help the poor and homeless here in America even as we airlift megatons of weaponry for Ukraine to wage a war that will likely be that country’s curse rather than its salvation. Meanwhile, politicians in both parties use the war to justify even higher military spending in the next Pentagon budget. And if that war isn’t enough of a driver, the mainstream media broadcasts war games on TV that posit a major war between the USA and China over Taiwan.

People dismiss me when I say I’m voting Green or Libertarian, that I want to vote for someone who’s not a tool for more and more military spending and more and more war. The “smart set” tells me to vote for someone like Joe Biden because he’s not quite as bad as Trump. But if we keep doing this, voting for Joe or the like because Trump and his followers are “worse,” how will we ever free ourselves from incessant warfare and restore our democracy?

Isn’t it high time for that “political revolution” that Bernie Sanders spoke about?

Coda: I know: the Democratic Party probably died in the aftermath of George McGovern’s loss in 1972, after which party officials vowed never to nominate a peace candidate like McGovern again. It certainly died with the election of Bill and Hillary Clinton (two for the price of one!) in 1992. And it died a thousand deaths when Barack Obama won in 2008 and abandoned the political revolution he had briefly set in motion. Much like a Hollywood vampire, however, it keeps coming back from the grave, no matter how many stakes it drives through what’s left of its own heart.

Update (5/21): Happened to see this on “the Twitter” this AM:

40 thoughts on “The Death of the Democratic Party

  1. I no longer support either of our major political parties. But I will continue to vote for the more acceptable of two bad choices because ceding ground to the less acceptable is an even worse choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe the death of both the democrat and republican parties is not a bad thing.
    Well; that’s a lie – it is terrible. Must we wait for nuclear annihilation before most recognize that both political parties are content to sell our country down the drain?

    Congress only exists to funnel taxpayer money to arms manufacturers while taking large cuts for themselves.

    Meanwhile, thanks to the widely open revolving door, we have government BY corporations, FOR corporations and OF corporations.

    The present situation sure seems like an opportunity for a NEW political party that would better represent the people to get MORE than their foot in the door.

    Jerry King

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Amen!
    “Isn’t it high time for that “political revolution” that Bernie Sanders spoke about?”
    Yes, but the American people haven’t the wit or, especially, the courage for it. They’re too busy hating one another. And, of course, the demons that are cooked up for them. They have been rendered incapable of coalescing around any set of common, humane, cooperative, and honest principles.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes. So many comments sections that I see are basically the Trumpers against the Libs, with both denouncing the other. Meanwhile, the oligarchs, both red and blue, are cleaning up, whether with weapons sales or in banking and finance or what-have-you. CEO pay is up as wages for workers remain stagnant.

      It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. How long before the “worst” can’t take it? Or will the “best” continue to keep them divided, distracted, downtrodden, and therefore powerless?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, W.J., not quite a little ray of sunshine, are we? Of course, I admit I too don’t see a hell of a lot to be sunny about of late in the good ol’ US of A, emphasis on the “ol'” given that’s where those in charge seem to be taking us. As a product of the 60s, I truly hate to see the rapid path that is traveling full force back to the 50s–or even before. I had briefly registered as an Independent but switched back to the Democratic option so I could vote in the primary, again that damned closed primary BS that disenfranchises those who don’t follow the green brick road. However, I don’t see what difference it truly makes since few politicians seem to take their constituents seriously much of the time anyway. What does scare me is the realization that a divided country is ripe for a takeover, foreign or domestic, if its citizens are not working together to have a somewhat united front. That was illustrated in 2020 when a certain “party” wouldn’t take what was left of his marbles, which were sparse to begin, and go home when the welcome mat was pulled up. Of course, you remember the climate here in central PA, and it hasn’t changed, as is shown by an article in today’s Sun-Gazette–where one of those quoted was in DC on that day and supports the attempt to change the results: https://www.sungazette.com/news/top-news/2022/05/group-seeking-2020-presidential-election-audit-cries-foul/ . In fact, that individual helped organize the local trip down there, and statements he made are easy to find in a search, including

    “…Another Trump supporter, Jeffrey Stroehmann, also believes Trump’s unfounded portrayal of an election rife with corruption, even though courts, state election officials and many leading Republicans have rejected those claims. He travelled from rural central Pennsylvania to Washington and participated in the protests. His intention, he said, was to march peacefully. But once there, when listening to Trump in the morning, and later, surrounded by the angry mob, Stroehmann said he was surprised to find that he, too, was feeling his own rage boiling over. “There I was going to a different level of protest” he said. “I don’t feel like I was doing anything wrong,” he added. As the crowd got increasingly agitated, he said, “People’s pent up frustrations were starting to pour out.” Stroehmann concedes the violence likely harmed their cause. But, he warns, lawmakers who dismiss Trump’s supporters do so at their own peril. …” https://www.wuft.org/nation-world/2021/01/07/its-just-a-shame-trump-voters-react-to-insurrection-at-u-s-capitol/

    So, be it Ukraine support, the abortion crisis, health care, student loans, the minimum wage–for those lazy people who only serve hamburgers or maybe tutor at a local college, LOL!, or out of control military spending to kill ourselves off, we (collective) are dealing with one hell of a mess here in the US of A, or as I see it, the Untied States of America.

    I’m open to that “political revolution,” but too shortsighted and disenchanted to see how it will happen. Maybe it’s my close environment in this enlightened area that discourages me, not to mention cynicism. Thanks for being here for us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome!

      I remember Stroehmann, or a Stroehmann. He lived across the street in Vallamont. He had a big RV that normally was decked out for Penn State football. But one year he decided to run for office and the RV was decked out with his name. He lost.

      I wonder if it’s the same guy. Hopefully, my memory isn’t playing tricks with me.

      The untied states are getting increasingly untidy as well. Looks like my dad was right when he predicted I was going to have it tough in the end, as in Great Depression-levels of tough.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. They are ALL a bunch of Fascists; the Democrats and Republicans; liberals and neoliberals, conservatives and neoconservatives. Scratch Bernie Sanders and The Squad deep enough, and You’ll get Fascist blood there, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I always was partial to that great Quote by the Late Great Robin Williams thus goes it ” Politicians should wear Sponsor jackets like Nascar drivers, then we know who owns them.”

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Jimmy Dore was preaching that it was corrupt 2-years ago!
    The rot starts with the head down. Biden, Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes. Of course. And as JD says here, the corruption led to Trump being elected president. And it may lead to his return in 2024.

      I like the slip of the tongue: Elizabeth Biden. Ha ha! It’s a reminder that Warren helped Biden to win against Bernie Sanders. And I have to admit I forgot Warren was a Republican until she was about 47. Guess what? She pretty much still is.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The rot in the Democratic Party started with FDR, was continued by LBJ, and then carried into the 21st century by the Clintons and Obomber. And now we have Uncle Joe and Madam Nancy.

      Like

      1. The rot in the Democratic Party started with its founding as the party of the slaveholder class of the 19th century. FDR attempted to redeem the party along mildly “social democratic” lines with social welfare programs meeting the people’s needs during the Great Depression: Social security, public works, highly progressive taxes on the corporations and the one percent, etc. However, the party always remained under the tight control of the “party bosses” of the large urban centers. In 1944, with Roosevelt close to death, they kicked the enlighten and progressive Henry Wallace off the ticket as VP, and placed the bosses’ errand-boy, Harry Truman, as FDR last VP. Thus, it was Truman’s Administration that set up the beginnings of our present day militarized state using “Cold War anti-communism” to frighten the American people into supporting foreign wars, coups and assassinations of leaders at home and aboard.
        Now we are reaping the blowback of more than 75 years of modern U.S.A. corruption, as the “chickens return home to roost”. Our future as a unified country is not very blight. Civil struggles which are at bottom class struggles will intensify. Indeed the next twenty years of this country’s history will be exceedingly unique.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, Louis, if the rot of the Democrats started with the Slaveholders, the rot of the Republicans started with their embrace of Lincoln’s War Against The Southern Secession.

          But before that, the rot of this whole nation started when our Founders wrote Slavery into the Constitution: keeping it legal for 20 years, the “3/5 Rule,” and a Fugitive Slave Law. Were those guys Republicans or Democrats? Back in the day, the choice was between Federalists and Anti-Federalists

          But writing Slavery into the Constitution was, is, and ever will be the ONLY way that the Constitution could and would have been ratified, and the United States of America come into existence, in the first place. At least at that time.

          And “modern U.S.A. corruption” didn’t start with Truman, to be carried forth by Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and on, up through Obama, Trump, and Biden.

          At a minimum, it started back in 1913 with the creation of the Fourth Branch of the US government: the Federal Reserve System. Shortly after which Wilson maneuvered us into that war that was going to end all wars and make the world ~ especially the oil-rich Middle East ~ safe for the British and French Empires, and that new proto-imperial presence in the Pacific [after Hawai’i, the Philippines, China, and so forth]: America.

          And that, of course, was after we’d declared the Caribbean to be our Lake with our liberations of Cuba and places in Central America not interested in becoming American plantations. Remember the Maine?

          But I agree with You completely when You declare “the next twenty years of this country’s history will be exceedingly unique.”

          But then, these last twenty years have also been exceedingly unique, wouldn’t You say? That’s one of the main reasons why these next 20 will be.

          Because at this point, the real question is: Will America survive to celebrate its 250th Birthday on July 4, 2026?

          Like

    1. If the election were held today, Trump would win.

      Inflation is already biting and the Democrats are shoveling money to — wait for it — Ukraine!

      The Stock Market is now officially a bear market, and recession is possible as mortgage rates keep increasing.

      Meanwhile, Biden is an ineffectual caretaker and his VP is unlikeable and unpopular.

      Trump in 2024 — I’d say the odds are at least 50-50 and tilting in his favor.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That assumes, of course, that there will even BE an election in 2024.

        Heh. The same question could be raised about the election in 2022. After all, What would it take to cancel Election2022?

        Like

      2. Even CNN agrees with your assessment Lt.Col
        (And this was back in Oct – before the $40-billion give away to Ukraine. And Inflation is much worse now.)

        Like

  7. I appreciate the courage it takes courage to tell your readers that you plan to vote for a Green or Libertarian candidate. I hope there will be more like you. I know that I will not be voting for a Republican or Democrat ( NEVER for liars Biden or Harris!) but unless more people start saying what you are saying we are truly lost as a republic, let alone a democracy. So I hope you will continue to point out all the reasons why we need a viable third party.
    Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Speaking of Obomber and who owns the Democrats…

    The following shows the Top 20 Contributors to Obama from 2003 to 2008, from the time of his run for the Senate up to his run for the White House. An interesting pattern emerges when you look for it. One wonders why the business press (ie, the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, etc) is so frothed about the pro-spect of an Obama Presidency. It seems pretty safe to say that, at least for the Prime Movers and Shakers on Wall Street, he’s The Boy; one of Da Boyz, in fact. And, as a Boy, that he’s been one of Da Boyz since even before he was sent to Washington. God Only Knows how much money these folks have given him since he an-nounced for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; or, especially, since “The ¢ri$i$.” Or ~ even more significantly ~ how much is unreported. At any rate, here are The Numbers:

    Total
    Goldman Sachs $748,880
    University of California $625,911
    JPMorgan Chase & Co $493,469
    Harvard University $473,669
    Citigroup Inc $467,849
    Google Inc $426,174
    University of Chicago $424,539
    UBS AG $423,045
    Skadden, Arps et al $394,335
    Lehman Brothers $393,324
    National Amusements Inc $385,803
    Microsoft Corp $380,735
    Sidley Austin LLP $379,802
    Kirkland & Ellis $376,164
    Moveon.org $347,463
    Morgan Stanley $341,320
    Time Warner $338,677
    Wilmerhale LLP $335,398
    Exelon Corp $314,063
    Latham & Watkins $299,650

    SOURCE: http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00009638 (accessed 31oct08)

    That, of course, was once again then, and this, of course, is now.

    “The Washington Post has reported that only a quarter of the roughly $600 million Obama has raised over the course of the campaign has come from donors who gave $200 or less. The rest of Obama’s money comes from the same high-end donors who’ve always played a disproportionate role in campaign fundraising (emphasis added). … And Obama is taking advantage of a loophole that allows his biggest contributors to give as much as $70,100 in combined contributions to his cam-paign, to national and state parties and to various other campaign entities. … The New York Times reported that Obama has received donations of $25,000 or more from about 2,000 donors.” (source: Truthdig.com, accessed 31oct08)

    Of course, we are assured, one of Obama’s many first priorities once enthroned is to fix the problems with campaign financing that led him to bypass available federal campaign funding in favor of the far, far more lucrative alternative cited above.

    Like

  9. The way this pathetic Biden administration is performing right now I think a lot of disillusioned Democratic voters will become swing voters and hold their nose and vote for Trump. (Or worse – just do a George Carlin and stay home.)
    Also I think Trump’s base is going to grow – as more and more voters become disgusted seeing the corruption of the Democratic Party, its do nothing agenda, and the way it votes for Big Pharma, The Banks, and the MIC – for its big donors – and not for them.
    These guys disagree with me on swing voters – but I think they may have it wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “If I were Dictator, I’d… ” ; A Thought Experiment in which You become the Dictator of the United States, and explain to the American People and the World exactly What it is You intend to Do (and un-Do). And How; and Why.

    “If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier…as long as I’m the dictator.” – GW Bush
    “If I were King of the Forest… “ – the Cowardly Lion
    “If I only had a brain…” – the Scare Crow

    And he, Bush, is, of course, absolutely correct. A dictatorship is ALWAYS a heck of lot easier……, especially for the dictator. There are, always have been, and always will be any number of people who could and would testify to this: particularly among those with first-hand experience as either a dictator or a dictator’s functionary or beneficiary, from the highest to the lowest levels.

    For the sake of exploring possibilities, then, let us pretend then for a moment that OPERATION COMMON SENSE (named in honor of Thomas Paine’s 1776 screed that helped foment, if not launch the First American Secession) is a complete and total success: ie, that a military coup spearheaded by the “Smedley Butler Brigade” (an apparent or at least presumably renegade joint element of the United States Special Operations, Cyber, and Northern Commands) overthrows the government of the United States, placing the entire Legislative branch and the entire current and recent senior leadership of the Executive and Judicial branches of that government under arrest for, among other things beyond mere dereliction of duty: incompetence, corruption, collusion, duplicity, and complicity, among other “high crimes and misdemeanors,” including above all, breach of trust. The coup occurs very late one Saturday nite, and is completely bloodless.

    Early Sunday morning, a spokeswoman for the coup, speaking from The White House, announces that: a temporary change in the government of this nation has indeed occurred; that the seizure of power by the Smedley Butler Brigade is total but temporary; and that the mission and objective ~ and thus first order of business ~ of the new government is, quite simply, to fix the old one. Permanently.

    She explains that the coup has complete and total control of all strategic and tactical space, air, sea, and land global and national, critical state, and select local defense, security, surveillance, intelligence, communications, transportation, and law enforcement assets and agencies.

    She explains further that all economic, social, financial, fiscal, and monetary policy and action agencies and offices of the Federal government (including all branches of The Federal Reserve) are also under coup control.

    Next, she says that she will be followed by the individual who will explain exactly What the new government is going to do (and un-do), and How and Why it is going to do (and un-do) it; and, that this person will detail all of the Executive Orders that You just finished signing. She then introduces You …….

    What do You say?

    You’ve got 30 minutes.

    Like

  11. How Bush “Misspoke the Truth” about War and Disinformation By Dan Sanchez

    During his presidency, George W. Bush became known for his “Bushisms,” which Wikipedia describes as “unconventional statements, phrases, pronunciations, Freudian slips, malapropisms, as well as semantic or linguistic errors in the public speaking of former President of the United States George W. Bush.”

    On Wednesday, Bush gave us yet another Bushism, and it was one for the history books.

    While delivering a speech in Dallas, Bush condemned “the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq… I mean of Ukraine.” He then joked about his gaffe, saying “Iraq too. Anyway…I’m 75,” drawing laughter from the audience.

    Though he tried to downplay it as a senior moment, Bush’s latest Bushism was more likely a Freudian slip. In misspeaking, he spoke the truth.

    After all, it was President George W. Bush who actually launched the invasion of Iraq, which, like Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, was indeed “wholly unjustified and brutal.”

    As for its brutality, the Iraq War killed tens (maybe even hundreds) of thousands and involved such war crimes as the use of torture in Abu Ghraib, the Haditha and Nisour Square massacres, and the use of white phosphorous as an incendiary weapon in Fallujah.

    And, as most now recognize, the invasion of Iraq was indeed wholly unjustified.

    As the BBC noted in its report on Bush’s gaffe, “Mr Bush was president during the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 over weapons of mass destruction that were never found.”

    His administration’s showcase performance in its push for the war was Secretary of State Colin Powell’s dramatic presentation to the UN security council of alleged evidence of Saddam Hussein actively developing WMDs.

    Later, President Bush performed a comedy bit about never being able to find those WMDs at a White House Correspondents Dinner. As he demonstrated again yesterday, Bush seems to have a knack for playing up his guilt in an atrocity for chuckles.

    A second major justification for the Iraq War also proved false: as a 2021 article published by the Brookings Institution noted, “the Bush administration misled the American public into believing that Iraq was connected to the Sept. 11 attacks…”

    THE US GOVERNMENT, CRUCIALLY ABETTED BY THE ESTABLISHMENT MEDIA, LIED AMERICA INTO A BRUTAL AND UNJUSTIFIED WAR BY PROPAGATING A FALSE NARRATIVE THAT WAS INSULATED FROM INDEPENDENT CRITIQUE UNTIL IT WAS TOO LATE. AND IT WAS NEITHER THE FIRST NOR THE LAST TIME THAT HAPPENED. [EMPHASIS added.]

    Continued at https://fee.org/articles/how-bush-misspoke-the-truth-about-war-and-disinformation/

    Like

  12. A comment in the anti-war dot com site today.

    “Senate Passes $40 Billion Ukraine Aid Bill bring total US aid for Ukraine to a whopping $54 billion for 2022 alone.
    So if you are wondering why there is hyperinflation look no farther then dementia Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
    Why is the Biden Crime Family so desperately trying
    to hide there operations in Ukraine? They are spending more money than
    the defense budget of most countries to keep Ukraine sealed from prying
    eyes.”

    Like

  13. Kiss Nancy Pelosi’s behind – or you are out!
    Progressive Champion Nina Turner Loses Ohio Primary Race After Dem Party “Set Out to Destroy” Her

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Because Nina is a staunch Bernie supporter, and we can’t have THAT! Although, to be fair, Nina ran one of the most clueless, inept campaigns in the history of politics. I watched it up close, and just shook my head.

      The DNC did the same thing to Dennis Kucinich a few years ago, because he would most definitely NOT kiss Nancy’s behind.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. @Denise Donaldson
      wiki – “Kucinich believes that health care is a “right in a democratic society”.[129] He is a critic of the for-profit health insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and is concerned about the large number of uninsured and underinsured in the United States.[81] He contends that if the for-profit insurance system’s overhead, such as “stock options, executive salaries, [and] advertising”, were used for medically necessary care, there would be enough money in the system to cover everyone at no extra cost.[129]

      In July 2009, the House Education and Labor Committee approved an amendment by Kucinich to its version of the unsuccessful America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 by a vote of 27-19, with 14 Democrats and 13 Republicans voting for it.[130]……..[130] But the Kucinich Amendment was stripped from the merged House bill by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She said that it would have violated Obama’s promise that Americans who liked their health insurance could keep it.[132]”

      You buck Nancy Pelosi you are out on your ear man!!! This corrupt woman is arguably the most powerful person in Congress – and she is not a progressive. Until she goes lefties in America are screwed. You know that Denise.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed I do know that, Dennis. All you wrote about Kucinich is factual; I canvassed for him and attended every one of his campaign speeches for years. He’s a BIG DEAL here in Cleveland, a favorite son. And he’s the real deal: beholden to no corporations or wealthy backers.

        Like

        1. Denise, my wife and I went to hear Dennis at a standing room only speech in Seattle. (He was appearing at showings of Michael Moore’s movie on US Healthcare.)
          He was great. We were really disappointed when he lost his seat in Congress soon after that.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. He didn’t exactly lose his seat. His own party gerrymandered it out of existence, and turned his most staunch constituents over to a more toe-the-line Dem who lives on the other side of the state.

            Like

              1. And you also, Dennis.

                Yes—BOTH corrupt parties. My spam folder is packed with solicitations from Dems, and all I hear from all quarters is, “We MUST elect more Dems!” Why? So they can have a filibuster-proof majority and still not do anything, as happened in Obama’s first two years???

                Like

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