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Democratic Elites Once Again Demonstrate Their Contempt for Organized Labor


#1

Democratic Elites Once Again Demonstrate Their Contempt for Organized Labor

Jake Johnson

Last week, the Washington Post reported a striking piece of news: One of the five individuals Bernie Sanders nominated to play a role in writing the Democratic Party's platform was vetoed by the Democratic National Committee.

Striking, but far from surprising — particularly when, as the Post observes, we learn that the individual the DNC rejected was RoseAnn DeMoro, the executive director of National Nurses United, "the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in U.S. history."


#2

"This country is finished!" -George Carlin


#4

There is a petition afoot to Dump the Dems if Bernie loses the nomination. I suggest that the instigators and signees of said petition not make that particular stipulation. After the convention, NO MATTER THE OUTCOME, make a complete switch away from the Dems. They are not salvageable. United Progressive Party. Brand New Congress.


#5

The Democratic Party's favorable shift toward white-collar workers — sometimes called "knowledge professionals" —and away from its blue-collar base began, as Lily Geismer documents, during the days of George McGovern and culminated in the election of Bill Clinton, who "placed high-tech growth and suburban professionals at the forefront of his policy vision."

"There they have remained there ever since,"

In "Listen, LIberal" Thomas Frank makes largely the same point.

High time to reduce the role of the professional class and raise up democracy.


#7

This is why anyone who truly believes in a progressive future for The People will do everything they can to make sure that Hillary Clinton never becomes POTUS, so at the end of the election cycle we can start the process of ripping control of the party away from them and their elitist ilk. We must end the Clinton/DLC era (error) of the Democratic Party, which only happens when they lose, and lose badly. It's how they came to power 30 years ago. This should be the party for the poor, labor, environmentalists, etc. We currently have no viable path to power. #NeverHillary.


#8

At this time, the Democratic Elites may be including educators and their unions, but we will see their true agenda if Hillary Clinton is elected president. Public Education dollars will be sold to the highest bidder via charter schools.


#9

"cultivation of a base, and an intellectual core, that was openly hostile to agenda of organized labor" - this is something Clinton supporters cannot understand, I suspect most probably don't understand the word 'neoliberal'


#14

Justice from the political process, or, Justice in the /Streets.....
The latter is coming sooner than anyone can think or believe.....
"You have a Republic if you can keep it!" Ben Franklin
True then; just as true now; and in the future.


#15

I remember democracy! We used to have that once.


#17

Which is why they MUST lose this election, to begin the process of expelling them from control of the party.


#20

Anyone old enough remembers our democracy as being more democratic and representative. We had the fairness doctrine and no we didn't have Citizen's United. We had investigative reporters who didn't all work for one of six media conglomerates. We had a press which would publish the pentagon papers. We had a media that put the watergate hearings on tv. We had republicans who voted as they saw fit instead of having to follow the orders to vote as the republican leadership demands that they do. We had democrats who supported unions and the constitution.

No it wasn't perfect by any means but we definitely had more democracy than we do now. It is like democracy is on life support and this election will see the patient recovering ( Bernie) or see someone pull the plug (oligarchy) and that will be that.

This election is bigger than people realize. This is the crossroads where history is placing several What Ifs. Nothing will be the same after this election. Too much intensity and machinations. Too much change is needed and too much power is being arrayed against the will of the people.


#21

It's not just the money. The two-party winner take all system we have is a structural impediment to real democracy. FairVote.org has a good plan to change to multi-winner Congressional districts and popular vote changes to the electoral college--which is also a winner take all system.


#22

Exactly.


#23

The fact that they have fought Sanders' and his push for change so vehemently is an admission to their lack of caring for the workers and poor in this country. Anyone that thinks that Hillary's comments to the left are genuine really need to get a history lessen. She lies to cover her email scandal she will lie to us about what she's willing to do about our issues.
Forget Trump, we cannot have another 8 years of failed neoliberal polices and a war hawk in the White House. She is worse than Obama and he is an obvious elitist with loyalty to the big corporations. The TPP is a betrayal and she worked hard pushing it to the world she's all in.
Bernie must win, God I hope he wins.


#27

I very much agree with this, Jake. But HRC supporters are saying that there is already a rep from labor on the committee.

Paul Booth of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union was on the list of names Hillary Clinton's campaign submitted and the DNC approved. (politico) So a powerful HRC supporter and exec. asst. to the AFSCME President.

Far cry from a brave head of a Nurses Union that advocates fiercely for single-payer healthcare.


#28

It is true that too many Union leaders have become complacent--complicit even--with the NeoLiberal schmucks who have corrupted the Democratic Party. Many younger union members and perhaps most non-union workers have forgotten how bad things were before unions fought and won their right to represent workers. The last forty years have seen wages stagnating and the American lifestyle deteriorating, even as union membership has steadily declined and union jobs been shipped overseas to totalitarian oligarchies & dictatorships. The two trends are inter-related. NAFTA, CAFTA, TPP, TTIP are all schemes to steal the wealth of our nation and hand it over to the 1%, who owe no allegiance to any nation--only to their greed.

Even if the Dems wake up and nominate Bernie Sanders, instead of a known criminal such as Clinton, there is still an urgent need for new national parties to challenge the Wall Street duopoly. A presidential race is not the place to start a new party; you need to build it up county by county and state by state: only then can you field a credible presidential candidate who can win, with a base in congress to get their platform implemented.

True Progressives have been wandering in the wilderness for more than forty years. Bernie is the Moses of the Progressives; He has shown us the River Jordan, it is up to the rest of us to cross over to the other side. Power to the Unions; power to the People.


#29

I'm surprised that organized labor, such as it is, never said anything about the impact of cheap workfare replacement labor, though it's probably just as well. Think about what the US did: We shut down/shipped out a huge number of jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s. In doing so, we created a huge surplus of job-ready people who are absolutely desperate for any job at any wage -- grateful for the chance to do your job at half of what you're paid. After all, there's nothing to fall back on. How do you hope to save the portion of workers who still enjoy fair wages and workers' rights and protections?

That said, it has actually been surprising to see how openly the Clinton wing have worked to "ensure a favorable election outcome." Back to 2008, even liberal media told us that Barack Obama had zero chance of getting elected, so we HAD to give our support to Hillary Clinton. We disagreed. 2016 is simply a rerun: "Sen. Sanders has no chance of being elected, so we MUST give our support to Clinton!" It still doesn't work, so the Clinton wing have been resorting to other measures.


#30

Hard to say. There's nothing new about progressive politics. My own great-grandfather was a solid progressive. In a nutshell, it's about building a strong economy/nation from the bottom up. Without a strong foundation, the "building" is unstable and is prone to collapse. We've heard very little from actual progressives since the 1990s.

Progressive politics is rooted in the fact that all people have human worth, therefore human rights (food, shelter, etc.), regardless of class. No one's survival should be dependent on the whims of the job market or the gambling of Wall Street. In real life, not everyone is able to work, and there aren't jobs for all. In a developed nation, NO person should be denied basic human needs.

The US made some progress for a few years, via a legitimately progressive agenda. FDR implemented the New Deal, and LBJ built the Great Society onto that. (For example, what came to be called AFDC was actually first included in FDR's Social Security Act). As a result of these policies, the US achieved its height of wealth and productivity from FDR to Reagan. Not a utopia, for sure, but much better. With Reagan, the US began reversing course. Bill Clinton then ended actual welfare and took the first steps to begin "reforming" away Social Security (starting with the disabled). By this point, labor unions had been neutered, and the US had already lost a significant number of jobs. All those dominos began falling, taking us to this hellishly uncertain time.


#31

"Because, as Lily Geismer concludes, "A party without a working-class core can’t be expected to improve the prospects of the working class."

Hence:

  1. Super-delegates skirting the TRUE vote
  2. Closed primaries shutting out the 40% of voters who self-identify as Independent
  3. Coin tosses to "determine" winners in close elections
  4. Limited voting places in areas likely to NOT support pro-business/establishment candidates
  5. A mass media utilizing the device of lies told often (counting Hillary's pledged super-delegates before their votes have been tallied to push the perception that Sanders cannot win) to manufacture consent for its anointed one
  6. Gerrymandered voting districts
  7. "felons" (i.e. people who once used drugs) cut off voting rolls
  8. Limited debates with these set on unpopular nights
  9. ENDLESS examples of unfairness and foul play

Items 1-9 fill in when "the numbers" (of voters' support) just aren't there!


#32

This really IS the core issue, although in a culture informed by sports contests and celebrity, a great many prefer to focus on supposed individual flaws and poor judgment. This focus on specific actors takes the spotlight away from the systemic corruptions that the system guarantees since it's based on Big Money.

I was listening to Ali on "Democracy Now" and he said "Money is the white man's religion," and I thought, "how apt."

As you said, decent people can't compete with the flood of cash that taints both political parties. Sanders has managed a miracle in raising so much funding; but the MSM has largely disqualified him (and/or handicapped him) before he got to run (or finish) the race.

A TRUE and OPEN election would have him the undisputed winner. But the powers that run this nation can't have that.