The RePimpOCrats

The Republicans and Democrats are the two competitive organizations in the business of pimping out to capital and the military the US state and its tax collecting capacity as well as Americans’ aspirations for democratic citizenship. Below Glenn Greenwald describes the Democratic Party, and, inadvertently, why the liberal US political system is not democratic.

“If one were to analyze matters from a purely utilitarian perspective, one could find ways to justify the White House’s attempt to write a health care plan that accommodates the desires of the pharmaceutical and drug industries [mandates (i.e., 50 million forced new customers) plus government subsidies to pay their premiums plus no meaningful cost controls (i.e., no public option)]. All other things being equal, it’s better — from the White House’s political perspective — that those industries not spend vast sums of money trying to defeat Obama’s health care proposal, that they not pour their resources into the GOP’s 2010 midterm effort, that they not unleash their fully army of lobbyists and strategists to sabotage the Democratic Party. That’s the same calculating mindset that leads the White House to loyally serve the interests of the banking industry that caused the financial crisis (we don’t want to make enemies out of of Goldman Sachs or turn investment bankers into GOP funders). Indeed, that’s the same mindset that leads the White House to avoid any fights with the Right — and/or with the intelligence community and permanent military establishment — over Terrorism policies (there’s no political benefit to subjecting ourselves to accusations of being Soft on Terror and there’s plenty of reasons to cling to those executive powers of secrecy, detention and war-making).

In essence, this is the mindset of Rahm Emanuel, and its precepts are as toxic as they are familiar: The only calculation that matters is maximizing political power. The only “change” that’s meaningful is converting more Republican seats into Democratic ones. A legislative “win” is determined by whether Democrats can claim victory, not by whether anything constructive was achieved. The smart approach is to serve and thus curry favor with the most powerful corporate factions, not change the rules to make them less powerful. The primary tactic of Democrats should be to be more indispensable to corporate interests so as to deny the GOP that money and instead direct it to Democrats. The overriding strategy is to scorn progressives while keeping them in their place and then expand the party by making it more conservative and more reliant on Blue Dogs. Democrats should replicate Republican policies on Terrorism and national security — not abandon them — in order to remove that issue as a political weapon.”

(“The central pledges of the Obama campaign were less about specific policy positions and much more about changing the way Washington works — to liberate political outcomes from the dictates of corporate interests; to ensure vast new levels of transparency in government; to separate our national security and terrorism approaches from the politics of fear. With some mild exceptions, those have been repeatedly violated. Negotiating his health care reform plan in total secrecy and converting it into a gigantic gift to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries — which is exactly what a plan with (1) mandates, (2) no public option and (3) a ban on bulk negotiations for drug prices would be — would constitute yet another core violation of those commitments, yet another bolstering (a major one) of the very power dynamic he vowed to subvert.”)

Greenwald, Glenn. 2009. “Has Obama lost the trust of progressives, as Krugman says?” Salon.com, August 21.

See also: Krugman, Paul. 2009. “Obama’s trust problem.” The New York Times, August 20.

I don’t see why Americans need to accept the RePimpOCrats as their pimps. What are the RePimpOCrats going to do? Beat the American people? Deny them their heroin? If you’re selling your votes, via the 2 political parties, to capital and the military, why not do it for a higher price?…Though, uh, you’ll need to organize to do that. Otherwise, there’s too much competition among vote-sellers. OK. Obviously, in a libertarian system the only people who can organize are capitalists and military folks, not the demos (AKA mob). Well, if they can’t get democracy, Americans need to learn to extract something substantial from their political parties in exchange for those parties using people’s vote-vaginas in their 2-way competition to become the top capital servicer.

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