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home : opinions : opinions August 23, 2017

8/8/2017 7:28:00 AM
The Democrats are a lost cause
Ted Rall
Columnist

There they go again.

Hillary Clinton was a two-time loser. Weirdly, her people are still in charge of the Democratic Party. Clintonista militant moderates haven't learned a thing from Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump - so they're trying to sell Democratic voters on more of the same.

Remember what happened when Clinton ran on the whole "never mind your crappy low wage job, vote for me because first woman president" bit? Now we're supposed to get excited about center-right California Senator Kamala Harris because she ticks off two boxes on the identity politics hit parade.

Remember the ugly optics when Bill and Hillary Clinton took their excellent fundraising adventure to the Hamptons? Kamala Harris 2020 is already doing the same thing.

Remember how well it worked out when Clinton snubbed Sanders and insulted his progressive supporters, then ran a tack-to-the-right general-election campaign that targeted Republicans who were never going to vote for her? Here comes Harris with rhetoric that makes her sound like a Rand Paul Republican: "I agree we must be talking about wasteful spending in our country ... we must be talking about tax reform." Also lots o' tasty "tough on crime."

The DNC is still partying like it's 1999: Third Way/DLC/center-right triangulation is king. Dick Morris, call Kamala.

Memo to the Dumocrats: Trump's polls are in the toilet. Still, Trump (or, if Trump gets impeached, Pence) might beat the Dems again in 2020. "Double haters" - voters who hated Trump and Clinton - were a deciding factor in 2016. They broke for Trump.

They - and Bernie Sanders voters snubbed by Hillary Clinton who sat home on Election Day - cost Clinton the 2016 election.

To be fair, some establishment Democrats know how to count. "American families deserve a better deal so that this country works for everyone again, not just the elites and special interests. Today, Democrats will start presenting that better deal to the American people," Chuck Schumer wrote in The New York Times recently.

Sounds great. So what exactly is in Schumer's (Republican president, Republican House, Republican Senate) Better Deal?

"Rules to stop prescription drug price gouging ... allow regulators to break up big companies if they're hurting consumers ... giving employers, particularly small businesses, a large tax credit to train workers for unfilled jobs."

These are good ideas.

But they're so small.

If enacted, the Dems' Better Deal wouldn't do a thing about the problems that afflict most voters.

The No. 1 problem is the economy. There aren't enough jobs. The jobs there are don't pay enough. Bosses have too much power over workers.

A massive new WPA-like program, in which the federal government hires millions of Americans to rebuild our crumbled infrastructure, would create jobs. A $25 per hour minimum wage - that's about what it would be if raises had kept up with inflation - would guarantee that a full-time job yields full-time pay. Abolishing America's inhuman, archaic "at-will" employment, which gives employers the right to fire you without a good reason, would restore balance to labor-management relations. The U.S. is the only nation with at-will.

The No. 2 problem is health care. Attempts by Republicans to repeal Obamacare have made the ACA more popular than ever. Most Democrats want single-payer, where the government pays for healthcare - why doesn't the Democratic Party?

The answer, of course, is that the party leadership is owned by Wall Street, the Fortune 500 and big-moneyed special interests in general. Figures like Harris, Schumer and Clinton will never give the people what we want and need because their masters will never allow it. The question for us is: when do we stop giving them our votes - and start organizing outside the dead-end of the electoral duopoly?

Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall) is author of "Trump: A Graphic Biography," an examination of the life of the Republican presidential nominee in comics form. You can support Ted's hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.





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