If this all sounds familiar, that’s because it is. As writer Matt Stoller eloquently put it this week, “This is surely a sequel from NAFTA: a slowing economy, a President named Bush, a decimated labor force, a neoliberal group in Congress, strong business coalitions, a Clinton running for the Democratic nomination promising to be on the side of the people while surrounding the campaign with corporate-allied operatives, a country looking for change, and a secretive trade deal on the table.”
David Sirota has a brilliant piece in the Nation. He is correct on so many levels. We have a class war in this country. You have two money parties and no people party. Sirota has a clear and consistent message for Dems; Get busy living or get busy dying.
While there are positive hot spots around the country where Dems are getting busy living, the general theme is Dems getting busy dying. What has been most depressing this past month is how Democratic bloggers could have cared less about the secret anti-union, anti-worker trade bill Charlie Rangel and the Clintonistas have triangulated with King George.
Sirota’s big point is Dems are doing their best when they go on offensive in the class war. In many states Dems are increasing the minimum wage, making tax laws progressive, and passing their own version of the Employee Free Choice Act.
What really befuddles me is how little traction this sellout of the American worker has gotten from Wisconsin Demobloggers. I have only counted one blogger, besides myself, who has mentioned it. Most folks I work with are Dems and these issues are the core of their Democraticness. There is an enormous disconnect between the values of these rank and file Dems and the Demobloggers and Democratic politicians.
It seems to me the Democrats are setting themselves up for the Grand Mistake in 08. It was the class war that brought them into power and they have returned the favor with a loud FU to American workers. They have not been able to pass a minimum wage bill, or get the Employee Free Choice Act through congress, but are willing to go out on a limb for some secret trade deal.
The whole thing about the Dems having no balls is not entirely accurate. They have got big balls for Free Trade, but no balls for the Employee Free Choice Act, big balls for overturning lobbying reform, but no balls for passing a minimum wage bill, big balls for sending a vetoable Iraq War escalation bill, not no balls for sending Bush a bring the troops home now resolution. The problem is not that the Dems have no balls, but they have them in all the wrong places.