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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 6/19/17

Climate Judases: Three Ways Democrats Betray Humanity

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NOTE TO READERS: This is Part 2 of my two-part series "Fighting the McResistance--for Climate's Sake," in which I argue that leaving Democrats' astroturf "McResistance" in charge of the anti-Trump resistance movement will be a CATASTROPHE for our climate. While Part 2 is written to be understood on its own, readers will grasp it even better if acquainted with the "Good Cop as Judas" argument I made in Part 1.

Judas--betrays all of humanity, but still can't beat The Ogre.
Judas--betrays all of humanity, but still can't beat The Ogre.
Image by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer)   Details   DMCA

"A McResistance Summer Is Climate's Ultimate Bummer"

To be sure, even hard-core Clinton neoliberals may realize that Democrats' current shtick of serving corporate and plutocrats donors while betraying and stonewalling the party's voter base is doomed. That explains why they've put popular progressive independent Bernie Sanders--hoping he'll play progressive-herding "sheepdog" --in charge of party messaging.

But, whatever Sanders says or does, leading Democrats have clearly made an amazingly hard-core commitment to postponing the party's day of reckoning and reform as long as possible. Obviously, suckling at corporate oligarchs' teats is sweet for leading Democrats--to the extent even political suicide seems worth the risk. Nothing could be more politically suicidal than the Democratic National Committee's (DNC's) claimed legal right to rig primaries and deceive its voter base and small donors about the facts. Provided, of course, real progressives find a way to overcome mainstream media's blackout and publicize the DNC fraud lawsuit--an action campaign advocated in this article's closing section.

While the "Clintocrat" neoliberals now strangling Democratic Party reform sense no pressing political timetable for their party's reformist day of reckoning, a human race facing climate apocalypse has a vastly more urgent scientific one. Clearly, the "McResistance" agenda--promoting corrupt Democrats' return to power, despite their own stiff-necked rejection of reform, by focusing attention on Trump's sheer badness--is repulsive enough in itself. But what makes it especially dangerous--making a McResistance Summer "climate's ultimate bummer"--is the three ways Democrats already betray humanity by their climate policy and obviously will continue to without major reforms. Before Trump and his fellow "climate Visigoths" got a hold of climate policy, Democrats' climate betrayals were bad enough; after Trump's massive destruction, unreformed Democrats' continued climate betrayals will almost surely spell Armageddon.

Two of Democrats' climate betrayals are related to their own policy, one to their climate-specific policy and the other their policy on non-climate issues. The other is intimately tied to the inability of their betraying party--their Judas party--to consistently beat "climate Visigoth" Republicans.

Betrayal #1: Democrats' Climate Policy Is "Just Plain Silly"

When speaking publicly on humanity's climate emergency, world-renowned climatologist James Hansen is not a man to pull punches. With science, not partisanship, determining his choice of words, Hansen is almost unique among climate activists in calling out the climate irresponsibility of Democrats (not just Republicans) in the choicest of words. Thus, speaking with no false, politically correct reverence for Barack Obama, Hansen fiercely lambasted the talks culminating in Obama's supposedly signature climate achievement--the Paris Climate Agreement--as "bullshit," "worthless words," and "a fraud." Equally unsparing of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, then Obama's presumptive successor, Hansen ridiculed her expected climate policies as "just plain silly."

As evidence backing Hansen's claims--beyond what he himself offers in the links just cited--readers should peruse Carol Dansereau's fine CounterPunch article, contrasting Democrats' latest "climate fix" legislation ("boldly" offered, of course, at a time when it has zero prospects of passage) with one model of what effective climate action would actually look like. But rather than compile evidence--abundantly available--of why Democrats' climate policy is so inadequate as to be "just plain silly," I'll instead argue why the climate policy of an unreformed Democratic Party (the kind sought by the McResistance) is guaranteed to remain so.

Sonali Kolhatkar had laid the foundation for my climate-specific case against Democrats in a splendid,more general Truthdig piece--one that, without using the term, is a masterpiece in framing the issues surrounding the "McResistance." Right off the bat, Kolhatkar hits a "home run" of framing:

"Our current political moment is being interpreted as a battle between compassion and cruelty, between reason and irrationality. But it ought to be viewed as a fight between two limited sectors of the political spectrum: the extreme right and the center, both of which care more about corporate power than about ordinary Americans."

No two sentences could better explain the contrast between the false perception of Democrats the McResistance propaganda machine strives to impose and the stark duopoly reality we now face. A duopoly reality Max Mastellone has beautifully summed up under the "Good Cop, Bad Cop" model. And to which I've usefully added the realization--important in stigmatizing the DNC's scandalous legal argument (see this article's final section)--that "playing Judas" is virtually the Good Cop's job description.

But returning to Kolhatkar's "home run" framing of our disastrous duopoly, she immediately adds,

"The difference is the degree to which cruelty and irrationality reign. The weak reforms implemented and backed by Democrats have only provided fodder for their rivals instead of bulwarks against extremism."

Again, these two sentences are dead on. And Kolhatkar's own examples in the article are splendidly picked to illustrate how the halfhearted weakness of "reforms implemented and backed by Democrats" repeatedly sets them up for undoing by brutal Republicans. Cunningly, Republicans temporarily become as rational as Democrats' principled leftist critics--indeed, they often make the same critiques, even citing the principled left--in castigating Democratic Party half-measures doomed to failure. Then, Republicans substitute policies of their own that--from every perspective but a shortsighted oligarchic, social Darwinist one--set new standards of cruelty and irrationality. In reaction, voters then beg Democrats to "have a heart," and they respond with "half a heart" (if even that)--continuing the duopoly's "Good Cop, Bad Cop" vicious circle of exploiting American voters.

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Patrick Walker is co-founder of Revolt Against Plutocracy (RAP) and the Bernie or Bust movement it spawned. Before that, he cut his activist teeth with the anti-fracking and Occupy Scranton PA movements. No longer with RAP, he wields his pen (more...)

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