Reprinted from neweconomicperspectives.org by William Black
By William K. Black
January 24, 2017 Bloomington, MN
This article explains three critical reasons why the Democratic Party's leaders are far more insane than all but a few Democrats understand. It focuses on the leaders of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the New Democrats. The DNC leadership is composed of New Democrats. Debbie Wasserman Schultz had to resign in disgrace when the leaks proved that she was putting the DNC's thumbs on the scale to favor Hillary Clinton (a New Democrat) in the presidential nomination contest against Bernie Sanders. Wasserman Schultz also took large contributions from big finance and, until she faced the prospect of a serious primary challenger, she supported efforts by predatory lenders to use Congress to bar the regulators from stopping their abuses.
Donna Brazile, a New Democrat, now runs the DNC. In this article, I show that Brazile denounced Democrats who refused to cheer President Bush's invasion of Iraq (and his "Mission Accomplished" declaration) as so disloyal that when their country needed them they went "AWOL." Not satisfied with that libel, she added the homophobic smear that voters would view Democrats who failed to cheer Bush's lies and invasion as "effete." Best of all, she said that Democrats should take as their role models Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Frank Gaffney -- Bush's "chicken hawks" that devised the campaign of lies that led to the disastrous invasion of Iraq. Gaffney is now spreading hate of Muslims -- and advising President Trump.
The DNC is also in the news because it has just accepted a $20 million "donation" funded by Third Way, a Wall Street front group, to study why the white working class "abandoned" Hillary Clinton. Clinton is a leader of the New Democrats. Wall Street has long been the largest single funder of the New Democrats various institutions. The New Democrats, at the behest of Wall Street, have waged the "long war" against the working class since their formation in 1984. The New Democrats did not simply abandon the working class -- they targeted it for scorn and assaulted it with policies that harmed many Americans, but caused the greatest harm to the working class.
Particularly in light of the Trump's election, the logical reaction of the DNC would have been to refuse to take the Wall Street buyout and announce that the New Democrats would never again do Wall Street's bidding. They would return to the Democratic Party's historic role as the party that championed the rights of workers. Brazile, of course, ensured that the DNC eagerly took the $20 million Wall Street buyout. The New Democrats not only continue to be for sale (or rent) by Wall Street -- they continue to show that they continue to for sale for chump change.
The DNC does not need $20 million to figure out why the white working class "abandoned" the New Democrats. They can check out from their local library Tom Frank's books warning that this would happen and explaining in detail why the New Democrats' long war against the working class was making it happen. Tom Frank has been writing books warning about this since 2004. If the DNC were under new management, it would have invited Tom Frank to meet with its entire staff in November.
Third Way is following the New Democrats' unbroken tradition of servitude to the most despicable corporate patrons eager to see Republican anti-public policies triumph. Virtually every American is disgusted by the New Democrat's embrace of the "Vampire Squid" (Goldman Sachs) exemplified by the Clintons' mercenary speeches and Trump's appointment of four senior officials with strong ties to Goldman Sachs.
What people need to know is that the New Democrats' historic business patrons are more despicable that Goldman Sachs. The New Democrats' first formal organization, created in 1984, was the Democratic Leadership Coalition (DLC). The DLC was funded overwhelmingly by huge corporations, but two of its donors are worthy of special note -- the Koch Brothers and the Bradley Foundation. Tom Frank made this point forcefully in in 1984 in What's the Matter with Kansas. The DLC spawned another Wall Street front group with an even more dishonest name -- the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI).
Large corporations provided the bulk of PPI's funding, but like the DLC it was also heavily funded by the Bradley Foundation. Harry Bradley, along with the Koch brothers' father, was a charter member of the John Birch Society. That means they were off-the-charts looney and ultra-right wing. Mr. Bradley's passion was his hatred for organized labor. He was a notorious for his employment discrimination against blacks and women. At the time the DLC and the PPI formed, the Bradley Foundation was the Nation's most destructive funder of ultra-right wing efforts to influence policy. Today, it is the force behind Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's war against organized labor. The Nation's most virulent and effective enemy of organized labor funded the New Democrats. The New Democrats knew what they were choosing to lie down with and they knew exactly what they were signaling to organized labor about their hostility to unions and disdain for the working class.
Third Way, the DLC, and the PPI shared another trait common to the New Democrats-- they all tried hard to keep Democrats from knowing who their corporate donors were and how much they gave. They craved dark money for the usual reasons.
Stop and ask yourself why the Kochs, Wall Street, big oil, and the Bradley Foundation funded the New Democrats. Then ask yourself why the two most recent DNC leaders have (1) shilled for predatory lenders and (2) tried to defeat Democrats who saw through Bush's lies about Iraq, tried to ridicule them as "effete," and urged that Democrats copy Bush's "chicken hawks" who framed Bush's lies and spread religious hate to Trump against Muslims.
The DNC is also in the news because another New Democrat, former President Obama, has been intervening repeatedly to try to prevent Representative Ellison, the progressive candidate to replace Brazile, from becoming the DNC's leader. Worse, major corporate donors to the Democratic Party are seeking to block Ellison, even sinking to the level of anti-Semitism smears. Losing to Trump has not been a sufficient wake-up call to the New Democrats to convince them to abandon their policy of abandoning and assaulting for 33 years the core principles and core supporters of the Democratic Party. Instead, they rushed to prostitute themselves to Wall Street on the Potomac (Third Way). They are doing everything possible to prevent breaking free from Wall Street and restoring the Party's soul.