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The Methane Stench of Today's Corrupt Democrats

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If my title hasn't been clear enough, this article is a brutal excoriation of today's dangerously corrupt Democratic Party. Inevitably, the lickspittle defenders of that party will blame our whole political crisis on "those evil Republicans," as they always do.

Protesters outside Mayor Bloomberg's office
Protesters outside Mayor Bloomberg's office
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Now, it strikes me that any sensible person, confronted with a two-party government provably perverted by Big Money--provably perverted not just per daily news items almost too numerous to count, but also per the most meticulous, statistics-based academic research--would sensibly suspect that BOTH parties that monopolize our governance are responsible for its corruption. And the evidence would verify their good sense, as the unspeakably costly (to say nothing of deeply unjust) Iraq war had overwhelming bipartisan support, as did the liberty-crushing USA PATRIOT Act and the unconstitutional indefinite-detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). And the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and passage of the NAFTA treaty responsible for much of our current economic woes were initiatives of Democratic president Bill Clinton; it's hardly surprising that Barack Obama, cut from the same Bill-and-Hillary corporatist cloth, should play head cheerleader for the far more sinister Trans-Pacific Partnership. The deep secrecy surrounding the TPP, like Obama's unprecedented viciousness toward government whistleblowers, mirrors the abysses of pro-corporate treachery he seeks to hide.

Now, granted, Republicans are more openly Neanderthal in appealing to the ill-informed and plain stupid, and more outright vicious in appealing to xenophobes and racists. But one begins to wonder if Americans will ever wake up to tag-team nature of our bipartisan catastrophe and farce. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, and with U.S. Republicans as your blundering foil, it's hard not to appear--despite one's single, glaucoma-glazed eye--nearly a matinee idol. When in fact today's Democrats could scarcely handle Bonzo the chimp's role in a Ronald Reagan flick--or, putting metaphors aside, scarcely bear the least resemblance to responsible adults. Now, in a government like ours, so corrupted by oligarch agendas that sane policy is not an option, it's hard to assess degrees of subjective blame. But we'll get nowhere--except political hell--unless we start by acknowledging that Democrats' objective behavior is perversely injurious to the common good. In short, that their behavior, under cover of their "lesser of two evils" meme, has become very evil indeed.

As I never tire of reiterating, our nation's most dangerous--and morally repulsive--oligarchs belong to the fossil-fuel industry. Indeed, they literally hold the power--and apparently have the will--to accomplish humanity's extinction. At their most morally leprous (like the hell-bent-on-genocide Kochs), they deserve every bit of punishment humanity reserves for it most unspeakable tyrants; waterboarding the Kochs every remaining day of their unnatural lives strikes me as undeserved mercy. But the simple fact about Democrats--again, sticking to observable, objective behavior--is that, whatever their subjective intentions, they unapologetically execute the global, multi-species genocide our fossil-fuel barons are plotting. If the Kochs are analogous to climate-change Hitlers, Democrats, while shunning Republicans' obvious pride in sporting the climate swastika, seem disturbingly comfortable with acting as climate Eichmanns. Unobtrusive and unoffending as well-made piping, but efficiently lethal as Zyklon B gas.

If humanity is destined for its climate gas chamber, the gas dispensing the coup de grace could very well not be carbon dioxide, but methane--a far more virulent greenhouse gas. And whatever Democrats' public seemliness in talking a good climate-change game, their behavior reflects a lurid, Dr. Strangelove fascination with the deadly stuff. Without a shred of good evidence for its climate benefits, except for the fact, obscenely exploited by fossil-fuel pimps, that it's the cleanest-burning of the fossil fuels. Never mentioned, of course, is how insanely methane-leaky--and therefore insanely climate toxic--the indispensable gas-extraction process of fracking really is. Though the ever-mounting evidence of fracking's climate (and environmental) toxicity is readily available--but not, of course, through corporate-mouthpiece mainstream media--few Democrats show the least inkling of ever having heard this evidence. As Sinclair Lewis timelessly put it, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it." Given the staggering power of fossil-fuel donors--insanely amplified by the criminally perverse Citizens United and McCutcheon Supreme Court decisions--in determining whether one collects an elected official's salary at all, it's easy to explain Democrats' almost universal "obtuseness" about the climate dangers of fracking. But to explain is not to explain away, and we must never forget that Lewis's quote aims to portray the psychodynamics of corruption. And if Democrats' fossil-fuel corruption is "human, all too human," it nonetheless entails our species' potential extinction. Far from condoning Democrats, we should be furious to the point of lynching them. Mouthing saner words than today's Republicans, while acting just as perversely, hardly makes one a responsible adult.

Nothing spotlights the criminal irresponsibility of today's Democrats more than the fact of scientifically viable alternatives to fossil fuels--not just as supplements, but as actual full replacements, and that within a stunningly short time frame. And no human beings offer more starkly contrasting models of adult responsibility than the generous scientists of The Solutions Project, who've volunteered their precious leisure hours to researching and creating an all-renewables energy plan--based on existing technologies--initially for New York State, and then for our entire nation. Among those responsible adult scientists, few are as praiseworthy as distinguished Cornell engineering professor Tony Ingraffea, who has for five years unstintingly volunteered his vast gas-industry expertise to warn of the dangers of fracking.

Now, anyone who wishes to stare the criminal climate irresponsibility of Democrats straight in the face--I know the lickspittle party shills won't watch the linked video--can find no better guide than Dr. Ingraffea. Not that this maven of solid science fact ever rants or even dons the robe of prosecutor; it's just that his wry scientist's incredulousness at the irrational irresponsibility of public officials who claim to believe in climate change speaks volumes. Like me, he's flabbergasted not chiefly by the Republican ideologues and idiots who deny climate science, but by Democrats--New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and President Obama among the worst--who publicly acknowledge the science but don't lift a finger to reform energy policy. Or even, like Obama or former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, actually cheerlead for fossil fuels and fracking. When in fact, renewables-based solutions are provably superior in virtually every respect: not just climate-friendliness, but things like health effects, cost, unobtrusive land use, and jobs creation. Watch this video ( and honestly ask yourself if you can ever respect Democrats--at least on the climate issue--again.

Finally, even if one cites the progressive wing of the Democratic Party as counterevidence to my indictment, the fact is that they--like the vast American public generally--have almost zero influence in setting policy. It's Democrats' plutocrat lackeys, like Obama and Hillary Clinton, who get the real say. And given the dire, last-ditch nature of humanity's climate emergency, as well as the availability of real solutions, no one should be defending Democrats--again, like Obama and Hillary Clinton--with provable ties to fossil-fuel interests. Rather, they should be regarded as a form of human sewage, and because of that human sewage, the corrupting stench of methane hangs about the Democratic Party. If Democrats, part and parcel of a government demonstrably illegitimate, wish to regain the least shred of legitimacy, the must purge their bastard wing--the putrid sewage of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton--from their party.

Harsh? For damn sure. But if we don't get militant with Democrats--the party of climate Eichmanns--our species is fated to die UNNECESSARILY in their methane-gas ovens.

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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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