"The Democratic and Republican Parties, creatures of capital, are decomposing in full view."
In their role as mercenaries in service of finance capital, three-fifths of Democrats joined one-third of Republicans in a (temporarily) failed heist of $700 billion of the people's funds - a nest-egg the public needs to hold onto to weather the unfolding collapse of the Lords of Capital. In the aftermath of Monday's bloody siege, it was difficult to tell who Wall Street guns-for-hire John McCain and Barack Obama hated most: each other, or the citizens who despite their outraged confusion had the presence of mind to bar the doors to the national treasury.
Understandably disoriented from having had to charge backwards - pretending to lead the people while simultaneously assaulting them - Obama peered across the field at the hastily-erected barricades that had broken Hank Paulson's Charge. "I'm confident we're going to get there," said the frustrated thief-enabler, "but it's going to be rocky."
To paraphrase Oscar Brown, Jr., "What you mean WE, Obama-man?" The Illinois senator and his pretend-opponents in the other business party just had their colluding asses kicked by the most motley, disorganized crew imaginable: the American public, who bombarded their legislators with threats of retaliation in November if they bowed to Wall Street's extortionist demands.
Never has Republican-Democratic co-subservience to finance capital been on such naked display. But then, "We the People" have never before been witness to the terminal unraveling of late-stage global finance capital. (See BAR, "Death Rattles of a Criminal Class," September 24.) When the New York Times features no less than three articles declaring the nation's investment bankers ready for burial, as did last Sunday's paper, it is time for the Democrats, especially, to find another paymaster.
Black Caucus Split
Obama's party is wedded to Wall Street. At the local level the Democrats have long been the party of "developers" - the money bags who shape urban policy to fit the needs of corporations. These gentrifiers are the "Renaissance Men" that insist Black politicians earn their campaign and graft payments by helping to expel their own constituents from the cities, so as to make them more congenial to business. Betrayal starts at home. So it's not surprising to find Rep. Charles Rangel (NY), the corporate-loving Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, among the 18 members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to vote with the Bush-McCain-Obama Wall Street Axis. Edolphus Towns (NY), Gregory Meeks (NY), and Artur Davis (AL) are also in their element, reeking as they do of corporate excretions. However, it is strange - and sad - to see Maxine Waters (CA), Gwen Moore (WI) and other relatively progressive members aligned with the rump end of the Black Caucus.
Among the slim, 21-member majority of the CBC that defied Speaker Nancy Pelosi's edicts, one finds more curious company. Voting alongside usually reliable progressives such as Barbara Lee (CA), John Conyers (MI), Donna Edwards (MD) and Bobby Scott (VA), are some of the Caucus's most rightwing members: William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson (LA) and David Scott (GA), once described as the "Worst Black Congressman" in the House. Panic makes strange bedfellows.
Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott summed up the "No" position: "There's no point in spending all this money on worthless assets" such as toxic mortgages. Detroit's Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick said of the Obama-McCain-Bush-Paulson plan, "This helps the banks in their book of mortgages. It doesn't help the little person who needs it."
"It is strange - and sad - to see Maxine Waters (CA), Gwen Moore (WI) and other relatively progressive members aligned with the rump end of the Black Caucus."
These are eminently good reasons to resist the bipartisan, flag-waving, hyper-ventilating and increasingly ill-looking Wall Street mob, now regrouping for another bum-rush of the Congress. However, the anxious thieves are only a 12-vote switch away from consummating the Greatest Theft Ever. Pelosi's wing of the Business Party is confident they can assemble the blandishments and threats to do the trick.
The Last Hold-up
The criminal-minded and mortally wounded Lords of Capital believed, as Pam Martens has written, that they could "loot and collapse a 200-year old financial system and...be rewarded with a fresh $700 billion of public money to disperse among your cronies who aided and abetted in the collapse."
Or, as Mike Whitney puts it:
"...the $700 billion is just part of a massive ‘pump and dump' scheme engineered with the tacit approval of the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Once the banksters have offloaded their fraudulent securities and crappy paper on Uncle Sam, they will do whatever they need to do to pad the bottom line and drive their stocks up. That means they will shovel capital into hard assets, foreign currencies, gold, interest rate swaps, carry trade swindles, and Swiss bank accounts. The notion that they will recapitalize so they can provide loans to US consumers and businesses in a slumping economy is a pipedream."
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and his designated wrecking crew have but one objective: theft. Their own world is doomed - "The system is de-leveraging and nothing can stop it," says Whitney - so they are pulling off one last, mega-heist before it sinks beneath the waves.