Sunday, April 14, 2013

I would be a Democrat, but...


Excepting the shrill talking heads, paid to carry water and vomit up political diatribes on cable news and over paid columnists spilling ink in the halls of once venerable institutions, actual discourse between citizens has all but ceased and voter participation has remained at dangerously low levels. Over the last 2 decades American political dialogue has come to a near standstill, in no small part because of the vitriolic relationship between the two parties.  

The pajama clad bloggers, supposedly our saviors and disintermediators of the political punditry class if you listened to the techpress back in 2007,  have instead taken the fight to the third and fourth rails of the internet offering no hope that the fractious nature of political discourse was any closer to changing.
The blogosphere divided itself into personal fiefdoms and tribes just as quickly as the traditional press did. Coupled with the vitriol enabled by anonymous communication, past resentments  have been revived and various -isms and bigotries have found new ground upon which to fester and grow. All of this has served to limit the actual influence of the virtual space on the political space.
That the Congress can’t seem to get it act together or that the president was four months late in preparing his budget comes as no surprise, without an actual dialogue the nation has no unified voice to speak out against these absurdities.
That both major political parties are blaming the each other, vehemently stating that if they could just have their way everything would be fine is just basic failed state, pre-collapse, politics.
Sadly what both parties fail to realize is that they are both right, and both wrong. Both parties have poisoned the well of political discourse in this country. All too often Democrats reduce their arguments to “Republicans are evil, so support my side”. Alan Grayson perfectly illustrated this in the health care debates of 2011 when  he said that the Republican plan was, “Don’t get sick, and if you die quickly”.
Instead of giving concrete reasons why he opposes privatizing the health care system, he reduced himself to a primate flinging metaphorical poo across the hall. This doesn’t move the discussion forward, but it does give the media something to talk about. It doesn’t even clearly articulate something, it poisons the well and prevents future discussion.
Beyond just, now standard, congressional polemics and hyperbole, the Democratic party engages in hypocrisy matched only  by the hypocrisy of religious objections to equality for homosexuality despite the proclivity of such adherents for illicit activities in airport bathrooms.
One would think that the party that tried to co-op the 99% and Occupy movements would eschew financing and political contributions from such institutions as BP, GE, Exxon, JP Morgan, Chase Bank, Bank of America, or Goldman Sachs, and yet collectively they have taken in tens of millions of dollars in contributions from these companies. All the while fanning the media firestorm over corporate business profits. It is simply hypocritical of Democrats to hate them in public, but love their money in private
Topping off vitriol, poisoning the well of political discourse, and hypocrisy are the following three things that Democrats have done that are simply beyond the pale. Starting with the Digital Millenium Copyright act, that singular piece of legislation that turned owning electronic hardware into a lease agreement and made it possible, through the 1984 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, to receive a jail sentence for violating the terms of service of a product you bought(leased) that exceeded the sentence for raping a classmate. If you want to know why you can’t unlock your phone without the Librarian of Congress okaying it, thats why.
As bad as that is, it is nothing to the repealing of Glass Stegal in 1999 that was directly related to the need for bailouts less than 10 years later. By acquiescing to Bill Clinton and the DLC’s new corporate friendly liberalism through deregulation, the Democrats spread the seeds, that the Republicans than tilled, that brought the global economy to a grinding halt in 2007. To be sure there were a variety of mechanisms that intensified the crash, but at its heart, depositor banks gambling with consumer pensions and savings made the whole ponzi scheme of collateralized debt obligations possible.
But it is the hail to the chief, follow the leader mentality of Democrats, matched only by Republican support for the expansion of power of the DHS and NSA under Bush, in support of Obama’s continuation of whistleblower persecution and expansion of the Drone War that is simply unforgivable. 3 American citizens, 1 of them a minor and one of them a journalist, have been summarily executed without Due Process, without Judicial approval, and without legal precedent all for their political beliefs.
That this happened without Congressional Democrats(Bernie Sanders doesn’t count he’s like a token minority in an all white film) raising a fuss  is testament to how the priorities of the Democratic party have changed. No longer the party of liberal values like hard work and community involvement, the Democratic party has become an illiberal institution more interested in keeping itself in power and serving its corporate masters than serving its citizens.