Another democratic crisis averted. Or has it been?
The corporate mainstream media (MSM) thinks, along with a significant portion of their ruling class masters, that they have weathered the political storms of pizza and a discontented masses. There are a few prominent voices who point out the disconnect between the system and its parties on the one hand, and their “constituents” on the other. But by and large it is business as usual. This does not bode well for the future.
From Our perspective, it is shocking how the higher orders can continue to propose the same individuals and push the same discredited policies, while fully acknowledging the hunger for fundamental change.
Refusing to learn from reality, Democratic political insider Peter Daou exclaimed, “I’ll be crystal clear: Bernie Sanders has absolutely no business determining the course of the Democratic Party after the harm he did to us”.
Or take the New York Times editorials on November 30, one “Can the Democrats Move Right?” by “Liberal” Ross Douthat, the other “The Future of the American Center” by “Conservative” David brooks — menders of the Establishment veil.
A “Liberal” Way to Change
Once Sanders and his talk of public investment, canceling debt and ending wars, had been successfully sidelined, Clinton forgot her own mild anti-Wall Street stance. Still, the sentiments of the electorate were decidedly to the “left” enough that Clinton felt obligated to pay lip service to the “free” community college crusade, and to utter Sanders’ name occasionally.
Apparently oblivious to this reality, Douthat tells us “There has been much less conversation about the ways in which the Democratic Party might consider responding to its current straits by moving to the right.” This is an astonishing claim. Everybody except, it seems, NY Times columnists, witnessed Hillary Clinton forced to the “left” by the overwhelmingly popular Sanders. It was even the unofficial theme of the primary contest. Indeed, it is likely that Sanders won the primaries (here’s a small sampling of primary machinations).
Douthat proceeds to ignore recent history, and indeed admonishes his party to go rightward:
That kind of movement is often part of how political parties recover from debilitation and defeat … It’s what Democrats did, slowly but surely, after the trauma of Ronald Reagan’s triumphs; it’s what Bill Clinton did after his 1994 drubbing; it’s what Rahm Emanuel and Howard Dean did, to a modest degree, on their way to building a congressional majority in 2006.
That kind of “movement”, i.e., staying within the Liberal/Conservative ruling class sphere, is what made The Donald the Republican nominee, and he and Hillary Clinton the two most hate nominees in history. But Like a good ruling class tool, Douthat convinces himself that “moving” in the direction of the other rejected and discredited party is the solution.
Somehow the Obama regime is portrayed as Liberal and progressive. The absurdity of this claim cannot be overstated. For some examples of Democratic faux “progressiveness” see The Oxymoron of “Progressive” Democrat.
Thus, in the best tradition of Liberal/Conservative moronic Fake News analysis Douthat confidently proclaims “… the incentives are there to look for issues where Democrats might plausibly move rightward, back toward voters they have lost”. Of course these incentives don’t include (what were once) the traditional purview of the Liberal Party. No mention of workers and their constantly degrading pay scale. No mention of relief from the dependence on credit card debt made possible by less earning capacity forced upon the masses through automation and job outsourcing. Nor is there mention of ending blatantly unnecessary wars.
Instead, Douthat tells us for what the Liberal party ought to be fighting for in order supposedly to gain back its supporters:
Democrats could also talk anew about the virtues of earned benefits, about programs that help people who help themselves, about moving people from welfare back to work. This (Bill) Clintonian rhetoric hasn’t entirely disappeared from the party, but it has diminished, and some of the Trumpian (and pre-Trumpian) backlash against liberalism in white working-class communities was associated with welfare programs — disability rolls, food stamps, Medicaid — that seem to effectively underwrite worklessness at a time of social disarray. It would not require Democrats abandoning their commitment to the social safety net to foreground programs more directly linked to work and independence, and to acknowledge the problems of dependence and stagnation associated with no-strings-attached support.
There is similar room for Democrats to move toward the center on immigration policy — to retain their support for humane treatment of migrants but reverse the creep toward open borders-ism and abjure mass amnesty by presidential fiat; to support a path to citizenship without supporting a perpetually ascending immigration rate.
Likewise on crime and terrorism. The party’s (laudable) support for criminal justice and policing reform left its leaders struggling to find a language to address the post-Ferguson spike in lawlessness that pushed public support for the police upward and helped Donald Trump on his path.
The supposed concerns about crime, the high costs of food stamps, Medicaid and other “entitlements”, while ignoring corporate subsidies and loopholes for the rich is usually the realm of “conservatism”. Like Reagan promoting the myth of the welfare queen, Douthat promotes the myth of the “Ferguson Effect”, which claims that violence against police increased significantly after the Ferguson protests.
Such politics from “Liberals” and “Conservatives” finally got The Donald elected. Meanwhile, these very Clintonian policies, which continued the Reagan Counterrevolution, had been openly rejected by its own constituents. Hillary lost to Bozo the Brass-haired clown, who’s cabinet is turning into a neocon nightmare, but at least he was smart enough to know that Sanders had the right formula.
As a mouth piece for the ruling class, Douthat has no other answer. Does this not demonstrate the pathetic state of the Democratic Party? As soon as Sanders entered the race, Hillary began parroting his rhetoric because her own neocon ambitions were not moving people. 2016 saw the lowest voter turnout since Bill ran for reelection in ’96. And all Douthat can do is offer the same. The future looks bright!
A “Conservative” Way to Change
Nobody knows what will happen in the unfolding political landscape, but David Brooks gives us a different scenario of the breakdown of the Liberal/Conservative system. Dave offers a more unified way toward the status quo. He informs us that The Donald’s election “smashes” the traditional party loyalties.
What’s about to happen in Washington may be a little like the end of the Cold War — bipolarity gives way to multipolarity. A system dominated by two party-line powers gives way to a system with a lot of different power centers. Instead of just R’s and D’s, there will be a Trump-dominated populist nationalism, a more libertarian Freedom Caucus, a Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren progressive caucus, a Chuck Schumer/Nancy Pelosi Democratic old guard.
We agree on the “multipolarity” aspect but not on the “different power centers” claim. Brooks seems to forget that there the same financial powers behind these groups. Things will not be so messy in this regard. From Our perspective, it all depends on how the masses react to The Donald’s inevitable broken promises, and the Democrats reinvention of the same old song and dance.
“The most important caucus formation will be in the ideological center”, writes Brooks.
The word “centrist” in profit logic means a Liberal who takes a “conservative” position. However, when Republicans take a liberal stance, they are called Liberal Republicans, or call themselves Libertarians. There is also the word “moderate” which means “less of”. A “moderate Liberal” is less liberal, and a “moderate Conservative” is less conservative. This is important in retaining flexibility when trying to cajole Liberals or Conservatives into the proper direction.
One does not tell the masses they are voting for a Liberal pushing conservative policies, and vise-versa, one says one is voting for a moderate Liberal who is taking a centrist position. The ruling class orientation of both parties overrides judgment where they might have retained “Liberal” or “Conservative” “values”. This is the ruling class nature of “Liberalism” and “Conservatism”.
The rise of Bernie Sanders and The Donald has apparently terrified everybody but a majority of the public, and David Brooks laments that the “caucus” of the “ideological center” has been “slow to build coalitions of moderate legislators”, as if this is the key to solving society’s problems.
“But suddenly there’s a flurry of activity between the extremes,” rallies the columnist.
Establishment Conservative Bill Kristol and Liberal Bill Galston have issued a joint statement calling for “a New Center”! Brooks mentions 30 year Democratic Party veteran Nancy Jacobson as another figure leading the way to congressional reform!
Surely, the masses are overwhelmed with joy at this news. Treading water while sinking lower and lower now has a horizon!
Brooks is excited about the future which he hopes looks like the past:
Moreover, the future of this country is not going to be found in protecting jobs that are long gone or in catering to the fears of aging whites. There is a raging need for a movement that embraces economic dynamism, global engagement and social support — that is part Milton Friedman on economic policy, Ronald Reagan on foreign policy and Franklin Roosevelt on welfare policy.
Friedman and Roosevelt are mutually exclusive, of course. Perhaps Mr. Brooks has not noticed that his masters have been biding their time, waiting for their moment to dismantle the New Deal. This has come in the form of the Reagan Counterrevolution, which paved the way for the current paradigm of the neoliberalism and austerity. The Conservative future never looked so forward-looking.
Same Old Song and Pizza
One could be forgiven for thinking this willful denial of the nature of this election, of what went on rather publicly and so recently, and watched by 100s of millions, is about incompetent boobs who make “erroneous judgments” in their fake news columns and TV programs. This is, of course, cover for management of mass political perception, on behalf of the ruling class.
In practice, this “movement” Douthat cites above, namely from “liberal” to “conservative”, is nothing more than the bowel movements of the Supreme Executive. One party “fails”. The masses “try” the other one. It “fails” too. They go back. Repeat ad nauseam. It is the practice of excreting the bad vibes and “failures” of the past administration through the toilet of “elections”.
The shuffle between the parties is also the Supreme Executive merely shifting the ball from one hand to the other, creating the illusion of attempts at “incremental” change. Or it is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Douthat wants to push them all to the right side of the ship, while Brooks wants to stack them up in the middle of the vessel. Thus, the well bred herd tells us to give Trump a chance, just as they told us to give Obama a chance.
It is the same old song and dance, and that brings us to pizza — particularly Pizzagate. We will not speak specifically of Pizzagate. No member of the Preservation Society is currently involved with it. Instead, in the great tradition of the Preservation Society, we encourage the reader to decide for themselves whether this controversy warrants further investigation.
There are many good videos summarizing the circumstances of Pizzagate: Reality Calls, former HuffPost journalist David Seaman, Pizzagate on voat.co and SGTReport, are a few. To reiterate, this is not an endorsement or confirmation of Pizzagate but merely Our commitment to encouraging personal evaluation rather than relying on the authority of ruling class outlets and institutions.
While Pizzagate may be new, that privileged abuse of the masses by the ruling class is nothing new. Read your ancient Romans, especially Suetonious. Kings and nobles always enjoyed their stable of prostitutes, which often contained young girls. Has anybody ever heard of the Inquisition or Catholic pedophilia? Jimmy Savile had been supplying British “elites” with young children for decades, even as he was good friends with the Royal family. Then there was the Republican’s own “Pizzagate” which did turn out to be true but suppressed — Boys Town of Lincoln Nebraska.
This is not to say that these incidents are related in any way to today’s “Pizzagate” story, but abuse, and even ritual abuse of the masses is has a long history. Ruling class society depends on it, like We depend on mass ignorance. If the average individual wasn’t such a herd animal would it be so easy to pass off stupid fake news analysis like that offered by Douthat and Brooks of the New York Times as credible? If the herd individual wasn’t such a contemptible and wretched creature would it be so easy to turn criminals into pillars of society, or pass off the status quo for forward thinking?
One has to have Eyes Wide Shut for that.