On the eve of the Republican-dominated mid-term election, working people were told to vote Democrat to prevent a “truly dangerous” Republican party from taking power. There is an element of truth in this: the Republican Party has been sprinting to the far right for decades, to the point where they are incapable of speaking sensibly about political issues.
But in a close second place in this rightward scramble are the Democrats, who’ve spent decades racing into the arms of the corporations that dominate both political parties unchallenged.
This mad dash to the right did not stop at the midterm election; the Democrats are preparing to unleash their hidden second wind, kept from public view until after the elections.
The first step to the right occurred in the commentary over the lost elections. The Democrat’s fake analysis about why they lost will push them to “correct their mistakes.”
Contrary to all evidence or common sense, the Democrats now claim that their agenda was “too progressive” while in power, to be fixed by shifting even further to the right. In effect, the Democrats are now agreeing with the Tea Party’s analysis of the Obama Administration.
Democratic Senator from Indiana Evan Bayh explained this false narrative in The New York Times, in his op-ed entitled Where Do Democrats Go Next? His answer could only be interpreted as to the right:
“It is clear that Democrats over-interpreted our [progressive] mandate. Talk of a ‘political realignment’ and a ‘new progressive era’ proved wishful thinking.” (November 3, 2010).
Bayh suggests that the Democrats adopt numerous Republican policies to compensate, such as cuts to both corporate taxes and Social Security.
Obama wasted no time in agreeing with the Tea Party in his concession speech. He had “lost contact” with the American people, meaning, that he had acted too progressively. To compensate, Obama implied a move to the right, by serving corporations even more obediently:
“I’ve got to take responsibility in terms of making sure that I make clear to the business community [Wall Street and corporate America], as well as to the country, that the most important thing we can do is to boost and encourage our business sector…,”
Obama also promised to “negotiate” with Republicans over the Bush tax cuts, energy, and education policies.
Social Security is an additional area that Obama has agreed to negotiate with the Republicans. Obama’s bipartisan Deficit Reduction Commission purposely waited for the midterm elections to end before it announced its recommendations, which will reportedly include cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
Both Republicans and Democrats are set to unite in attacking Social Security, in the same way they have united over the Bush/Obama wars; the Bush/Obama bank bailouts; the Bush/Obama destruction of civil liberties; the Bush/Obama education policy; and the Bush/Obama general favoritism of corporations over working people.
Both parties agree that the U.S. deficit is a more severe problem than creating jobs. They will thus unite to reduce the deficit by cutting or destroying valuable social services to working people, including Social Security, Medicare, public education, and other federally funded programs. This is their only option, since both parties agree that raising taxes on the rich and corporations or cutting military spending are “off the table”.
These bi-partisan, anti-worker policies will further expose the Democrats as being extensions of the very wealthy and the corporations. Working people will refuse to vote for this “lesser evil” in the future and demand that their labor and community groups move towards political independence.
Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action (www.workerscompass.org). He can be reached at [email protected]