The 2008 Elections and The Peace Movement

by on January 31, 2008 · 21 comments

in Civil Rights, Election, Peace Movement, War and Peace

Recent surveys show that American voters have a critical view of how things are going in the country, and that they are confident that the next American President will have the power to change much of what is wrong. Voters begin this election year with a grim assessment of the status quo. Roughly three-fourths say the country is on “the wrong track.” Some say the Democrats don’t have the spine to improve things. In my view, progressives have to push the Democrats to end the war, restore our civil liberties, particularly the right of “habeas corpus,” and to protect our environment.

In short, even if the Democrats win, the progressive peace movement needs to continue to “bear witness” to the crimes that our government, the CIA, and the Pentagonians are committing in foreign lands against people that have never harmed or attacked America. We must continue to protest, to act outside the electoral process, to stand up for our rights, speak our conscience, defend human rights, even if our so called “leaders” can’t.

Yet, I agree with those progressives who argue the need to strategically vote “democratic” in the elections – just to get some room to maneuver. The American unions, and most civil rights and environmental groups, consider it imperative to get the Democrats elected and in the White House, and they are certainly a part of progressive America. They may be right, given the lack of any genuine practical alternatives.

We need to vote for the Democratic nominee and get the neo-cons and the Republicans out of the White House. I know, I know – we have all heard this sorry story before, we have all been betrayed before, and the historical record of the party over the last few decades makes us nauseous.

Yet, I will still compromise and vote Democratic just because I fear what another Republican victory would do for the Supreme Court, and frankly, for the American people and the world. There is some evidence of division and stirrings of rebellion at the elite levels of the American ruling class, including among the intelligence agencies and the military, regarding the course being followed in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the future course to be pursued with regard to Iran.

A Critical Historical Juncture For Americans

Tom Hayden, in THE NATION, writes that progressives and peace movement should vote Democratic in the next Presidential election to stop the further consolidation of power on the Right. I agree for many of the reasons cited below. I know that some will call me a “sell out” for compromising with the two party “duopoley” and for voting Democrat rather than voting for a Green candidate or a Peace and Freedom Party Candidate. In my view, we are at a critical historical juncture in American history. We cannot let the country move further to the political Right, or allow the Republican Party to remain in power. The pendulum needs to swing the other way just enough to give progressives more air to breath, more hope, and more freedom to speak.

Frankly, what has already occurred is historic, something I never thought I would see in my lifetime – that we have a woman and a black man of mixed decent as the two leading contenders for the Democratic Party Presidential nominations. All the other candidates have dropped out! More amazing is the pronounced support for Barack Obama among the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, represented by the recent rousing endorsements by John Kerry and Teddy Kennedy. Who would have, could have, predicted this?

Both Democratic candidates are intelligent and qualified to be President. Hillary Clinton has stirred the hopes of millions of women who would love to see a strong and intelligent female President sitting in the White House. Her victory would be historic. Barack Obama has charisma, and has attracted large numbers young and black people, while showing us that he can attract white voters and female voters as well. His message of hope and change seems to have tapped into the boiling well of frustration disturbing the American people. It is still an open question whether this type of frustration will translate into a Democratic victory against the pro-war John McCain, who will most likely be the Republican candidate in spite of Rush Limbo’s blustery squeals and protestations..

The tide of the “conservative revolution” that placed a clique of neo-con ideologues and warmongers in the White House has ebbed significantly as a result of a failing economy exacerbated by the costly debacle in Iraq. The Republican Party is facing a serious credibility crisis, and the polls and surveys show very low ratings for Bush and Cheney. I have personally talked with Republicans who are so disgusted with the Bush administration that they will vote Democratic in the next election. Independents are also leaning heavily on the Democratic side of the ledger.

Of course, anything can happen between now and next Fall, and none of us has a crystal ball. . Another terrorist attack could place the ball right back in the Republicans hands, although a terror attack in Spain had the opposite effect. We have no guarantee that the Democratic candidate would win.

What The Democrats Would Likely Do

Yet, the Democrats could potentially control both the Congress and the White House. If they win the elections by a big enough margin, they could begin to undo some of the damages that the Bush administration imposed on the American people. Of course the Republicans would squawk and resist and try to mobilize opposition. And it wouldn’t be easy -the Democrats would inherit a jittery economy on the verge of recession and an America suffering from a serious housing and financial crisis and two counter-insurgency wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course, they have some responsibility for both wars.

What else are the Democrats likely to do? They would raise taxes to provide more support to poor and desperate Americans. They could pass legislation in support of universal child health care, a first step toward universal health care, and pay for it through an increased progressive tax base that takes a greater amount of money from the rich. They would likely create a more favorable balance in the Supreme Court through the appointment process. They would protect Roe vs. Wade. They would restore “habeas corpus” rights and other civil liberties that were removed by Bush. These are not insignificant possibilities.

The Democrats certainly would be more supportive of the unions and the right of American workers to make a living wage. This is why most unions are saying it is essential that the Democrats win. They would be somewhat better on the environment and would most likely join the rest of the world in fighting global warming. Finally, there would be much pressure on them from the American people to end the war in Iraq, although here they will face resistance from the Republican Party, establishment bureaucracies like the Pentagon and the CIA, as well as the privately organized Right.

The Critics View: “Repugs and Dimocrats!”

However, I understand the resistance of those cynics who say “no,” who refuse to compromise and vote Democrat, or even participate in the electoral system. The wars go on and on, and a shameless bipartisan Congress keeps funding them. Little wonder, they say, that the American people have so little respect for Congress today.

The critics also say the Democrats have failed us in as much as they have refused to use the tools (like impeachment) available to them to prevent this country from degenerating into a hyper-militaristic and paranoid “fortress America” with fewer civil liberties. I would agree that the trend of reaction and regression has been very strong. Yet, we cannot afford to fail to reverse the reactionary trend, and we must do what we can to change this country for the better. And at this juncture in history, that means to vote Democratic.

Recently, I saw a cartoon poking fun at “the Repugs and Dimocrats.” I laughed. Nader is at least partly right when he claims the two party system is corrupt and compromised by money from the corporate establishment. Journals like COUNTERPUNCH, and many on the Left, believe that both parties are war parties, and that neither is capable of defending the Constitution or the genuine long term interests of the American people. In fact, COUNTERPUNCH argues that there is not “a dimes worth of difference” between them. I disagree , for the reasons cited above.

“Vote Democrat,” the critics mock, “that’s the same old recycled BS that we on the left are sold every Presidential election year.” Then we are invariably betrayed. And the wars go on and on, the environment disintegrates, and the gap between rich and poor grows exponentially.

In spite of my decision the vote Democratic, I would agree up to a point with those who maintain that the current two party system has increasingly been dysfunctional. Both parties have responsibility for the imperial overstretch that currently characterizes the American Empire. It may even be true is that the American political system as it is structurally organized cannot adequately address the serious problems we face, and needs serious transformation before the government becomes “a failed state.” We have a legitimacy crisis which is also a political crisis in America, and the possibility of two stolen elections testify to that.

With the critics, I agree that Ralph Nader did NOT cost the Democrats the election in 2000, a line promoted by the Democratic Party to absolve itself of responsibility. The election campaign in 2004 was poorly run, actually emphasizing John Kerry’s military service in Vietnam, a strategy that obviously backfired. Bush was selected by the Supreme Court and has been sitting in the white house ever since.

Many in the Democratic party also went along timidly with the rigged election, supported the invasion of Afghanistan, voted for the use of force in Iraq, voted for the “Patriot Act,” and voted over and over again to fund the war of aggression in Iraq, and refused to impeach Bush, etc., etc, And it is true that during the past decade the Democrats have been stumbling over themselves to show us that they worship the military as much as the Republicans. In fact, their behavior during the last decade has been abominable, and they have increasingly acted like Republicans embracing the deep structure of militarism and imperialism that is so dominant in our society and culture.

Like the critics, I am truly sick of it! Sick of the endless wars, the endless sell outs, the surrendering of our civil liberties, and the endless privatization of health care, education, and even warfare. So I don’t wonder why people are skeptical and cynical, or why Congress has such a low approval rating. Still, it is important that we thoroughly repudiate the Republicans in a landslide.

While I recommend that people vote for the Democratic nominee, I know that inevitably progressives and peace activists will once again be disappointed. Some will be further radicalized if there is no real change. We must stay active and hope that we can build a social movement that can change America. Right now, however, we desperately need air and room to breathe.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Dave Sparling January 31, 2008 at 10:46 pm

I am afraid there is little hope of change. The Neo-Cons can not take the chance of being convicted of their massive crimes. They have two ways to go and a seven year history of total control through major media of the American people.

One of course is another 9/11 and martial law. The other is another 2000, 2004 election fraud putting a selected republican in charge that will keep their programs in place.

Without any help from major media, all we can do is stand by and watch.


avatar Beau Grosscup February 1, 2008 at 11:21 am

While I disagree with Nadeau’s conclusion I do think he has some important things to say and ponder. I recognize that he thinks that the dems and repubs are two wings of the same ruling class party (I agree) and that he is urging us to vote for the dems as he considers their preferred candidates, though not Peace Movement Dems, to be more to the center of the Demopublican party than the Cheney crowd. Yet, what seems to be inevitable nomination of J. McCain by the Republicans, to me is evidence that the ruling class conservatives are repudiating the neocon, evangelical rightwingers’ continued domination of the National Security State. Yes, McCain is a war monger extraordinaire, but Clinton and Obama are only less so. All are connected to the Trilateral constituency that has battled the conservative alliance (Committee on the Present Danger/PNAC) for 4 decades to control the NSS. McCain/Obama/Clinton also connect on domestic policy on many points. In short, in my reading the ruling class has rejected the fanatics on the right and as always rejects the progressives on the left. Thus, voting for Obama/Clinton is the same as voting for McCain and vice-versa…they are all the preferred candidates of the ruling class in 2008. Thus, it is the same old interests that Nadeau would have us vote for rather than stand up for the Peace Movement’s progressive principles via the vote.


avatar Frank Gormlie February 1, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Dave – with an understanding of where you are coming from, I have to take issue with your somewhat cynical take on the role of mass media. Yes, it is true, they try to control what we think and do. But just to “stand by and watch” is not how change occurs in this country. I think of the civil rights movement activists sitting at lunch counters and encountering police dogs and fire hoses and murderous crowds – they didn’t wait for the mass media. I think of the 1000s of women who refused to go along any longer with their prescribed roles in the male chauvinist society that we are still passing, and like wise, they didn’t wait for the media. They acted on their own, in concert with others. Then I think of the anti-Vietnam war movement which I was deeply involved – we acted with our peers in teach-ins, sit-ins, other demonstrations and confrontations of the industrial-university-military complex. WE didn’t wait for the mass media either – although we certainly became news junkies.
What we did when the 2000 election was stolen was “standby and watch” and we are still suffering from that pose. We should have been in the streets – as in other countries when there’s serious election fraud. But after 8 years of Clintonist “warmth” we had been lulled out of activism.
It is true that we can seem powerless, but when the powerless act – watch out!


avatar Dave Sparling February 2, 2008 at 12:12 am

Frank I can only agree with you to a point. Yes those groups didn’t wait for main stream media. I know I was there. But media did catch up. They were with us in NAM. Then the government learned the hard way that major media must be controlled. I hope we can again wake up enough Americans, but It would be so much better if major media was not part of the government.


avatar Richard Nadeau February 2, 2008 at 10:22 am

In response to Beau Grosscup:

You wrote the following sentence: “Thus, voting for Obama/Clinton is the same as voting for McCain and vice-versa”

I disagree. While I do not expect “qualitative change” from the Democrats, I do believe that on the domestic front the differences are significant. On women’s issues, on civil liberties, on the continuence of Medicare and on the desireability of Universal Health Care, and on issues related to education, unions, and workers rights to earn a living wage, the Democrats are clearly better.

If there were a significant social movement in America behind an alternative candidate, i would go there. But given the realities of present day America, a democrat like Obama is our best chance to create some breathing space WHERE THERE IS NONE.

While I disagree, I do respect Grosscup’s and others right not to vote, or even to vote for alternative candidates. I just can’t see what good it will do, other then make them feel good. But I respect their right to differ and agree their are many cogent arguments on their side.

The notion that there is absolutely “no difference” between Democratic and Republican candidates, or whart they will do when elected, cannot be sustained if you just read the platforms of the two remaining democratic candidates and then compare them with McCain.

On Iraq, for instance, both Obama and Clinton have called for a witdrawal from Iraq, whereas McCain has openly defended the war, and called for an outight victory. While Obama has given a specific timetable for withdrawal (16 months from the time he becomes Presdient), Clinton has said she favors withdrawal, but will not provide a specific timetable. While both their positions are inadeqate, because they want to continue various military operations from afar (most likely with air power), there will be more objective pressure to end the war brought to bear on the Democtrats because of its progressive constituencies.

Grosscup lives in a Tule fog in which all objects are defined by a grey sameness wihtout distinction. Might as well be blind! Also, the ruling class is not as all powerful or as one dimenssional as Grosscup assumes.

Time for an overwhelming repudiation of Bush’s policies!


avatar Frank Gormlie February 2, 2008 at 3:45 pm

Dave – yes it is true that the government learned their “lesson” of free-wheeling media during wartime. For the Granada invasion by Pres. Reagan, the media were tightly controlled during a US combat probably more than any time up to then since WWII. For future wars, the gov’t learned not to allow the video coverage of dead Americans or the general carnage of war to be broadcast during dinner time. This is very true.
With the “embedding” of journalists for the invasion of Iraq, the government was hoping that the media would become so cozy with US troops, and so thoroughly entrenched in the military outlook, that there would be no criticism of the war and subsequent occupation. It almost worked.


avatar Dave Sparling February 2, 2008 at 6:41 pm

Frank in the case of Iraq it didn’t almost work, it worked beyond the wildest dreams of the the Neo-Cons. It was like a WW2 movie without any blood or guts, just bombs and noise and generals with swagger sticks pointing at maps.

You can have a very nice clean crusade if you don’t have any real reporters. I am not sure how or when we will ever have the fourth estate again in this country. Just a few liberals on blogs and streaming audio isn’t going to cut it.


avatar Richard Nadeau February 3, 2008 at 8:51 am


I honestly feel your pain of despair. Sometimes it feels like a completely closed system, especially if the mainstream media are the main source of information. Yes, the New Crusades have done a lot of damage, but they are failing. The Neo-Cons are in disarray, and have lost all credibility.

Also, there is an amazing array (not just a few liberal bloggers) of alternative media in America. Progressives have established substantive alternative media like ZNET, COUNTERPUNCH, ALTERNET, COMMON DREAMS, PROJECT CENSORED, THE NATION, DEMOCRACY NOW , TRUTH OUT, etc, . Even hundreds of smaller websites like OBRAG and MEDIA LEFT make a contribution. We can’t afford to give up no matter how bad it looks.

All of us need to support alternative media sources and hope that they don’t start clamping down on the internet. And it is important not to give up on hope, no matter how trite that sounds. The mainstream media
were not able to get the American people to support the Iraq war -polls indicate that close to 70 percent oppose it and that some of this sentiment contributed to the Democratic majority in the House as a result of the mid-term elections.

Remember the 1960s? Kennedy got elected , and there were idealistic dreams of a new “Camelot.” Then he was assisinated. Then LBJ ran on a peace platform, but expanded the Vietnam war after getting into office. Many of those wh voted for him ended up chanting: “LBJ, LBJ, how many children did you kill today.” We were horrified what the napalm and the B-52s wer doing to Vietnemese peasants. The sense of betrayal on the part of progressives radicalzed many and fed the Civil Rights and Antiwar movements of the middle and late 60’s. This shocked a lot of sociologists who at the end of the 1950s were writing about the “end of ideology ” and “post-industrial society. Read (if you haven’t already) Howard Zinn’s “A PEOPLE’s HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. Zinn gives us cause to hope.

Historians have claimed that social movements arise in times of hope. We should not get too caught up in a success ideology – it is our job to “bear witness” and to continue making efforts to change what is.

As Walter Benjamin once wrote: “It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given us.”


avatar Dave Sparling February 3, 2008 at 11:07 am

Good read Richard. Oh this old man isn’t giving up. I plan on being the loudest voice in the CAMP. This is going to be the most important year in American history.


avatar Richard Nadeau February 3, 2008 at 11:27 am

Now thats the spirit!!


avatar Gregg Robinson February 3, 2008 at 3:19 pm

Don’t Mourn, Organize! Mother Jones
Don’t Scorn, Organize! Me

I am not used to saying that I agree totally with my friend Rick, but this time(I make no commitments about next week) I do. Those who have criticized Rick’s measured and responsibly left support for Obama have missed the point. Dave says that the power of the right is too great, and that hope for real change is unrealistic. Beau maintains that Obama represents (along with Hillary and McCain) merely a more rational version of ruling class ideology. All of this may be true, but it is irrelevant.

We need to move US politics to a place where real change IS possible, and I think Obama gets us closer to this point. The fact that Obama speaks a glib line about hope and change will hopefully whet the country’s appetite for the real thing. Remember the left in this country was most active not during the cynical 80’s and 90’s, but during the hopeful 60’s. The enemy of the left is not the ability to hope, but the inability to do so.

The connection of Obama and Clinton to ruling class politics is undeniable, but so is their connection to progressive class politics as well. To maintain otherwise is to reduce electoral politics to a leftist stereo type. The key is to recognize that as flawed a tool as electoral politic may be for progressives, it is still a useful one. Counseling progressives to abandon the Democratic party is to make the “perfect the enemy of the good”. The place the worth of this participation is most obvious is not in international relations (where I agree the differences are not as great as I would like), but in domestic politics. The fact that Obama and Hillary both support the “Labor Neutrality Act” (where workers are given the right to form unions based on signing a card—without requiring an election) is enough of a difference with McCain (not to mention the Supreme Court, the 100 years in Iraq, etc.) to justify voting for either one of them. You can’t sit back and criticize the lack of a real class politics in this country, and then throw a vote away that would help to build one.

Yes, even with an Obama in the White House our real work as leftists remains to be done. We will still have to organize to pressure his administration to do what it should do. This victory would, however, get us a little closer to where we need to go. There are too many desperate people in this country to throw away even such a small victory.

Gregg Robinson


avatar Beau Grosscup February 4, 2008 at 8:44 am

I heard all this about Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, especially Clinton and now Barak O’boma Iran/Pakistan. How did that work out for you all and all those desperate people at home and abroad?

Beau Grosscup


avatar Beau Grosscup February 4, 2008 at 12:29 pm

So here is where we are:

1. I am being encouraged to vote for those Dems who collaborated either directly or by their silence with the corporate media in denying progressive Dems (Kucinich) the same amount of time and same kinds of questions given to the ‘acceptable’ Dems in the ‘debates.’

2. I am being encouraged to vote for those Dems who collaborated either directly or by their silence with the corporate media to push progressive Dems (Kucinich) out of the ‘debates.’

3.I am being told that protest organizing is central to progressive change but protest votes are wasteful.

4. I am being told that a vote of collaboration with ruling class candidates is ‘hopeful’ but protest voting is hopeless.

5. I am being told that electing Dems beholden to corporate America can be pushed to progressive causes even though those Dems base their election strategy on the well-founded (as evidenced here) that Liberal Left Democrats and some Progressives who don’t officially identify as Dems think (and argue) that they have no place else to go.

Sorry, being a well-known ‘Tule fog Rebel without a clue’ I refuse to cast a vote of collaboration over a vote of protest.


Sorry, I will vote to protest but not collaborate.


avatar Richard Nadeau February 4, 2008 at 6:01 pm

I never said protest votes were a waste of time. In fact, I said I respect those who don’t vote, and those who vote for the Greens or the Peace and freedom party.
But for now, voting Green or P&F will have zero effect on social policy while voting for the Democrats could at least create some improvement. I simply disagree with your statement that there is no difference.

What I said earlier is that for it to mean something real in terms of improvement in people’s lives, voting for an alternative party like P&F or the greens would have to be part of an (far more active than we have today) active social movement for change.

I also said I could respect your choice no matter what it was since I shared many of your criticisms of the two party system. However, since you can’t respect my choice, and assume i am a stooge of corporate capital for compromising, I say get back into the Tule Fog where you belong so that you can see everything as an eternal sameness devoid of difference.

And what about the beautiful souls on the left who are so imprisoned and attached to a rigid and one dimensional ahistorical ideology that they would sacrifice real benefits (like saving social security, medicare, and the right of unions to organize) that a Democratic victory might bring about. And for what?? For a holier than thou purity which boasts: “I am better than you. I protested. I wasn’t fooled by the Dems and the corporations. I voted Green, or I voted P&F?”

Mr. Grosscup is a beautiful soul for he is too conscientious to dirty his hands. Furthermore, he self-righteously condemns the impure actions of others who compromise as wrong and hypocritical. But all action in this world involves a loss of innocence.

Of course, the historical period we are living in, with its specific conjuncture of a US on the verge of a hyper-militaristic authoritariansism (see Bush’s latest 3.1 trillion budget with a big increase in defense spending), doesn’t apparently mean anything to those saintly ones. They are outside of history anyway. So who cares if they don’t compromise and remain pure?

As I said, I will dirty my hands and vote Democratic, but that doesn’t mean a commitment to an end to protest -ing should they win. So I reject the pure politics of innocence and the either or logic which undialectically makes me a collaborationist with corporate America and the militarists who would commit us to endless war.

Many voters who vote Democratic will be protesting the reign of the last eight years. And many of us will continue to protest the Democrats to the degree that they continue the same policies of the Republicans.


avatar Beau Grosscup February 5, 2008 at 8:46 am

“And many of us will continue to protest the Democrats to the degree that they continue the same policies of the Republicans.” — Richard Nadeau

If history means anything, you will be spending all day, every day protesting….above and below the Tule fog.


avatar Frank Gormlie February 5, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Real change, revolution, substantial reform, is a process.


avatar OB Joe February 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Yes, I agree. Change is a process that takes time. Those who have contributed greatly to significant change in their own countries and societies did not make their efforts over night, or in a season or year. The work for the change spanned decades. Look at the work of the Zapatistas – the original organizers plowed their fields literally for years before the movement burst upon the scene in the early 1990s.
So yes, Beau, we progressives have fought for decades against war, injustice and dictatorial policies and administrations. To ignore the fundamental differences between what Bill Clinton did on this country and what Bush and the neo-cons have wrecked on our Constitution, Bill of Rights, habeas corpus, the environment, the killing of young Americans and the killings of non-Americans – the list is so long !- is to substantially misjudge the historical moment that we as a society are in right now.
I just can’t believe a person of your intelligence, foresight, and compassion can ignore them.
The ruling class is split right now, and we the progressives and we the people can take advantage of this split for the general welfare of the country, the Constitution, rights, etc.
IF you are complaining that all we’ve done over the last 40 years is to struggle against the different D and R presidents – that is the nature of the state of politics here – then you buy into that “American exceptionalism” that says we’re different! We don’t have to go thru decades-long process for significant change in this country but it can happen overnight with the election of a single person to the presidency.
We as individuals can weaken and fall to the wayside, but we can rejoice in all the changes that have occurred over those 4 decades and understand – but not embellish – our own role in it.


avatar Richard Nadeau February 6, 2008 at 11:31 am

OK, lets stop. Someone who seeks qualitative and progressive change, but makes strategic compromises by voting Democratic, is not a “collaborationist,” anymore than someone who refuses to compromise no matter what the historical circumstances, and votes Green or Peace and freedom , is helping the reactionaries.

I even feel sympathy for those who can’t stomach voting at all given the climate of media manipulation. Our government is supposed to be run by the consent of the governed, but more often than not it manipulates the consent of the governed and then calls the voting result democracy. The Iraq war is a good example of that.


avatar Beau Grosscup February 6, 2008 at 11:46 am

“To ignore the fundamental differences between what Bill Clinton did on this country and what Bush and the neo-cons have wrecked on our Constitution, Bill of Rights, habeas corpus, the environment, the killing of young Americans and the killings of non-Americans – the list is so long !- is to substantially misjudge the historical moment that we as a society are in right now.” OB Joe

I acknowledge that there are differences, thus “a person of my intelligence, compassion and foresight “is not ignoring them. The question is, are they meaningful differences? Joe obviously sees them as ‘fundamental’ (meaningful) , I don’t. Yes Cheney/Bush have wrecked havoc in a number of ways, but only by ignoring what Clinton did or didn’t do on those issues does he come up smelling like a rose. For example:

The constitution: Clinton undermined constitutional civil liberties in the aftermath of Oklahoma City bombing with his omnibus crime act
and except for a strange alliance between progressives and conservatives that prevented him, he wanted to undermine them to the extend incorporated in the Patriot Act. Indeed, the Patriot Act was ready to go after 9/11 due to Clinton’s established wish list.

–environment–even though he had a VP who has since made a career of sounding the alarm about environment crisis. Clinton did notihng to challenge corporate America nor lead a campaign to on the issue of that crisis.

–Yes, Cheney/Bush have killed lost of folks by attacking another nation. Please revisit Clinton on Kosovo, bombing of Sudan
inaction on Rwanda, strong support of Israeli occupation, to mention a few.

–Clinton on welfare reform….ask…did Clinton go after ‘reforming’ corporate welfare or welfare for the poor? and you get a sense of his priorities as the same as Cheney/Bush.

In all aspects, between Clinton/Cheney/bush…it is a matter of slight degree of difference which I refuse to acknowledge as meaningful especially when compared with the meaningfully different agenda of other political parties on the left.

“The ruling class is split right now, and we the progressives and we the people can take advantage of this split for the general welfare of the country…” –OB Joe

The ruling class is alway split in a number of ways among them
ideological, political party, geographic, old $/new$, dynastic, corporate, industry, to name a few. There has been a coalesing against the neo-con rightwing extremists in favor of center candidates Clinton/McCain with the understanding that Obama is out there gathering ‘grass roots’ support but knowing that should by some miracle he get the Dem nomination he can be defeated primarily on the race card or if by even a greater miracle he is elected prez, easily made to ‘behave.’

thus the alleged ‘historical moment’ which isn’t unique at all can only be taken advantage of if progressives reject their historical/hysterical accommodation with the Demopublican party and “go Left, young woman/man.”



avatar Frank Gormlie February 6, 2008 at 12:05 pm

OKay, I agree with Rick: let’s stop. Someone who votes for Obama for example is not a “colloborationist” in the sense of those who sympathized with the Vichy Government in France were. Back then, “them’s fightin’ words”. Let’s not allege that here.


avatar OB Joe February 6, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Okay, Beau, Frank, Rick, Gregg, before I agree to stop and shake hands showing that we all agree to disagree, I want to make one last point. I want to raise an historical analogy.
In Germany back in the early 1930s, that country had the largest, most massive left-wing party in Europe – the C.P. It had a policy-driven perspective that the Social Democratic Party (close to the Dems here) then ruling was simply the “liberal” wing of the Ruling Class, and saw them as more dangerous than the Nazi Party. Their entire strategy and their tactics reflected this horrible, horrific and ultimately lethal view. The Social Democrats were not only as bad as the Right, but Worst!
In fact, during one state election, the CP even colloborated with the Nazis and campaigned and rallied together against the Social Democrats.
Well, the strategy didn’t work because the perspective was Wrong. As we know, the rest is history, and the largest leftwing party in Europe was wiped out, along with the trade-unionists, other liberals, gympsies and of course six million jews.
There are lessons in history, and we cannot ignore this one.


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