Virtually no Democrat holding public office, by any reasonable, historically accurate definition of the term “Democrat,” is in fact a Democrat. Yet some of these poseurs are more deserving of contempt than others.
Among the most contemptible now doing time in the vile stinkhole that is Washington, D.C., are Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.), Tom Carper (Del.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jon Tester (Mo.), and Mark Warner (Va.). They voted this week for the Keystone XL pipeline, a conduit of filth that threatens ecosystems and water tables the length of the country.
Other Dismalcrats in both houses will have abundant opportunity, as this session of congress drags on, to join or even supplant the squalid seven in the annals of American political venality. I wouldn’t attempt to predict how many will do so. Too many.
The American political system has been dragged so deeply into oligarchic fascism that it is no longer possible to restore a semblance of democracy. There is no viable left in our system. Most Americans think “liberal” is a dirty word, like “queer,” “nigger” and “non-Christian.” Where there is no room for the liberal point of view there is no democracy. Anyplace that equates wealth with speech is doomed to career forever down the sinkhole of anti-democracy. In the United States Democratic capitalism has become a self-contradiction and Democratic socialism an object of scorn.
Keystone XL is just the beginning of the depredations of which this Congress is capable. Its invitation to the Israeli war criminal, Bibi Netanyahu, to come here to speak against even the Milquetoastian efforts by President Obama to ease some of the bellicose tensions in the world would have been viewed as treason in saner times. We have heads of important Congressional committees uttering crude nonsense that in other times would have brought their sanity into question.
The laundry list of outrages created, endorsed, advocated and legislated by the fools we have elected to office now fills a volume at least as thick as the federal tax code. It grows by the day, with each new set of outrages somehow managing to be more egregious than the one before it. Their transgressions against the rights of women alone threaten to drag us back into the Stone Age. Their commitment to war and to the obscene profit of those who supply its tools is barbaric. They are in the forefront of a world-wide economic movement that within a few years will have more wealth in the hands of the richest one percent than in the hands of all of the rest of us. By then, left or right or center won’t matter. There will only be the indescribably rich and the rest of us, their slaves.
The police, envisioned as protectors of our rights and enforcers of our just laws, have been paramilitarized into racist, uncontrolled brutes whose overwhelming armaments preclude any attempt at armed insurrection, and who put down by force any grassroots expression of outrage against what’s happening. Soon there will be no public outcry against even the grossest of abuses of power.
Our mainstream media are at the minimum cowed, at the maximum active propagandists for the rich and powerful and their toadies in government.
Already saddled with the most poorly informed electorate in what we still naively call “the free world,” we are producing ever more poorly schooled young people because the fools we have put in office are systematically eliminating quality public education by hobbling good teachers and creating charter schools and other brainwashing factories. The Christian churches of the United States are ever more complicit in the destruction of what once was a fragile democracy: no cadre of Catholics in the world is more horrified by the liberal views of that church’s new Pope from Argentina than the United States Council of Bishops. Their umbrage grew exponentially when he named new Cardinals from Third World countries and (gasp!) none from the U.S.
During the Great Depression, when only the oligarchs had bread on the table and shoes on their feet, one of the monied class won election as president and led a leftward march toward Democratic socialism, revolutionary new steps toward civil rights and dignity for the common man. Franklin D. Roosevelt “betrayed his class,” many people said, to create a viable American left within the tent of the Democratic party.
But that was oh, so long ago. We’ve burned that tent down. The Squalid Seven and others of their ilk are urinating on the ashes.