October 10, 2014

What you'll get with Hillary Clinton

One of the most fraudulently named political organizations is the Progressive Policy Institute, part of the Democratic Leadership Council's effort to end 60 years of progressive politics in the Democratic Party as manifested by the election of Bill Clinton. PPI is still hard at work misleading Democrats as illustrated in this article by its president

Will Marshall, Politico - Many liberals ... are just as theologically opposed to modernizing entitlements as conservatives are to raising taxes. The result of this demagogic stance is anything but progressive. It means Washington will continue to direct a growing share of the country’s resources to seniors while starving investment in children and families and future growth.

In any case, Democrats have been moving steadily to the left, about as fast but not nearly as far as Republicans have shifted rightwards. The share of Democrats holding consistently liberal views, for example, has quadrupled from 5 percent in 1994 to 23 percent today. This leftward movement is a big problem for the party. If Democrats follow the GOP into the fever swamps of ideological purity, the nation’s political crisis will only grow deeper. Absent a fundamental and highly improbable revamping of our constitutional system, America can’t be governed from either ideological pole. Only by leading from the pragmatic center can Democrats capitalize on GOP extremism and rally broad public support behind new ideas for breaking the partisan log jam in Washington.

... Pressure to conform is mounting on the other side, too. An array of powerful interest groups, plus self-appointed ideological minders like Move On and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, are quick to pounce on Democrats who deviate from leftish orthodoxy by, say, supporting trade agreements, real accountability in education, changes in entitlements, development of America’s shale-gas windfall and efforts to lower regulatory obstacles to entrepreneurship. ...The result is a liberal groupthink that stands guard over the programmatic status quo and stifles public innovation.

Sam Smith, 1993 -  [Bill] Clinton is part of a generation which grew up as many of the communal support systems of society were disintegrating. Family, church, and neighborhood were all on the ropes. Politics was also breaking down: not only had the machines faded, but the parties were faltering and Congress splintering. Extraordinary national common symbols were gone as well: the Kennedys, Rev. King, and -- just as the 80s began -- John Lennon. Young America entered the decade very much alone.

... The egocentrism of yuppie America did not spring originally from greed, but from an apparent reality; it truly seemed a struggle between oneself and the rest of the world. Quietly, and unnoticed at first, the economy was following community into disarray and a Darwinian imperative took hold. It was, it turned out, just what rapidly changing American corporations needed, a crop of well-schooled, mobile, undistracted young warriors to boost productivity and profits. Working until early in the morning at an investment banking firm became the new machismo, so much so that in one year a majority of the graduating class of Yale attempted to pursue that course. The purported skill of the yuppies was that they knew how to "manage" and they knew how to "communicate." They did these things so assiduously that before the decade of 80s was over, process and words appeared to have become the country's major products. With the avid assistance of the media, the 80s brought us the largest collection of euphemisms ever to invade the English language -- like managed competition and investing in people. And it brought us sly words that mean something far from what they seem to mean -- like Progressive Policy Institute or national health insurance. It was not only our manufacturing base that eroded, our base of understanding of what we meant when we spoke to each other was in shambles as well.

Sam Smith, 1998 - The play was also being cast by a group that called itself the Democratic Leadership Council. Although lacking any official role in the Democratic Party (and often appearing more a Democratic Abandon Ship Council), the DLC claimed it was the voice of mainstream party thought. In fact, it was primarily a lobby for the views of southern and other conservative Democrats, yet so successful was its media manipulation that it managed with impunity to call its think tank the Progressive Policy Institute.


Anonymous said...

I was taken in by them to the extent of applying for a job opening they posted. I naïvely said how happy I was to see a Dem organisation not afraid to use the word "progressive" and how I was looking forward to working with them toward a progressive sea-change.

They didn't feel the need to reply, and it wasn't til some months later that I realised that they're the antithesis of progressive.

Anonymous said...

The problem/opportunity with the timing of 2016 is that while HRC was the victim of Citizens United, she has not yet seemed to take it personally. Of all people, she doesn't seem to want to make this a campaign issue, as say the crook McCain who took up campaign reform after he was personally caught. The Clintons don't have much problem with getting caught, since they aren't the ones going to prison. So the most effective attack on Clinton will be on anticorruption. However, if she were forced to throw caution to the winds in order to get the presidency, as she did when she turned herself into Sarah Palin in May 2008, even before there was a Sarah Palin, there might be some leverage. Because she will do anything to win, a single issue anticorruption voter movement could steer her to their side if they promise to stay at home. Not just not vote for her, but any Dem who won't pass laws ending money in politics and curbing the Court's anticipated veto. Likely a Perot type reformist who wants those voters could relegate the Dems to third party status, as progressive TR did to the GOP in 1912.