Sat, Oct

Speaking of Turkeys, There Goes the Democratic Establishment, Again

EASTSIDER-I usually stick to the local political scene, but with all the whining and hand-wringing of the establishment Democratic Party, I couldn’t help myself. 

Last time out, the DNC plus Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer anointed Hillary Clinton way in advance and then gave her control of basically everything. After she got beat by an odious New York Real Estate Developer, this time out they decided on an endless, inane dog and pony show which benefited no one but the cable news channel ratings. It’s been painful to watch. 

Other than driving her to Fox News, the Democratic Party has evidently learned nothing from Donna Brazil’s recap of the 2016 election, “Hacks.”   

After the DNC watched Donald Trump emerge from a 17 plus RNC-created dog and pony show, they decided to cut a deal with cable news and emulate the RNC, this time with something like 20 candidates. The moderators, predictably, were more the stars of the show than the teeny sound bites they allowed each of the candidates. 

Then, this same DNC establishment gets all freaked out that their groovy process winds up with two candidates, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who rack up about 50% of Democrats favoring one or the other. You know, the very grassroots progressive Democrats that the DNC elites did their best to destroy with dirty tricks the last time. No wonder there’re freaked out.  

The DNC, Cable Media, and the Slicing and Dicing of You and Me 

You and I aren’t voters anymore. No sir, we’re “white not college educated,” “Hispanic college educated,” “non-white and foreign born,” “black not college educated”; “white female college educated,” or here’s my favorite from the Pew Research Center:  

“Baby Boomers and older generations, who will be ages 56 and older next year, are expected to account for fewer than four-in-ten eligible voters in 2020. This is a significant change from 2000, when nearly seven-in-ten eligible voters (68%) were Boomers, Silents or members of the Greatest Generation (collectively, those ages 36 and older at the time). Even as recently as 2012, when the youngest Boomer was 48 years old, Boomer and older generations were about half of the electorate (49%).” 

We are not people to these political machines, we are data, ants, tokens in the great money machine of politics. Both parties do this, and I wouldn’t bet on the accuracy of their polls, either. Personally, I refuse to answer any poll, and my friends in Tehachapi who like Trump simply lie to the telephone pollsters. We laugh about it. 

It wouldn’t matter, except the relentless reveal of each week/month’s polling data from Fox News and MSNBC. This repetition implies reality, and ultimately does have an impact on what people think.  Otherwise the political elite wouldn’t be so hot for their “scientific” data. 

It’s BS. We are people, neighbors, and individuals. All these slices and dices that makes us markers on a chalkboard, over time start to skew the polling numbers of who’s running for President. Self-fulfilling prophecy. Un-American. 

The Cult of President Trump 

With his creation by Fox News as “their guy,” and incidentally making talking heads like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and bunker billionaire Rush Limbaugh really, really rich. (Rush is closing in on billionaire status.) They and The Donald are stuck with each other. 

Just as MSNBC is the voice of the Dems, they and Fox create two alternate universes where both cannot be true. Throw in all the social media and Russian technical help, and violà, we have a real no-kidding cult of The Donald. 

You know, the Donald Trump who’s been a mobbed-up crook since he got daddy’s business. Hey, New York Mob, Russian Mob, Israeli Mob, you name it, the guy loves them, is owned by them, and nobody dares out him. This is nuts. 

Lest you think I’m simply trash talking about the mob references, there is a great Politico article about this history that you can find here 

The author, Pulitzer Prize Winner David Cay Johnston, has been following Trump for decades, and has two recent books about the President (“The Making of Donald Trump,” and more recently, “It’s Even Worse Than You Think”). Read the article, read the books, and it’s all in there. Trump’s schtick. 

In our fractured democracy, he has turned the Republican Party into a Cult. Good job. 

And Then There’s the DNC 

So, what do we hear from the “grown-up” Democratic National Party? OMG, the big-bucks funders (like the same Wall Street insiders who brought us the 2008 Crash) are holding back because those “lefties” have it in for them.  

For example, here’s a recent Salon article on mega donors threatening to sit it out if Bernie or Elizabeth “move to far left.” I kid you not. 

Or look at the Washington Post’s Katrina vanden Heuvel’s piece that the Democratic establishment is right to panic:   

“Big donors may be willing to pay more in taxes under a Democratic president, but they seem unwilling to abide the loss of access or influence over the party’s direction that a Sanders or Warren presidency would bring.” 

Well golly gee, there you have it. The big bucks that own the DNC and exert “one dollar one vote” veto power over their platform. Even as they supported tax cuts for themselves, and simply went for stock buybacks instead of creating anything that looked like a job. These clowns are sucking so much money out of your and my paychecks that we are worse off than ever, and our kids are going to have it even worse than we do. 

The Takeaway 

Remember, under our system, the DNC and the RNC can and do set up any kind of rules they want for the national party, and for the state and local parties. So what we have unfolding in front of us is a series of self-inflicted wounds, designed to ensure that the party leaders retain control – literally, at any cost. 

We need an honest conversation about our future, because whoever wins, all the signs are there for another 2008 Financial Services Crash, and this time The Fed doesn’t have 5% interest to play with, they’re at 1.5% and trending down. 

For me, the biggest takeaway is that I am awe struck at the willingness of career elected officials to debase themselves, lie through their teeth, and cut back room deals on legislation like the hyperinflated military budget, all of which have no correlation to reality. That’s the real bipartisan nature of Washington D.C. 

Face it. Chuck and Nancy are nothing but limousine liberals whose time has come and gone. Big time. Almost every Democrat that I talk too will privately admit that Donald Trump could win again.  Good job, Chuck and Nancy. 

I’m all in for Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders. Don’t misunderstand, I’ll vote for Biden, or anyone but Donald Trump. But the media BS about “too far left” is just that. I am not aware of a single President in my lifetime who has run on a platform and actually delivered much of it. So I look at their integrity and clarity of purpose, not the “I have a plan for everything,” because in our system that will not happen. 

Presidents don’t pass legislation. The House and the Senate pass legislation. They are the check and balance (such as it be) and that’s where the sausage gets made. So get over the platitudes and scare tactics, and at least back a bottom-up grassroots candidate for President. 

Bernie or Elizabeth are not going to get caught in some sex scandal, taking a bribe, or

get in trouble over ethics issues. And they actually care about the troops.


(Tony Butka is an Eastside community activist, who has served on a neighborhood council, has a background in government and is a contributor to CityWatch.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.