Remember when President Obama asserted that income inequality in America was "“a fundamental threat to the American Dream, our way of life and what we stand for around the globe.”? Obama made that very accurate statement a mere seven months ago.
But, alas, Obama didn't really mean it.....
After making fighting income inequality an early focus of his second term, President Obama has largely abandoned talk of the subject this election year in a move that highlights the emerging debate within the Democratic Party over economic populism and its limits.
Now, why would that be the case? How could a "fundamental threat to the American Dream" seven months ago simply be "abandoned" with 'never-mind' dismissiveness by a Democratic president?
“It was clear in 2013 that income inequality was the top narrative for the White House, but they abruptly switched away from it,” said Jim Kessler, senior vice president for policy at Third Way, a centrist Democratic think tank that has advised the White House and Democrats to avoid excessive populism.
Third Way, and other similar corporate-serving groups, have all but gutted the Democratic Party of any....god forbid....populist leanings. So, what once began as a Democratic populist message.....the minimum wage needs raised considerably and tax rates on billionaires should be higher than those on the janitor who cleans the billionaire's offices.....has been neutered down in less than a year to......'what Americans need is better opportunities.'
Which has no meaning.
Therein lies the problem for the Democratic Party moving forward. While Republicans lose their collective minds in daily acts and messages of shamelessness......Democrats act timid.
I've been thinking about the run-up to the 2010 midterm election. Likely voters waited....and waited.....for Democrats, for Obama, to boldly defend the ACA. Instead, crickets. Tea Party nuts filled the void left by timid Democrats afraid of their own legislative shadow.....many voters determining that, 'hey, Democrats are silent, there must be something wrong with the ACA, just like the Tea nuts are saying.'
And again in 2014, Third Wayers (who are similar in relationship to liberalism as the anti-Christ is to the Christ) are working very hard to discourage any Democratic candidates from, you know, telling Americans the truth about the loss of our democracy to our corporate betters. Mustn't upset the corporate goose who supplies all the golden campaign finance eggs.
I realize that until the next census, until the next redistricting of congressional seats, nothing of value to the American people will be forthcoming. Unfortunately, what that means is things will get worse instead of better in the short term. As demographic realities take hold....and Republicans continue alienating every voting group......the danger for Democrats is thinking they can turn on the cruise control and allow those demographic realities to sweep them into a firm congressional majority.
But if Democrats don't show some spine.....and drop the timid routine for fear that the corporate swine who pay for the campaigns of politicians will abandon them....then demographic changes won't be the solution Democrats thought they might be.
The biggest threat to our national politics...and therefore, the biggest threat to Americans.....is not the dangers posed by the crazed conservative right. The biggest threat is that weak-kneed Democrats will succumb to Third Way, corporate-favoring "centrism"....and become totally owned, as Republicans are now, by the oligarchs who are in the process of bastardizing our democracy.
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