Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Is this the Beginning of the End of the Democratic Party?

With the help of Rush Limbaugh and many conservative voters and very negative campaign ads, Hillary Clinton won Ohio by 10% and Texas by about 3% Tuesday, and can legitimately claim to have a chance, though slim, of catching up to Obama's delegate count. The math does not seem to be there for her to win the nomination, but if everything goes her way from now to the end, and the "superdelegates" side with her, she could possibly be the Democratic nominee, which isn't good for a number of reasons.

Many voters, including myself, are beginning to have "buyer's remorse" for Barack Obama. While Clinton has ran an effective NEGATIVE and DIRTY campaign against Obama, he has not fought back as aggressively as he should have, which makes one wonder if he would really be a strong candidate against John McCain. But Hillary's negative, and unfair, attacks on Obama were effective. Although the negative ads were unfair and inaccurate, they showed that negative campaigns are more effective than "nice" campaigns (ask John Kerry, Mike Dukakis and Walter Mondale).

As much as I despise Hillary Clinton, I am also disappointed in Barack Obama. There is not much difference between the two Democratic candidates on issues like NAFTA, "free trade," military spending, or even health care. Both are peddling inadequate band-aid approaches to health insurance rather than taking on the insurance companies and proposing the only real "universal" health insurance program--a public single payer system. Neither will take on military waste and cut military spending. Neither will defend FULL equal rights for gays and lesbians (i.e., marriage equality), etc...

All this underscores a fundamental problem with the Democratic Party. What does the Democratic Party stand for? Why are Democrats running from its liberal traditions and embracing Republicanism and "smaller government"? Why are Democrats caving in to the most unpopular President in modern history to continue to fund the illegal occupation of Iraq and trying to find a way to give immunity to the telecom companies that participated in illegal acts against American citizens? Why haven't Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid stood up to the Republican MINORITY in the House and Senate? (Pelosi and Reid are two of the most pathetic weak excuses for political "leaders" I have ever seen!)

To say the least I am growing more and more disenchanted with the Democratic Party that not even an Obama nomination will do much to change, but a Hillary Clinton nomination will definitely fuel even more. It is looking like neither Obama or Clinton will defeat John McCain in the general election. If the Democratic Party loses THIS election, given the failures and unpopularity of Bush and the GOP, what purpose does the Democratic Party serve in the U.S. political system? Are liberals and progressives being duped once again into supporting the Democratic Party in hopes the party will "change"??

I will be honest, I am having a political crisis at this moment. I have been trying to work "within" the Democratic Party for 20 years, with little to show for it. Why should people like myself (progressives, democratic socialists, etc.) keep sacrificing our political values and principles by supporting the Democratic Party? And what are our options? The Green Party? The Socialist Party? The Communist Party (yes it still exists and has also been supporting Democrats!) Anarchism? What are our choices?

Like many other left/progressives, I am asking these questions this election year and may not be able to put my faith in the Democratic party nominee again.

Could Hillary Bequeath Us Our Long-Awaited Third Party?
Now It Get's Dangerous for the Democrats, John Nichols in The Nation.
A Great Day for John McCain, Alexander Cockburn on Counterpunch
Hillary Clinton Plays Gender Card (again), Consortium News
Hillary's Math ProblemJonathan Alter, Newseek

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