Rich People Rules, the Corporate Class and the Uselessness of Democrats

by William Skink

Stupid Skink, you allowed a glimmer of hope from Democrats to blind you to how DC functions. You thought enough Dems on Capitol Hill would continue to oppose fast-track authority, but you were wrong. Fucking Democrats. How could you forget that there are Rich People’s Rules when it comes to the desires of the corporate class? I guess you need Dean Baker to remind you:

Congress gave the American people and the world something to celebrate last Friday. The House of Representatives refused to pass the package of bills that would have given President Obama fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This was a huge victory for a campaign led by labor unions, environmentalists, consumer groups and other activists against the country’s biggest corporations.

A victory by the masses, or “everyday people,” over big money and big media is always grounds for celebration. But it is important to remember the game is far from over. This is one of those bills, like the TARP, where we are playing by rich people’s rules.

That means that the other guys get to have do overs until they get the outcome they want. Some folks may remember the vote on the TARP, the Wall Street bailout package. The Washington establishment was shocked when liberal Democrats and populist Republicans combined to defeat the original bill in the House. But that was not the end, after all the life of the Wall Street banks was at stake.

We know how that temporary stand against the TARP bailout turned, don’t we? And now the same thing with fast-tracking America into tighter corporate control. Here are your worthless Democrats, as reported by Mother Jones:

Well, it looks like the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty is in business. The standalone fast-track bill just passed the Senate by a hair, 60-37. Several Republicans defected and voted no even though they had voted yes the first time around, but only one Democrat defected. So now it goes to President Obama’s desk, where he’ll sign it.

I wish Democrats experienced consequences for these constant betrayals, but they don’t. At Salon they think Hillary is going to lose to Bernie because of her deftly vacuous rhetoric around issues like trade. Sure, Salon, and I’ll have some of what you’re smoking please:

Clinton spoke on Roosevelt Island the day after the House TTP vote. She said the word ‘trade’ once, when breathlessly observing that she could see the new World Trade Center over her shoulder. In a year she has made just one statement on the issue. Months ago, when asked a question by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell she said, “Any trade deal has to produce jobs and raise wages and increase prosperity and protect our security. And we have to do our part in making sure we have the…. skills to be competitive.”

The morning after Announcement II, John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, appeared on “Meet the Press.” When asked her position on the TPP he managed to sound indignant: “She actually has been very clear about where she stands on trade…. First, does it grow jobs, grow wages and protect American workers and second, does it protect our national security…”

Podesta said Clinton would “render her final judgment” after the deal was done. That was it. Her non-answer would be her final answer until such time as it no longer mattered what she thought. Podesta’s performance may have tripped an alarm even in the tone-deaf Clinton camp. Later that day in Iowa, she talked for the first time on the record about the TPP. In a story headlined Trade Deal Comments Put Hillary Clinton at Odds With Her Former Boss, the Times told how she “bluntly suggested that the president should ‘listen to and work with’ Democrats to improve the deal and ensure better protections for American workers. If that cannot be done Mrs. Clinton said, ‘there should be no deal.’”

This may have been the story my liberal friends read. It reads as if Clinton came out swinging, but read it again and it’s clear she said even less there than she said to Andrea Mitchell. If Obama can’t work with Democratic House leaders who both support the TPP, there shouldn’t be a deal. But why wouldn’t he? Her verbal feint was sublimely subtle. Without changing her position, without even taking one, she repositioned herself on an issue roiling her party and nation. As message politics goes, it was state of the art. Too bad for Clinton it isn’t working.

Hillary puffs on the hopium and her followers breathe it in deeply. Through the haze the husk of her words are filled by the hopes of her supporters. It’s a choreographed dance of deceit with just enough suspended belief to make it palatable.

John Halle, over at Counterpunch, puts the treasonous support of free trade in juxtaposition to the racist execution of 9 church goers in Charleston. He calls it Obama’s Neoliberal Endgame:

It is a testament to the optimism of the left that some of us were able to find a silver lining even in the most toxic of black clouds which was the Charleston massacre. One of these was Maurice Mitchell of the Movement for Black Lives who was quoted as taking comfort in “the organizing and the heart and resilience we are seeing on the ground”. Mitchell was “hopeful that it will continue—that we might be able to precipitate a meaningful, transformative political and cultural shift in this country.”

Unfortunately, Mitchell’s optimism was probably misplaced for reasons Naomi Klein provides in The Shock Doctrine: crises, even those which might seem to galvanize the left, are routinely used as a smokescreen under which the right pursues their most regressive policies.

Last Thursday was no exception.

Indeed, while the bodies were being counted, the U.S. Congress approved HR 1314, a major step to achieving Trade Promotion Authority, or TPA, which will result in far more devastation in African American communities than white supremacists’ bullets. The difference lies in the violence being effected by fountain pen wielding men in suits resulting in unseen destruction–of jobs, environmental protections and organizing rights all of which adding up to mass unemployment, misery, and hopelessness and, ultimately, thousands of premature deaths.

There’s no connecting of the dots, no examination of the Big Picture. So what if Walmart stops selling Confederate flag merchandise? The corporate class is preparing their “free trade” shackles for us plebes while we discuss Obama’s use of the word nigger. Symbolic wins can’t replace policy losses. Electing Obama is the perfect example. While Democrats celebrated this symbolic victory, Obama served the corporate class more effectively these past 7 years than a McCain or a Romney could have.

And with Hillary we will get the same thing: a symbolic victory while the corporate class continues its incremental enslavement of the useless eaters they despise (but still marginally need for their profits).

And so it goes…

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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22 Responses to Rich People Rules, the Corporate Class and the Uselessness of Democrats

  1. steve kelly says:

    Thank you William for your post.

    Self-reliance can overcome the slave system. It’s why tyrannical systems work so hard to control all basic human needs like water, food, shelter and health. Independence and self-reliance are foundational to freedom. It is possible to relearn to live in ways that resist food and health tyranny. Who can do any of this for you? No politician, certainly. It is always time to prepare for independence.

    from Essays: First Series (1841)

    by Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “Ne te quaesiveris extra.”

    “Man is his own star; and the soul that can
    Render an honest and a perfect man,
    Commands all light, all influence, all fate;
    Nothing to him falls early or too late.
    Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,
    Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.”
    Epilogue to Beaumont and Fletcher’s Honest Man’s Fortune

    Cast the bantling on the rocks,
    Suckle him with the she-wolf’s teat;
    Wintered with the hawk and fox,
    Power and speed be hands and feet.

    And “ESSAY II Self-Reliance” Self-Reliance

  2. The problem of Democrats is that people rely on them to provide some defense from the openly corporate party, and haev no alternative when they Democrats sell us out, as they do with regularity. Democrats are the problem.

    I can hear the usual suspects mumbling right now … “well, I dont like that vote, but overall I still support him/her.” They are easily controlled by fear of the other party.

    • Rob Kailey says:

      ‘Democrats *haev* no alternative’. Hmmm. That doesn’t strike me as the problem, Mark. The problem is, neither do you.

      • we agree this system is designed to screw us. You seem to delight in it. Are you mental?

      • I am not the one suffering delusions of that nature. I do not go about setting traps or pretending to be a 4.0 philosophy graduate or a skilled mathematician. Look inward, lonely sailor.

        • Rob Kailey says:

          Incessant Ad Hominems only mask the fact that you have no answer. You think Demoncrats evil for having no alternative when neither do you. That is, save blaming everyone else for the very failure you share. Good job, Mark. ~golf clap~

        • Those things I say about you are things you have said about yourself. Repeating them is not ad hominem.

          I don’t have to have an answer. Other countries, USSR, Germany, Poland, the Brits, have done down this path (rule by sociopaths, or “pathocracy). It self-corrects, but the costs are staggering.

    • larry kurtz says:

      lizards fidget as
      an unkindness of ravens
      circle missoula.

  3. Big Swede says:

    Nice to see you have something in common with Jeff Sessions.

    “Americans increasingly believe that their country isn’t serving its own citizens. They need look no further than a bipartisan vote of Congress that will transfer congressional power to the Executive Branch and, in turn, to a transnational Pacific Union and the global interests who will help write its rules.
    The same routine plays out over and again. We are told a massive bill must be passed, all the business lobbyists and leaders tell how grand it will be, but that it must be rushed through before the voters spoil the plan. As with Obamacare and the Gang of Eight, the politicians meet with the consultants to craft the talking points—not based on what the bill actually does, but what they hope people will believe it does. And when ordinary Americans who never asked for the plan, who don’t want the plan, who want no part of the plan, resist, they are scorned, mocked, and heaped with condescension.

    Washington broke arms and heads to get that 60th vote—not one to spare—to impose on the American people a plan which imperils their jobs, wages, and control over their own affairs. It is remarkable that so much energy has been expended on advancing the things Americans oppose, and preventing the things Americans want.”-Sessions.

    • JC says:

      The problem with Sessions is that while he has some good points, if the president were a republican doing similar things, he’d be fine with it, and dems would do the squawking. Nothing more than politics as usual…

      • Big Swede says:

        Sessions has bucked the Republican establishment.

        • “Bucking the establishment” is allowed from time to time, as it makes good TV. People who really do that are soon gone however. If Sessions faces a stiff primary or is scandalized, caught with an intern or showing his weenie in a text message, then you can be he might be genuine. Otherwise, it’s just an ongoing soap opera with bad writers.

    • Dead on, JC. I hope you’re coming around to my viewpoint, Swede, that elections have no influence on public policy, and are just a distraction as the real business of government is done elsewhere and behind closed doors.

    • steve kelly says:

      Sessions is just another dog whistle. I would be shocked if you would actually read this, but Heritage invented Obama/SCOTUS-care. Something thing this bad is bipartisan; something bipartisan is bad. You know, like NAFTA/GATT/WTO/TPP.

  4. steve kelly says:

    Heritage does health care, Brookings does Syria. The unreality of it all escapes most as liberal interventionists and neocons join hands and dance around the toilet bowl.

    “Unbeknownst to the general public, their elected politicians do not create the policy that binds their national destiny domestically or within the arena of geopolitics. Instead, corporate-financier funded think tanks do – teams of unelected policymakers which transcend elections, and which produce papers that then become the foundation of legislation rubber stamped by “legislators,” as well as the enumerated talking points repeated ad naseum by the corporate-media. ” -Tony Cartalucci

    • Ty to get across the idea that the words and deeds of politicians on public stage are scripted, that behavior is targeted at their desired audience, and we are scoffed at. It must be real, we are told. After all, it is on TV.

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