A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
The Democratic Leadership Council, Bill Clinton and Al Gore’s 1980s scheme to diminish the growing influence of Black voters, has reached its ultimate success with Barack Obama, the second DLC president. To put it another way, “Obamaism is simply Clintonism with a darker face.” Three years of President Obama have left the Democratic Party with nothing to say worthy of hearing, in this election year. “Ron Paul’s foreign policy and civil liberties stance, as a Republican, is noteworthy only because of the contrasting light it shines on the vast desert that Democratic Party politics has become under the grip of militarists and Wall Street.”
The Wasteland of Democratic Politics
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
“We know that we are in an electoral political wasteland when the only major party discussion of U.S. empire and endless warfare takes place in the Republican presidential primary.”
There is no drama in the Democratic Party, this election year. The Democratic domain is a dead zone that has had all the oxygen sucked out of it by Obamaism. Of course, Obamaism is simply Clintonism with a darker face. Bill Clinton was the first Democratic Leadership Council President. Al Gore would have been the second, if George Bush had not stolen the 2000 election through massive disenfranchisement of Black voters in the Sunshine State. Gore did not see fit to contest the election based on the theft of hundreds of thousands of Black Florida votes. Instead, he hitched his fortunes to hanging chads and a Republican-dominated U.S. Supreme Court.
There was a certain consistency in Al Gore’s decision not make an issue of the racism at the root of his loss. In the 1980s, Gore and Clinton formed the Democratic Leadership Council in order to dilute the influence of the growing numbers of Black southern voters. With southern whites steadily fleeing to the Republican Party, Gore and Clinton founded the DLC as a moneybag for corporate contributions to keep pro-business whites in Party leadership positions in the South, on the theory that he who controls the purse strings, controls the Party. It worked so well, the DLC quickly spread from its southern base to become the Party's national corporate wing, dedicated to suppressing the influence of Blacks and labor. The DLC used its money power to nurture the careers of Black corporate Democrats like Barack Obama, whose name first showed up on the DLC membership list in the summer of 2003. With overwhelming corporate support – especially from Wall Street – Obama went on to become Bill Clinton’s successor as the second Democratic Leadership Council president, just in time to save the banks from the 2008 meltdown. It should have come as no surprise that the second DLC president would not lift a finger to save Blacks from economic catastrophe. And so, three years later, the only good economic news for African Americans occurs in their own color-coded imaginations.
“Obama became Bill Clinton’s successor as the second Democratic Leadership Council president.”
We know that we are in an electoral political wasteland when the only major party discussion of U.S. empire and endless warfare takes place in the Republican presidential primary. On foreign policy, Ron Paul calls for closing hundreds of U.S. bases abroad, opposes U.S. empire-building and the fraudulent war on terror. Paul opposes preventive detention and the drug war, and he has led the charge against the Federal Reserve which, under President Obama, has become the umbilical cord that binds the imperial American state to the imperial bankers Wall Street.
Of course, Ron Paul is no friend of Black people, or working people of any race. He is a racist, who has always worked closely with white supremacists who wish for a return to the apartheid America of the founding white fathers. Ron Paul’s foreign policy and civil liberties stance, as a Republican, is noteworthy only because of the contrasting light it shines on the vast desert that Democratic Party politics has become under the grip of militarists and Wall Street.
The Republicans are ugly, nasty and evil. President Obama is the most attractive and articulate servant of Wall Street and war – and, therefore, an even more effective evil. There is only one alternative, and that is mass political action in opposition to the rule of the rich. Without a people's movement, the people inevitably lose.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].