Clarity About Our Politics
August 21, 2014
Sometimes the real character of our political system comes shining through and the link below illustrates one of those times. The article, from the NY Times, is entitled “Where Are the National Democrats on Ferguson?” And, yes, that is a legitimate question. As the article states:
“Yet no national Democratic politician, nobody of the sort who is likely to mount a presidential run anytime soon, has risen to give voice to the anger we’re seeing in Ferguson. Nobody seems eager to make police abuses or racial injustice a key issue in a national campaign, even though an awful lot of Democratic voters could be activated on those issues.”
What does this illustrate? Precisely what I have arguing for some time now: That our “two party” system is really little more than a false front, one that disguises that on the most important issues and despite all “the sound and the fury” displayed, our political class, which of course encompasses “both” parties, is basically in agreement. Hence, when the Democrats won the Congress in the 2006 elections, running on a platform of getting out of Iraq, nothing much changed. Hence, when Obama won the presidency in 2008 and again in 2012, nothing much changed.
But what of health care, you ask? So, what of it? The plan Obama put forward, after he jettisoned any public option, was little more than the plan Mitt Romney had signed into law in Massachusetts. But what of all those votes to repeal “Obama Care?” Well, yes, what of them? No one, in either party, thought those votes were at all meaningful; at least, no one of any importance thought they were important.
And, moreover, for anyone in the Democratic Party to come out strongly against the establishment in Ferguson would require a fundamental break with the consensus on race that has prevailed at least since the Clinton presidency. It need only be remembered that more blacks were sent to prison or jail during that presidency than any other to recognize what has been right labeled “the New Jim Crow,” behind which our political class has rallied. Such a break is far too dangerous for Democrats to make and, of course, Hillary Clinton is not going to endanger what she sees as her chance to be president just to serve the cause of racial or simple justice. After all, it wasn’t what Bill did nor is it what he would counsel her to do. It is an interesting situation.