The Democrats: Death by De-Branding

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Democrats are panicked, with many congresspersons fleeing from identification with their party. The disarray is the inevitable blowback of Obama's ceaseless campaign to divorce Democrats from their longtime branding as the party of working people. The spiral began with Obama's championing of bank bailouts, beginning with the autumn 2008 meltdown. The public saw that, "when the crunch came, the bankers were relatively more influential among Democrats than Republicans."

The Democrats: Death by Betrayal

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

"By the summer of 2009, a new brand of Republicans, the Tea Party, had cornered the huge public market on hatred of big business bailouts."

President Obama and his corporate partners have succeeded in de-branding the Democratic Party. More accurately, events since the autumn of 2008 have revealed to even the most loyal Democrats that Wall Street's near-total domination of U.S. politics includes the party many once thought of as representing the working man and woman. This illusion was shattered when candidate Barack Obama near-singlehandedly rescued George Bush's bank bailout from a second defeat in a week, with Democrats twice as much in favor as Republicans. The Congressional Black Caucus reversed its strong opposition to the bailout under intense individual pressure from Obama, as did lots of Democrats. From that moment on, Obama and the Democrats have been most closely associated with what became the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind: $12 to 14 trillion of the people's money to Wall Street. After that, it became impossible for the Democrats to maintain their brand as the party of working people.

The truth is, Wall Street has long been the sugar daddy to Democrats, just as Big Oil has historically bankrolled Republicans, although the alignment was never quite as stark as the public perception. The financial meltdown revealed - as catastrophes tend to do - the true nature of power relationships in society. Wall Street, even though wracked by terminal contradictions, was the supreme power in the United States - and, when the crunch came, the bankers were relatively more influential among Democrats than Republicans. How could Democrats, as a party, ever again brand the Republicans as the bulwark of Big Business, when their standard bearer was so proudly identified as the savior of the most hated plutocrats of all, the titans of Wall Street.

"The Democrats no longer have anything resembling a brand, at all."

Obama continued to eradicate the old Democratic branding, as president, immediately entering into backroom deals with the second most-hated tier of Big Business villains: the drug and insurance corporations. By the summer of 2009, a new brand of Republicans, the Tea Party, had cornered the huge public market on hatred of big business bailouts. Anti-bailout, anti-banker politics had become so popular, the Tea Partyers often found they could use the brand to mask the racism and virulent white nationalism that lies at the core of their "movement."

The Democrats no longer have anything resembling a brand, at all. Is it any wonder, then, that Democratic congresspersons are scrambling to disassociate themselves from the national party, two months from election day?

Far too late, after all the people's money has been siphoned off to the bankers, Obama now proposes a $50 billion scheme to create jobs and establish a government bank to finance rail and highway projects. The proposal is designed to sound like something out of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, although the actual outlines are a blur, as is typical with Obama. But it is too late. Through his own commission on the federal debt, Obama has invited the enemies of the social safety net to shrink government spending for people-oriented programs. He has consumed so much energy beating up on progressives in his own party, they no longer trust him to come through with a jobs program that measures up to the crisis. Most importantly, the people have lost faith in the Democrats as the party that stands up to the rich, for the simple reason that they don't. For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].


The Albatross around Obama's neck gets weightier by the minute

Mr. Ford:

"...From that moment on, Obama and the Democrats have been most closely associated with what became the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind: $12 to 14 trillion of the people's money to Wall Street. After that, it became impossible for the Democrats to maintain their brand as the party of working people."

That about sums it up Mr. Ford. That "moment" created the first fractures of myth vs. reality. Of course the media took up the Right Wing interpretation of the bankster bailout vs. the left wing critique. At the time of this grand thievery I told Obamabots two things would become manifest: First, the bankster bailout would be an albatross for Obama. It would weigh him down and also pidgeon-hole his future options WHEN IT FAILED. And second, there were as many folks on the "Left" who were pissed as there were on the Right, but of course the Bots assumed it was all about racial animus and not economic policy. (and they were partially correct).

The DemoRats have no brand, if they ever did. They've always cow towed to Right Wing American sensibilities. Obama is out now, desperately and cynically calling for tax cuts, the voters can detect it and are not buying his sincerity. No one on the Left or Right or In-Between trusts Oama, the President has clay feet and no credibility. Neither Obama or the Dummocrats have an ideology worth articulating.

Thanks to Obama, Rahmn and the Dummocrats the "Party" is headed for the dustbin of history, they have no one but themselves (and their rightward lurch) to blame. In tomorrow's world, a Dummocrat will be as far right as a Rethug circa 1980. Who needs that?

Here's Chris Floyd's essay quoting Chris Hedges summarizing Obama and the Dems:

"One should never dismiss the "yearning for fascism" that is abroad in the country, of course, a fell and growing mood that Chris Hedges describes so well here. Hedges also locates one of the root causes of this yearning: the complete and utter collapse of the 'left' (using that term very broadly to mean alternatives to the militarist-corporatist imperial system), and its eager co-option by one of the principal pillars of that system: the Democratic Party. As Hedges notes:

The Democrats and their liberal apologists are so oblivious to the profound personal and economic despair sweeping through this country that they think offering unemployed people the right to keep their unemployed children on their nonexistent health care policies is a step forward. They think that passing a jobs bill that will give tax credits to corporations is a rational response to an unemployment rate that is, in real terms, close to 20 percent. They think that making ordinary Americans, one in eight of whom depends on food stamps to eat, fork over trillions in taxpayer dollars to pay for the crimes of Wall Street and war is acceptable. They think that the refusal to save the estimated 2.4 million people who will be forced out of their homes by foreclosure this year is justified by the bloodless language of fiscal austerity. The message is clear. Laws do not apply to the power elite. Our government does not work. And the longer we stand by and do nothing, the longer we refuse to embrace and recognize the legitimate rage of the working class, the faster we will see our anemic democracy die ... If we do not embrace this outrage and distrust as our own it will be expressed through a terrifying right-wing backlash."

But to head off this backlash, we must focus on the system that is producing this miasma of chaos, anger, anxiety and hate -- a system that is teaching its people, by example, that violence, force and lawlessness are glorious and worthy, are, in fact, legitimate. Hedges quotes Cynthia McKinney on this point:

"I am a child of the South. Janet Napolitano tells me I need to be afraid of people who are labeled white supremacists but I was raised around white supremacists. I am not afraid of white supremacists. I am concerned about my own government. The Patriot Act did not come from the white supremacists, it came from the White House and Congress. Citizens United did not come from white supremacists, it came from the Supreme Court."

Go back and compare Richard Nixon's (of all people) record on the economy, jobs, social security, and the general social safety net with either Obama or Clinton. Then you'll get a good idea of what today's "Liberal" or Dummocrat stands for. For any thinking person, your illusions will vanish in the twinkling of an eye.

The Dummocrats are engaged in a friendly merger with the Rethugs, "bye bye" Dummocrats, Madison Avenue and P.R. won't save you.

"Death by De-Branding," couldn't be more aptly put.

Debranding the Democratic Party

Glen, I apprecieate your analysis, and I agree that the Democratic Party is in disarray. What is interesting is that the very people you link Obama with don't trust him either. The Bankers refuse to lend because they don't have confidence in the recovery; Wall Street titans continue to find ways to make millions; and business leaders say they don't have any confidence in the future unless Obama extends the Bush tax cuts.

Perhaps Eugene Robinson said it best when he called the American electorate "spoiled brats." Everyone wants their own fix -- and they want it now.

What I am interested in is what measures would actually resolve the crisis we are facing. I know that everyone has a recommended bandaid for their pet peeve. What strategies could a President of the USA implement that actually lifts all ships?

As the leader of the Democratic Party, Obama has the unenviable task of cobbling together the most diverse political constituency -- from progressives to Blue Dogs. Somehow, the Democrats have what they asked for -- a "big tent." It reminds me of P&G, a conglomeration of brands. The challenge is to satisfy all those who have been invited into the tent -- including labor, business, and upwardly mobile elitists. Who would you throw out of the tent and still win a national election?

What does the "party of working people" mean as a brand? Socialist? Proletariat? Is this another further polarization within our society, or a solution to the crisis?

They can't ride your back when you stand up.

That's what we, the people, need to remember now as
Dr. King pointed out so many years ago.

It seems like everybody is trying to ride our backs now. We got sorry assed democrats and republicans now sneering at the unemployed, breaking out and dusting off the old welfare slogans used years ago to keep folks in line, you watch, soon they'll be calling the seniors lazy
etc just like they are doing now against the unemployed. Equating unemployed and social security recipients with welfare, typical strategies used by "the man" to try to keep the
"lower classes" in line.

This also was used by the racists back home in my neck of the woods in Georgia, being a 56 year old white man born in Georgia, who got enlightened when he served with black folks in the navy, I think I can spot a racist when I see one, and as a public service, may I remind some of these exalted representatives of the people, THAT YOUR SHEET IS SHOWING! The KKK didn't even have sheets that fancy!

I have f-----g had it with this news media and these jackasses parading themselves around and passing themselves off as voices of the people. Right here, this blog, is the oldtime news media, where real news is posted and discussed.

Sorry I got carried away, it may be nerves as I plan later today to try to speak at a California energy related committee hearing today, if I talk like this, I'll probably be acquainted real fast with the business end of a night stick.

Getting back to this blog post by Mr. Ford, this is exactly what I have been telling people for quite a while. Our president with the connivance of my party, the Democrats, have totally pissed away any chances of bringing real change to this country, and shame on me for ever believing that the president stood for anything, but helping his cronies on Wall Street. Now with his deficit committee, packed with stooges like Alan Simpson, who never hesitates to call a spade a spade, with no correction from our teacher-in-chief, our seniors of all colors and races, are now in for a whole bunch of criticism for being selfish and not willing to give a little for the sake of their heirs, etc etc adnauseum.

It is time to stand up and by doing so, throw the bastards off our backs that are fully prepared to suck the lifeblood out of us, and kick us all to the curb, every damn one of us.

Bill Mcdonald

Simpson pulls no punches, not just a bastard, an "uber" one

While a first class cretin he, he is a breath of fresh air, Glenn Greenwald's take:

"In defense of Alan Simpson"

Here's the intro to the essay:

"The President's Deficit Commission is designed to be as anti-democratic and un-transparent as possible. Its work is done in total secrecy. It is filled with behind-the-scenes political and corporate operatives who steadfastly refuse to talk to the public about what they're doing. Its recommendations will be released in December, right after the election, to ensure that its proposals are shielded from public anger. And the House has passed a non-binding resolution calling for an up-or-down/no-amendments vote on the Commission's recommendations, long considered the key tactic to ensuring its enactment. The whole point of the Commission is that the steps which Washington wants to take -- particularly cuts in popular social programs, such as Social Security -- can occur only if they are removed as far as possible from democratic accountability. As the economist James Galbraith put it when testifying before the Commission in July:

Your proceedings are clouded by illegitimacy. . . . First, most of your meetings are secret, apart from two open sessions before this one, which were plainly for show. There is no justification for secret meetings on deficit reduction. No secrets of any kind are involved. . . .

Second, that some members of the commission are proceeding from fixed, predetermined agendas. Third, that the purpose of the secrecy is to defer public discussion of cuts in Social Security and Medicare until after the 2010 elections. You could easily dispel these suspicions by publishing video transcripts of all of your meetings on the Internet, and by holding all future meetings in public . . .

Conflicts of interest constitute the fourth major problem. The fact that the Commission has accepted support from Peter G. Peterson, a man who has for decades conducted a relentless campaign to cut Social Security and Medicare, raises the most serious questions.

That's why Commission co-chair Alan Simpson -- with his blunt contempt for Social Security and and other benefit programs (such as aid to disabled veterans) and his acknowledged eagerness to slash them -- has done the country a serious favor. His recent outbursts have unmasked this Commission and shed light on its true character. Unlike his fellow Commission members, who imperiously dismiss public inquiries into what they're doing as though they're annoying and inappropriate, Simpson -- to his genuine credit -- has been aggressively engaging critics, making it impossible to ignore what the Commission is really up to."

It's funny that you mention this Glen Ford

I was just reading an article about the wall street bolsheviks administering ObamaCare to democratic candidates :o)

Sinking with Obama, Democrats plan political triage

By: Michael Barone
Senior Political Analyst
September 7, 2010

When you spot the word "triage" in a political news story, you know someone is in trouble.

Triage is the procedure by which medical personnel screening people injured in combat or disasters separate those who can be saved from those who can't. The first group are given immediate surgery in hopes of recovery. The second are given painkillers to make the end bearable.

I'm telling you this guy wants to purge all New Deal/Civil rights movement era democrats..

Bill&Newt94 = Obama&BONER2010

The Greedy Bastards are sitting on a shit-load of cash, F'em

Nonfinancial companies are sitting on $1.8 trillion in cash, roughly one-quarter more than at the beginning of the recession. And as several major firms report impressive earnings this week, the money continues to flow into firms' coffers.

"Yet all the good news from big business hasn't translated into much promise for jobless Americans, leading many to wonder: If corporations are sitting on so much money, why aren't they hiring more workers?"

These assholes are not going to hire more workers, not without a comprehensive overhaul of the tax code combined with strong political leadership to resuscitate America's manufacturing base.

Otherwise, we're just pissing in the wind.

"Tax breaks" tax breaks: the narrow focus of what works, what creates jobs is this country is utterly depressing. America doesn't have a clue. And no one seems more clueless than Obama. He's intellectually wedded to the tripe he hears daily from Larry Summers and Little Timmy G. Obama's turning out to be not very bright at all, makes me wonder about grade inflation at Haaa vud. LOL

The reason companies aren't hiring is because collectively we a bunch of broke ass taxpayers. If Obama had half a brain he'd implement a tax break for the average Jane/Joe's paycheck. If Americans could pocket a few hundred dollars more each month in their paychecks it would make a huge dent on the recession/depression.

Memo to Washington and Wall St.: There's no disposable income you friggen idiots!!!

The "Brand" is Bullshit, consumers ain't buying

The WSW always does a masterful job of cutting through the "hope" and "change" bullshit. Obama and the Dems are toast, no about of double-talk will encourage voters to come off the side-lines.

Memo to Obama and Dummocrats: "You done f***ked up."

Obama unveils pro-business “jobs” plan


"The speech was two-faced throughout. Appealing to elderly voters, he promised to fight “the efforts of some in the other party to privatize Social Security, because as long as I’m president, no one is going to take the retirement savings of a generation of Americans and hand it over to Wall Street.”

But minutes later, Obama signaled to the ruling class that he was preparing, after the elections, to impose harsh cuts in basic entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. “[O]nce the bipartisan fiscal commission finishes its work,” Obama said, “I will spend the next year making the tough choices necessary to further reduce our deficit and lower our debt.”

Obama was referring to his National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which in December—one month after the elections—is expected to propose a series of “reforms” of Social Security, including reductions in benefits, an increase in the retirement age, and the introduction of private “add-on retirement accounts.” (See “US ruling class prepares attack on Social Security”)"

HA!! Obama done shot himself into the foot or arse, depending on his aim. Poor wittle fella, about to go down in history as one of the biggest disappointments and sellout in modern times. It's shocking when some people are getting nostalgic for GWB. This will be especially so when the "Cat Commission" ushers in the Holiday Season with recommendations to cut or modify Social Security and Medicaid. We may just be witnessing an epoch event in history, a President wins by a landslide only to lose by a landslide next election cycle.

Obama's and the Dummocrat's legacy won't be pretty, but what do you expect from a blank slate? Even Madison Ave. propagandists know the importance of message consistency. When will it dawn on people that Obama has no core political ideology. His policies are based on the "Right Wing weather vane."

Obama and his minions wake up every morning, and before checking in with Faux News, they ask this question:(substitute George for Rahmn)

Looks like, in retrospect, the Obama "Brand" is akin to "New Coke." Back to the drawing board Dummocrats. We ain't buying.

The White House needs a new P.R. team, bidders welcome

Clinton to CFR: ‘New American Moment’ Has Arrived
Claims Great Progress in Diplomacy Despite Lack of Results
by Jason Ditz, September 08, 2010

Speaking today before the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a dramatic proclamation that a “new American moment” has arrived and that the State Department will be asserting America’s “global leadership” in a number of new ways.

A "New American Moment," what a load. I hear the WH is interviewing for a new brand manager, they're looking for a better slogan than, "New American Moment," perhaps something from Nike's ad agency like: "Just do it."

Gosh, what a bunch of clowns. When you match the "New American Moment," with "Smart Power," you get a load of shit. How about adapting this one, from Tide washing power (slightly paraphrasing):

"(Political) Tide in, Dirt out." LOL

True, G.Ford. Me,too re un-Dem.@BailOut;noting:Dr.RonWalters

(Un-Dem but retain my Dem registration in NYC to vote in primaries.)
I just heard on DemocracyNow that Prof. Ron Walters has died. I last heard him on a radio interview on either 8/2 or 8/3 because I last sent him a note of "feedback" on 8/3 (c/o the Univ.of MD),with some art. I have enjoyed his analyses for several years, via radio interviews. (No, he didn't write back; I assume he got my mail.) He was only 72. I'm feeling the weight of time. And, I want to further note that when Bernard White was doing "WakeUpCall", the morning show on WBAI (before he was Program Director, from which the current "coup" has "fired and banned" him*, Ron Walters was a regular guest interview for Bernard White. Amy Goodman was cohost on that show before she started
DemocracyNow, and before that, she'd been News Director at WBAI.)(*"fired and banned" from studio and airwaves of WBAI, but as a candidate for the LSB - Local Station Board, the "coup" management has to air Bernard White's promotional couple of minutes, as it does all the candidates. On tape.)