When I shout out that justice organizations that used be the backbone of the civil rights movement in the 1960s-1970s being captured by Clinton neo-liberals-----and when I shout that black and Hispanic citizens are being made rich in a very, very, very small percentage while joining corporations in abusing and exploiting people of color and civil rights all while running in elections as Clinton neo-liberals-----I get some flack about injecting race. Make no mistake-----I hear black activists yelling at black Baltimore City Hall and mayor about the neo-conservative policies killing black communities and citizens. I read and listen to Maryland and Baltimore media state that while acknowledging policy abuses in Baltimore that it is black politicians passing the bad policy and allowing all of the abuse.
THIS IS ALL INTENTIONAL. THIS IS CLINTON NEO-LIBERALISM-----
Clinton neo-liberalism is the same as Republican and neo-conservative policy-----they are working for the same maximization of corporate power and wealth of individuals at the expense of labor and justice. The only difference is that Clinton neo-liberals must pretend to be progressive because they run as Democrats. Neo-liberalism is the opposite of progressive -----it does not allow progressive policy as we know it----labor, civil, women's, disability, environmental rights because THEY COST MONEY AND NEO-LIBERAL POLICY IS ALL MARKET-BASED----IT MUST NOT HURT CORPORATE PROFIT. Workplace rights for all of the groups above costs money-----protecting the environment costs corporations money so a Clinton neo-liberal that runs and campaigns to fight for any of the above KNOWS HE/SHE IS LYING. They lie just so they can run as Democrats. This is why Clinton neo-liberals are worse and more dangerous to the Democratic base than Republicans and neo-cons.
THEY ARE POSERS THAT LEAVE THE DEMOCRATIC BASE NOT KNOWING FOR WHOM TO VOTE AND HATING THESE NEO-LIBERAL POLS RUNNING AS DEMOCRATS.
Neoliberalism is a term whose usage and definition have changed over time.
Since the 1980s, the term has been used primarily by scholars and critics in reference to the resurgence of 19th century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, whose advocates support extensive economic liberalization policies such as privatization, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy
Opinion Democratic Party divided by money
By David Sirota
Published 5:00 pm, Thursday, April 2, 2015
- For those pining for a Democratic Party that tries to represent more than the whims of the rich and powerful, these are, to say the least, confusing times
On the presidential campaign trail, Hillary Rodham Clinton has been promoting standard pro-middle class rhetoric, yet also has been raking in speaking fees from financial firms. One of her potential primary challengers, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, has been sounding anti-Wall Street themes, but only after finishing up two terms in office that saw his state plow more public pension money into Wall Street firms, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in financial fees.
Similarly, in Washington, the anti-Wall Street fervor of those such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren sometimes seems as if it is on the ascent — that is, until big money comes calling.
Indeed, on the very same day Reuters reported on big banks threatening to withhold campaign contributions from Democratic coffers, Democratic lawmakers abruptly coalesced around Chuck Schumer as their next U.S. Senate leader. CNN captured in a blaring headline how unflinching an ally the New York senator has been to the financial elite: “Wall Street welcomes expected Chuck Schumer promotion.” Notably, Democrats appeared ready to promote Schumer over assistant Democratic leader Dick Durbin of Illinois, who once dared to publicly complain that “banks frankly own” Capitol Hill.
It would be easy to conclude that the status quo is winning Democratic politics — but a series of high-profile elections show the trends are markedly different outside the national political arena.
Two years ago, the era of billionaire Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Wall Street-worshiping city politics ended when populist Democrat Bill de Blasio and a slate of progressive city councilors backed by New York’s Working Families Party were swept into office. A year later, New York’s conservative Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his $40 million campaign war chest couldn’t muster two-thirds of the Democratic primary vote against an unknown progressive opponent named Zephyr Teachout. Though Cuomo was ultimately re-elected, he was humiliated, and his future prospects have been significantly diminished.
Now comes Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel has shuttered schools, handed out big corporate subsidies, blocked a financial transaction tax and pushed for cuts to city workers’ retirement benefits. He made the old corporate Democratic assumption, betting that he could easily win re-election by simply spending opponents into the ground.
No doubt, Emanuel succeeded in the latter part of that equation. With six-figure checks from financial executives, he amassed $15 million and outspent his top challenger, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, by a 12-to-1 margin. But because of a massive grassroots organizing campaign, Garcia got enough votes to force the first mayoral runoff in the city’s history.
Lambasted as “Mayor 1 Percent,” Emanuel has been forced to champion more progressive policies to try to appease the Democratic base — he suddenly backed a $13 minimum wage and signed an ordinance compelling developers to pony up more cash for affordable housing. His under-financed opponent Garcia still may lose the election Tuesday, but in a city that has for decades been under the thumb of corporate Democrats’ political machine, a deeper victory for progressives has already happened.
“We’ve put every Democrat in America on notice that there’s a political price to pay for putting the demands of hedge-fund billionaires ahead of the needs of working families,” said Kristen Crowell, executive director of the grassroots Chicago group United Working Families.
As perplexing as the Democratic Party’s divide is, Crowell’s straightforward statement rings true. National Democratic politicians may not yet be hearing the message, but if they hope to hang on to power, they probably should start listening.
Yesterday I shouted that I was tired of seeing a black politician or government administrator as the face of what we all know is massive and systemic global corporate fraud and corruption. This is why I constantly point out that it is Baltimore Development Corporation and Johns Hopkins that is behind all Baltimore public policy-----they are the ones that captured the government process so no one can see what is going on-----so that no oversight and accountability can occur as these institutions move billions of dollars in city and state revenue in fraud. They then allow all kinds of pay-to-play to keep these pols in place that aid and abet all this fraud and in cities across the US-----that is almost always a politician of color----black or Hispanic.
Don't get me wrong-----these black and Hispanic politician rise to mayor or state assembly because they have proven their desire and ability to SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL, AND SPEAK NO EVIL. They have allowed fraud and corruption infuse their activities to move up the political ladder so they are NOT INNOCENT IN ALL OF THIS. What makes me mad is that the rich white men in these cities that have power----as with Hopkins or Baltimore Development have deliberately created stagnant economies in those cities----left huge unemployment and desperate conditions for communities of color just so they can recruit people willing to place themselves as the face of the fraud just to work and accumulate wealth. If black employment was open and available----I bet most of these pols and administrators being brought into this Clinton neo-liberal/Bush neo-con fold would choose differently.
AUTOCRATS ALWAYS USE EMPLOYMENT AND MAKING LABOR DESPERATE IN MOVING IN TO TAKE OVER POWER IN A SOCIETY. The Germans invaded nations and immediately took over their economy making citizens poor and desperate and then turning their economy into war industry that build the very weapons and tools of war that were killing citizens in those nations. Take this locally and in Baltimore you have the same-----Johns Hopkins deliberately created an extreme condition of unemployment in the city and hand-picked people from underserved communities to 'educate' in neo-liberal/neo-con policy stance and then created the condition for employment to be ------implementing all those policies.
IF YOU WANT TO WORK AND ACCUMULATE WEALTH---YOU HAVE NO CHOICES OTHER THAN TO INSTALL MY AGENDA SAYS HOPKINS.
This is all political strategy------and if you do not know political strategy----you do not know how to get rid of it. So, Baltimore City should be filled with talks of this political strategy and the progressive strategies to undermine the neo-conservatives----but all of the corporate non-profits in the city simply shout slogans and/or promote single-issues that are almost always 'TALKING POINTS' that Clinton neo-liberals promote in their progressive posing.
Black mayors accused of corruption
Jan 28, 2014 7:21 AM
by Mo Barnes Rolling Out
Sharpe James, Marion Barry, Bill Campbell, Kwame Kilpatrick
With jury selection underway in the trial of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, black mayors in major cities are always faced with the shadow of corruption. The political machine does not work the same for black mayors who are under more scrutiny. Here is a reminder of big city black mayors who have served time or are in currently in jail.
James L. Usry- Mayor of Atlantic City, NJ.
On July 28, 1989 Usry was arrested along with over a dozen officials for bribery, conspiracy, unlawful gifts and official misconduct. Usry pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds and performed 60 hours of community service. All other charges were dropped.
Sharpe James- Mayor of Newark, NJ.
On April 16, 2008 James was convicted by a federal jury for rigging the sale of city real estate to his mistress, Tamika Riley. Riley then resold the properties netting hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit, James was sentenced to 2 years in federal prison and was released on April 6, 2010.
Marion Barry- Mayor of Washington, DC.
Perhaps one of the most infamous mayors arrested was Marion Barry. Barry was videotaped in a sting operation smoking crack with his then girlfriend Hazel Diane “Rasheeda” Moore who was acting as an informant. Charged with crack cocaine use and possession Barry was quoted as saying, “Bitch set me up…shouldn’t have come up here…goddamn bitch”. In the end Barry was charged with three felonies, 10 counts of drug possession and misdemeanor possession of crack cocaine. Barry was convicted of only one possession attempt as the judge declared a mistrial on the other charges.
Bill Campbell-Mayor of Atlanta, GA.
In August of 2004 Campbell was indicted on federal charges of racketeering, bribery and wire fraud after a five year federal investigation. He was convicted on March 10, 2006 on three counts of tax evasion and sentenced to 30 months in prison, a $6,000 fine, a years’ probation and had to pay back $60,000 in back taxes. He was released from prison on October 24, 2008.
Kwame Kilpatrick-Mayor of Detroit, Mi.
Kilpatrick’s term as mayor of Detroit was riddled with scandal. Many critics blamed his criminal activity and greed for the bankruptcy of the city. On March 11, 2013 Kilpatrick was convicted of 24 federal felony counts which included mail fraud, wire fraud and racketeering. In a controversial sentencing decision Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison on October 10, 2013.
I used Detroit a few times last week as an example to where Baltimore is being taken-------deliberately using the same policies and frauds as Detroit and Greece. Now, everyone has the right to be a Clinton neo-liberal no matter whether you are a man or woman-----a former labor union leader---someone disabled-----or person of color. If you want to go for the NEW CIVIL RIGHTS OF AN INDIVIDUAL'S RIGHT TO BE RICH AT ANY COST------go right ahead. It's a free country----or, it used to be before Clinton neo-liberalism. My problem with a black politician or a woman candidate for office campaigning in underserved communities as a progressive that wants to fight for the poor, the middle-class, the seniors, to fight for civil rights, women rights, for social programs ET AL-----all the while knowing that working for Wall Street and corporate power and wealth will not allow any of this -----ALL WHILE RUNNING AS A DEMOCRAT------is lying, cheating, and stealing election primaries. It has left underserved citizens not even wanting to vote because these Clinton neo-liberals and neo-cons running as Democrats use and throw these voters aside.
THIS IS A POLITICAL STRATEGY------CREATE THE FEELING OF APATHY TOWARDS THE POLITICAL PROCESS SO PEOPLE DO NOT COME TO THE POLLS----
Below you see Mr Orr and his proclamation of being a DEMOCRAT and what it means for a black manager to handle the financial future for a majority black population in Detroit. We are being led to think this is an equitable condition because the man is black. Meanwhile, his background is clearly Wall STreet----he worked with New Jersey's Republican Chris Christie in government bankruptcy and now a very Republican Rick Snyder. We know Orr will work for corporate profit.
Remember, these conditions of debt in cities like Detroit and Baltimore are steeped in fraud and corruption with losses to city revenues in the billions----simply recovering that fraud would make a city stable-----but that is not what these government bankruptcies are about----they are Bains Capital gutting of assets by Wall Street.
Kevyn Orr Recommended For Detroit Emergency Financial Manager By Gov. Rick Snyder
Posted: 03/14/2013 2:17 pm EDT Updated: 03/15/2013 6:57 am EDT
- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has been considerably tight-lipped about his pick for Detroit's emergency financial manager. But on Thursday he finally ended intense media speculation by recommending Kevyn Orr, a partner with the Jones Day law firm, for the position
On Thursday, Snyder reiterated his belief that the city of Detroit was in a financial emergency and introduced Orr as his recommendation for the city's emergency manager.
"The prime obligation is going to be providing services to the city of Detroit," Orr said. "Everything is going to be on the table [for cuts] but it's going to be driven by the data and the need, [not used punitively]."
Orr, 55, is an attorney with the firm's Washington D.C. office who helped guide Chrysler through its successful 2009 restructuring. He's a specialist in bankruptcy with over four decades expertise in financial restructuring and commercial litigation who holds membership with the American Bar Association, the Florida and Washington D.C. bars and the American Bankruptcy Institute. Between 1995 and 2001, he also served as the director and deputy director of the Executive Office for United States Trustees, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice in charge of overseeing the administration of bankruptcy cases and private trustees.
"This is the Olympics of restructuring," Orr said. "If we can do this, I will have participated in one of the greatest turnarounds in the history of this country."
Jones Day, based in Cleveland, is the same firm Mayor Dave Bing recently chose to fill the role of the city's restructuring counsel. But Orr said Thursday he would take steps to avoid any possible conflict of interest.
"I am resigning from my law firm effective yesterday," he said.
Mayor Dave Bing joined Snyder and Orr at Thursday's press conference.
"There's no doubt in my mind that we're going to work well together," he said.
Orr expressed a similar interest to work with Snyder, Bing and City Council. He reiterated that he's not an elected official, but an expert on the financial side.
Although Orr hails from Florida, he does have a Michigan connection. He attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he completed his bachelor's and law school degrees. He's also an African-American, which could end up being a significant factor in Detroit, a majority African-American city where the idea of the governor appointing an emergency manager has met strong resistance with the city of 700,000.
Orr said his experience as a bankruptcy lawyer has "inoculated" him to the negative reactions his presence can cause.
At Thursday's meeting, he identified himself as a Democrat.
"I was compelled to undertake this endeavor," Orr said. "As the Detroit motto says, 'we can rise from the ashes.'"
UPDATE: 3:25 p.m. -- Michigan's Local Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board voted 3-0 to instate Kevyn Orr as Detroit's emergency financial manager. He will make a salary of $275,000, paid by the state, and start the position on March 25.
As someone who spent my life fighting for civil and labor rights it does make me sad that a generation of people of color having the benefits of equal protection education et al would allow this capture by Clinton neo-liberalism by a few SHOW ME THE MONEY people. When I hear the division in the black community regarding this it rings similar in Hispanic politics.
Nancy Pelosi is the biggest Clinton neo-liberal in Congress-----as House Leader she has the power to keep the House neo-liberal. Having Wasserman-Schultz as a Democratic House campaign chair makes sure that all candidates in Democratic primaries THAT ARE FUNDED BY THE DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEES are Clinton neo-liberals and that is especially true for black and Hispanic candidates.
Below you see where Clinton neo-liberals are determined to make all neo-liberal candidates people of color and/or women because those are the two groups being killed by Clinton neo-liberalism. Look how these black and Hispanic pols are called NEW DEMOCRATS----that means Clinton neo-liberals and yet they are included in the Progressive Caucus. See how REAL progressive labor and justice has been completely sidelined. Now, there are some REAL progressives in the Progressive Caucus but as you see below-----Pelosi is filling this caucus with future pols of color that openly call themselves NEW DEMOCRATS. Our Progressive Caucus is being killed with corporate pols.
CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS ARE MAKING SURE THE NEXT GENERATION OF CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS ARE NEO-LIBERALS.
This transfers down to state and local Democratic primaries because it is Congressional pols that receive all the lobbying money that then send it to the states to strengthen State and City Democratic Committees with Clinton neo-liberals. In Baltimore's case the Baltimore City Democratic Committee has a farm team of Hopkins' neo-conservatives.
THESE BLACK AND HISPANIC NEW DEMOCRATS ARE WHAT FILL MARYLAND STATE ASSEMBLY AND MAKE MARYLAND A RAGING GLOBAL CORPORATE STATE.
THE POLITICAL STRATEGY IS TO CAPTURE THE JUSTICE SIDE OF THE DEMOCRATIC BASE WITH CORPORATE POLS THAT THEN GO INTO BLACK AND HISPANIC COMMUNITIES TO MENTOR NEW NEO-LIBERALS AND WIN VOTES FOR THEM.
This is why all of the black leadership in Baltimore----all of the black media and justice organizations-----work to kill the progressive voice and embrace Baltimore Development Corporation and its global corporate agenda.
'“When we go back to Washington, we will have a Democratic Caucus that’s a majority of women and minorities — imagine that'.
YOU CAN SEE WHERE CRITICIZING THESE BLACK AND HISPANIC CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS WILL BE MADE TO BE 'NOT PROGRESSIVE'.
New Democrats, Hispanic Caucus See Gains for 113th
- By Jonathan Strong
- Roll Call Staff
- Nov. 12, 2012, 11:51 p.m.
The Nov. 6 House elections provided fresh blood for the New Democrat Coalition and Congressional Hispanic Caucus, while the Blue Dog Coalition continued to dwindle and the Congressional Black Caucus held steady at 43 members.
Meanwhile, the ranks of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest ideological bloc among House Democrats, rose to as many as 79 members.
But the largest relative gains were among the New Democrats and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
The New Democrats, who boasted 43 members in the 112th Congress, could have a net gain of as many as 12 members. The group picked up 12 to 15 newly elected members it endorsed (some races are not yet called), and as many as five other lawmakers are considering membership.
The gains could leave the New Democrats with more than the 54 members that made up the Blue Dog Coalition in the 111th Congress, when its membership was at its peak.
The Blue Dogs, who had 18 members in the 112th, will return with 15 members — 14 returning and one new.
Although the numbers are way down from the group’s heyday, the election was not as bad for the Blue Dogs as it might have been, including victories by Reps. John Barrow, D-Ga., and Jim Matheson, D-Utah. Rep.-elect Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., a Blue Dog who lost in 2010, won last week and is returning to Congress.
The CHC gained nine members, which increases its size from 20 members in the 112th Congress to 25 members now. Four members did not return, including former chairman Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif.
The Congressional Black Caucus gained five new members that will replace five members who were members of the caucus in the 112th but aren’t returning, keeping the group at 43 members. The group remains the largest race-based caucus.
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus made gains, but calculating the group’s membership is more complicated than for the CBC and CHC because non-Asians make up a good number of its members. In terms of Asian-American and Pacific Islander members, the caucus had 12 members in the 112th Congress. Ten of them are returning, and four or five new members will join the caucus, depending on outstanding election results.
The group’s membership includes two delegates who are members of Congress but do not vote on the floor.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and other Democratic leaders have touted the CHC and CAPAC pickups as part of the overall diversity of the just-elected Democratic caucus.
“When we go back to Washington, we will have a Democratic Caucus that’s a majority of women and minorities — imagine that. First time in the history of the world and our country,” Pelosi told reporters in San Francisco on Sunday, according to a transcript provided by Pelosi’s office.
Make no mistake-----New Democrats are Clinton neo-liberals -----are Third Way. So, when California tells you its Democratic Party is made up of more New Democrats than Blue Dogs-----it has completely eliminated progressive labor and justice liberals. See how the terminology has moved all the way to the right. Blue Dogs have always been conservative and corporate close to Republicans and Clinton neo-liberals are to the right of center----they are Republicans pretending to be progressive. THIS IS WHAT THE END OF POLITICS IN THE US LOOKS LIKE-----ALL POLITICS IS REPUBLICAN AND AS REAL REPUBLICANS WILL TELL YOU THEY DO NOT LIKE THE BUSH NEO-CONS THAT ARE PARTNERED WITH CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS TO MAKE THE GLOBAL CORPORATE TRIBUNAL PARTY. That is what this means----all pols running as Democrats backed by a very neo-liberal National Democratic Party will be globalists working for Trans Pacific Trade Pact and Global corporate tribunals. Salon is giving Clinton neo-liberals a new name by calling them New Democrats----
Tuesday, Oct 30, 2012 11:00 AM EST
Obama: Last of the “New Democrats”? Our times demand visionary leadership. The moderate progressivism of Clinton and Obama isn't up to the task
Michael Lind Salon
“I am a New Democrat,” Barack Obama told the New Democrat Coalition back in March 2009. Whether he wins a second term or is defeated, the first black president of the United States may be not only the second but also the last of the New Democrats in the White House.
Between the 1980s and the present, the so-called New Democrats have existed in two distinct forms. In the early 1980s, the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) was formed, chiefly by white Southern and Western Democratic politicians, with the goal of winning back “Reagan Democrats” — white working-class members of the dying Roosevelt coalition, who combined support for universal social programs like Social Security and Medicare with hawkish military attitudes and socially conservative values on attitudes like abortion, censorship and gay rights. Early in its history, the DLC proposed a program of educational and other benefits for young Americans in return for national military or civilian service, along the lines of the G.I. Bill.
The original New Democrats were hard to distinguish from Southern and Western “Blue Dog” Democrats (“blue dog” is a play on the term “yellow dog Democrat” for someone who would vote for a “yellow dog” as long as it was a Democrat). Al From, the founder of the DLC and its leader until 2009, had been a staffer for Willis Long, a Democratic representative from Louisiana. Among the presidents of the DLC were Al Gore, senator from Tennessee, and Bill Clinton, governor of Arkansas.
But in the 1990s a combination of events shifted the center of gravity of the New Democrat movement from the South and West to the Northeast. After the New Democrats succeeded in electing one of their own, Bill Clinton, to the White House in 1992, the 1992 midterm elections not only gave Republicans control of the House and Senate but wiped out Democrats in the South and West. After 1994, the Democrats were much more dominated by urban areas, minorities and white social liberals.
Meanwhile, the end of the Cold War combined with Republican victories in the federally funded military-industrial “gun belt” of the Southern periphery eliminated a traditional base of support in the Democratic Party. The center of gravity of the New Democrats shifted from the former Confederacy to Wall Street. The original New Democrats had been symbolized by Sam Nunn, the conservative Democratic senator from Georgia, chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services. The second-wave New Democrats of the 1990s were symbolized by Robert Rubin, the New York financier and Democratic fundraiser who became Bill Clinton’s secretary of the Treasury and pushed an agenda of international financial liberalization and financial deregulation.
During the two terms of George W. Bush, the evolving New Democrat or “neoliberal” movement was dominated by socially liberal economic conservatives in Wall Street and Silicon Valley. These centrist Democrats jettisoned the white working-class Southerners and Westerners who had been wooed by the original New Democrats, and focused instead on winning over former moderate Republicans in the Northeast and West Coast who combined liberal attitudes on abortion, gay rights and environmentalism with opposition to “big government” and concern about federal deficits.
In 2008, many Wall Street Democratic donors abandoned Hillary Clinton and supported a relatively unknown first-term senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. In his first term, Obama has governed as an “Eisenhower Democrat.” He combined a foreign policy realism reminiscent of Republican realists like Eisenhower, Brent Scowcroft and Colin Powell (who voted for him in 2008 and endorsed him in 2012). In domestic policy, his major success has been the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, which was based on the “individual mandate” system promoted in the 1990s by the moderate Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and adopted by “Romneycare” in Massachusetts. To the dismay of progressive and populist Democrats, Obama refused to support radical reform of the financial sector, which had largely funded his campaign in 2008, and surrounded himself with Wall Street insiders like Timothy Geithner and William Daley.
As presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have both reflected the priorities of the second New Democrat coalition, uniting donors from Wall Street, Hollywood and Silicon Valley with a “new majority” coalition of racial minorities, immigrants, liberal women and young voters. Because Democratic voters are disproportionately poor, this has produced a Democratic Party that, in economic terms, is an hourglass coalition of the top and the bottom. Economic populism frightens the party’s billionaire donors, while social populism, which has often been associated with white working-class xenophobia, racism and religiosity, frightens blacks, Latinos, immigrants and white social liberals. The result is what Mike Konczal and others have called “pity-charity” liberalism — a kind of liberalism that appeals to the sympathy of the rich for the poor, rather than appealing, as the New Deal did, to solidarity among the middling majority. It was a version of progressivism ill-suited to the Great Recession, which demanded the visionary leadership of a Franklin Roosevelt, not the managerial competence of a Nelson Rockefeller.
The most recent version of the New Democrat project may be doomed, even if the self-described New Democrat Barack Obama is elected to a second term. In 2012, most Wall Street donors, offended by Obama’s mild criticism and alarmed by the support shown by many Democrats for Occupy Wall Street, have swung their support away from the Democrats to the Republicans.
It is unlikely that most of them will ever come back. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, moderate as well as progressive Democrats are going to emphasize deficit reduction through tax increases far more than even moderate Republicans. The easiest way to raise lots of revenue is to raise today’s low rates on capital gains, perhaps even making the capital gains and income tax rates equal. Any such reform will cut deeply into the incomes of many Wall Street rentiers whose “progressivism” extends only to cost-free support for gay rights and abortion rights.
At the same time, the moderate conservative economic agenda adopted by Clinton and Obama, like the more extreme conservative agenda that Democratic neoliberalism copies and dilutes, has failed to slow the growth of inequality or stop the long-term erosion of the American middle class. In the 1990s, New Democrats like Clinton argued that Americans should embrace free trade and become “knowledge workers” to flourish in a win-win global economy. By 2012, such optimistic rhetoric rang hollow. Most of the jobs being created in the U.S. are low-wage jobs that require only high school diplomas. And in this year’s election, Obama and Romney have competed to denounce Chinese state capitalism and mercantilism, instead of indulging in happy talk about the wonders of globalization.
The first-wave New Democrats sought the votes of white working-class Reagan Democrats. The second-wave New Democrats abandoned the Reagan Democrats and sought to convert former moderate Republicans in the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast. But if Obama wins reelection, it may be because of Democratic partisanship among Latino voters.
If the Democrats depend increasingly on the Latino vote, then New Democrat policies may be politically irrelevant, if not harmful. In many ways Latino voters are more like the white working-class Reagan Democrats than like the white Rockefeller or Eisenhower Republicans whom Democrats have persuaded to switch parties in recent years. It is easy to imagine the growing Latino population supporting affirmative government to help the working class and middle class, as the heavily working-class “white ethnics” of the industrial cities did in the mid-20th century. And industrial policy like Obama’s GM bailout is likely to appeal to Latino working families as well as to working-class whites. In contrast, the Clinton-Obama synthesis of free-market conservatism with the identity politics of the cultural left is less likely to resonate with these new voters.
Symbolizing the end of an era, the Democratic Leadership Council closed its doors in 2011. The Democratic Party will continue to evolve, reflecting demographic and cultural and economic shifts. But this year’s election may be the last in which the Democratic nominee for the presidency calls himself a “New Democrat.”