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View Diary: The legacy of McCain-Feingold (174 comments)

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  •  Physician, heal thyself (none)
    Except the presumtive Democratic candidate isn't a physician any more. Too bad -- big missed opportunity, especially for health care reform.

    It makes sense that campaign reform legislation would affect the Democratic party (reforming it to some mild extent) way before it would affect the Republican party (which is much more immune to reform of any kind).

    Maybe the lesson is, we have to get our own house in order before we can police the bad guys. By supporting legislation that forces them to look to their real base for small-donation support, some Democrats have taken at least a small step toward deserving that support. (Some Democrats, not the party leadership. Pelosi and Dachille tried to stop McCain/Feingold, as I recall).

    To reform the world, you have to make the sacrifice of reforming that part of it you have the most influence over first -- even if that means you give up ground to your enemies by forswearing tactics they will continue to use. Ghandi and MLK knew that -- it's basic to nonviolent civil disobedience.

    I say this as someone who is still furious with the way the Democratic wing of the corporate and media establishment rejected Dean -- the whole dirty just-before-Iowa preemtive strike by the ABD forces made me sick -- because Dean was the best opportunity the party has had since 1960 to energize their real base again and win decisively for once, IMO. I don't buy that Dean self-destructed. Bush has made many far more self-destructive moves than Dean did; Clinton also; both survived again and again. Dean didn't because a consensus was reached just before Iowa: Kerry was broke, down to his wife's money, passed over by the voters; an early Dean victory was looming; so they went out and bought Kerry, dusted him off, gave him two weeks of glowing press while they threw everything they could dig up against Dean -- and this ensured continuation of the Democratic party as they like it.

    Democrats should recognize that corporations and the wealthy have an interest in control over both parties -- witness how most contribute to opposing candidates (which ought to be illegal, what else could it be but influence buying?). They are as active in Democratic party politics as Republican -- maybe more so, since they own the Republican party outright.

    Right-wing ideologues are scary, but it is the pragmatic, non-ideological corporate thieves who own the country, and they do so by owning both parties, not alternately but all the time, and dividing right against left. If they back Kerry this time it will be because Bush seems too dangerous a horse to continue to ride (maybe he's about to founder), and perhaps it's time to take the pressure off the public's rage after shamelessly robbing them blind for four years. It's not about reform. It's about forstalling any demands for real reform. Regardless of Kerry's personal intentions, which are doubtless honorable.

    There is a difference between the parties. Nader's strategy of minimizing them was and is self-defeating. The Democratic party, for better or worse, is ours. But we must also understand the extent to which we must first defeat our "friends", before we can win against our enemies.

    Despite the trouble he's in, I worry that Bush will defeat Kerry if he just gooses the economy until November and manages somehow to make it look as if Iraq is getting better (not that it actually will be). And perhaps produces Osama or some other "surprise". It would be so easy to do against Kerry, whose war record is four months of actual combat thirty years ago. That means a lot iff the public is deeply enraged over a growing disaster in Iraq, otherwise Kerry is just Gore all over again ("but without the charisma", as some wag said).

    "The universe is a sphere whose center is wherever there is intelligence." -Thoreau

    by samizdat on Sat Feb 21, 2004 at 08:06:21 PM PST

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