Dem Good Cop vs. Repub Bad Cop Posturing
Patrick Martin of wsws writes:
The opening night of the Democratic National Convention provided a grossly distorted picture of the Obama administration, presenting a right-wing, pro-corporate, anti-working-class government as though it was the second coming of the New Deal.
According to Patrick Martin of wsws the price tag for the US taxpayer is $18 million for this political ritual of the Democratic Convention. But he adds there are “tens of millions more from corporations and banks.” This is only fitting since the Democratic Party is as pro-corporate as the Republican Party.
But for all its “pro-people” posturing, the Democratic Party, no less than the Republicans, defends the interests of the corporate elite at home and abroad....
Obama and Biden sought to respond to Republican criticism of the dismal performance of the US economy, summed up in the question “Are you better off than four years ago?” For working people, of course, the answer is clearly no—four years after the Wall Street crash, 23 million are unemployed or underemployed, real wages have fallen steadily, the social services on which tens of millions depend have been gutted.
For the capitalist class and their political servants in both big business parties, however, the answer is unequivocally yes: stock prices, corporate profits and CEO pay are all at record levels, and an unparalleled avalanche of cash is flowing into the two parties from billionaire backers.
The Republicans don’t mask their devotion to capitalism and corporatism. The Democrats, Martin insists, seek to mask that reality by using “pseudo-populist rhetoric.” One of their methods will be to draw on their “diverse political personnel.” Martin:
... above all Obama himself, the first African-American president. The Democratic convention will include hundreds of delegates drawn from the black and Hispanic middle class, including the trade union apparatus, as well as from women’s rights and gay rights groups.
Martin explains that these differences are of secondary character and it is all a “good cop, bad cop routine” framed against the ugly image of the Republicans. The Republicans’ Convention game was to point out that 23 million Americans are still unemployed or underemployed now four years after the economic crash under Obama. A cynical posturing, as if remedying that would be a sincere priority for pro-corporate Republicans.
The Democratic Party at its Convention pretends it is the “good cop” and that working people would be so worse off under a Republican administration. It is profoundly indifferent to those very 23 million jobless and underemployed Americans struggling under this present administration which earnestly serves the needs of the 1%ers. That is how it really walks the walk despite the 180 degree turnabout on its talking of the talk now at election time. You’d think Obama was not the incumbent the way these Democrats rail against the Republicans. A convenient full-out slick escape from responsibility.
Martin reminds us that after the 2008 election the White House and both Houses were controlled by Democrats. What did the Obama administration do? It carried out programs to service BIG business and not the working people of America. The very Bush policies he was elected TO END.
Patrick Martin lays out the list of Bush policies that Barack Obama’s administration continued:
1. He embraced the Wall Street bailout, insuring that countless trillions of Treasury dollars were made available to save the banks, while millions of homeowners were plunged into foreclosure and eviction without any government rescue.
2. His stimulus package consisted largely of tax cuts, designed to win Republican support, and the White House refused to launch a public works program or take any other direct action to create jobs for the millions of unemployed workers.
3. Obama pushed through the bailout and reorganization of the auto industry at the expense of the workers, slashing pay for new hires by 50 percent and cutting pensions and health care benefits for retirees. [Martin confronts the declaration that Obama “saved a million jobs” in the auto industry. Obama used the threat of imminent liquidation against General Motors and Chrysler, advised by his circle of CEO corporatists, to “cut the wages of new hirees 50%,” “releasing auto bosses of their obligation to pay healthcare benefits to retirees,” and “stole dental and optical care from retired workers and their families.” Martin explains that this signaled corporate America it had WH backing for ruthless cost-cutting against its employees!]
4. After winning the Democratic nomination as the supposedly most antiwar candidate, Obama embraced the Bush administration warmongers, retaining Bush’s defense secretary Robert Gates, barring any prosecution of Bush officials for the lies that accompanied the war in Iraq or the use of torture, and keeping open Guantanamo Bay and other US torture centers.
5. Obama tripled the number of troops in Afghanistan, waged war in Libya, and ordered drone missile strikes that have incinerated men, women and children in half a dozen countries. He is the first US president to assert the right to assassinate any American citizen, anywhere on the globe, based solely on his executive authority, without either legal or judicial sanction.
6. Obama’s signature social policy initiative, the healthcare “reform” legislation, was a compendium of reactionary measures—some borrowed from the Republicans, like the “individual mandate,” a regressive tax on lower-income working people—implemented for a reactionary purpose: to cut the health care costs of US corporations and the government, by forcing working people either to use fewer health care services or pay for them out of pocket. ...
Those six profound policy clusters constitute a dark reality that won’t be addressed by the Democratic Convention. In fact the performers at the Convention will say anything to deny or distract from it. No one will come close to acknowledging any of the profoundly toxic and anti-citizen choices made by Obama and his administration with the backing of the Democratic Party.
The speakers and all the media hype will paint a president and a party that do not exist. A hype that insists this party and administration have an empathy for struggling Americans THEY DO NOT HAVE.
Apparently some -- many -- Democratic citizens are able to acknowledge at least some of the betrayals of Obama but still feel and insist that Obama and the Democratic Party will champion American citizens in the NEXT four years significantly more than the Republican Party will.