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I read an exciting article by David Sirota recently entitled “How the 1 Percent Always Gets Its Way”.

Sirota’s answer for that is simple.  BOTH legacy parties are “up for sale.”

I figure MSNBC and others of Team Dem are doing a more than adequate job inventorying and calling out the lack of empathy and the greed of the rabid leadership of the Republican party.

That’s why I feel free and am drawn to focus on the hypocrisy and betrayal of the leadership of the not really very left, hypocritical, cowardly and selling-out Dem Party.  

Sirota cites the campaign finance system as a catalyst for the betrayal of Democratic representatives whereby they are effectively and consistently bribed to abandon the interests of average and poor Americans for corporate agendas.  

Their repeated betraying of the labor movement is one profound example. The Dem leadership along with a colluding corporate-owned and -run media brainwashes self-identified progressives, including a vulnerable and dependent labor rank and file, to frame every issue into what Sirota sees as  “partisan blue vs. red terms.”  From there, “lesser evilism” thrives.  

Average wannabe progressives are induced to bobble their heads and not challenge Democratic leadership’s obscene degree of passivity and FAILURE UPON FAILURE in achieving even modest pro-citizen reforms since the fear gets enflamed that even worse evils will descend on their heads from the likes of the rabid Republicans.  

Sirota has come up with an interesting coinage for Democratic Party collusion with the craven, plutocrats presently fleecing the citizenry so very successfully.  “Liberal washing.”

He writes:

Similar to green washing or so-called “gay washing”/“rainbow washing,” liberal washing is all about wrapping corporate America’s agenda in the veneer of fight-for-the-little-guy progressivism, thus portraying plutocrats’ radical rip-off schemes as ideologically moderate efforts to rescue the proles.
“Moderate efforts to rescue the proles”.  

Kinda like Obamacare.  So much less than Expanded Medicare for All, but a supposed step in the right direction so maybe in some generation hereafter 31,000+ Americans and, well, we won’t count those in America who are of foreign descent since this is retro- or is it post-morality America 2013, so they all have to twist in the winds of suffering and even imminent death due to critical or serious accidents and diseases with no coverage from a non-caring US government and citizen majority.

Dem leaders count on average Americans opting for the sensibility, “it could be worse.  It could be happening directly to me or my family.”

Sirota declares:

Indeed, one of the most reliable political axioms of the last 30 years is this: If corporate America cooks up a scheme to rip off the middle class, Republicans will provide the bulk of the congressional votes for the scheme — but enough establishment-credentialed liberals inevitably will endorse the scheme to make it at least appear to be mainstream and bipartisan. Yes, it seems no matter how venal, underhanded or outright corrupt a heist may be, there always ends up being a group of icons with liberal billing ready to drive the getaway car.
Sirota shares that the most “reliable” way to “liberal wash” is to get a famous liberal to support a non-liberal policy and to count on a media that paints EVERY Dem in a leadership role as stereoypically LIBERAL and induces its viewing or reading audiences to bobbleheadedly concur.

Sirota explains the most successful “liberal washers” are from the White House.  Bill Clinton “liberal washed” NAFTA.  He “liberal washed” deregulation.  Look at what that has wrought.  

Obama is “liberal washing” insurance company health care profit-motive agendas.

Obama has “liberal washed” droning, extrajudicial killing, torture.

Obama is “liberal washing” the heretofore right wing “crusade to slash Social Security.”  

Again, let’s all bobble our heads in assent. Dismantling Social Security and Medicare must be good for us if that nice and powerful liberal, as anointed by corporate media and even the crazed far right, Obama is behind it.

In the Congress, Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein is busily “liberal washing” NSA surveillance programs.  How bad could it be?  Dianne Feinstein is championing it and she is a leading Democrat -- liberal -- right?  Nope.  No liberal, she!!!  Of course, we don’t hear about how the surveillance contracting industry pours donations into Feinstein’s campaign coffers as well as into the coffers of members of her family.

Sirota worked years ago for the supposedly most liberal think tank there is, Center for American Progress.  I mean the very name of it underscores that, right?  They have been busy lately “liberal washing” Goldman Sachs (how low can you go?) and its CEO Lloyd Blankfein and other GS CEOs. You remember Goldman Sachs?  The “vampire squid” that helped bring down the US and much of the world economy.  The C.A.P. along with the Nation magazine has been promoting Goldman Sachs as a corporate donor for noble, social goals.  

Cough, cough, .... choke.

Another “liberal washer” and well paid for it is former Mayor of Newark, NJ, Cory Booker, contends Sirota.  Booker earnestly promoted the predatory private equity industry, especially its assault on the public school system.  Wall Street apparently has showered Booker with cash to such a degree that Booker easily bought his way into the U.S. Senate. He will become an even bigger and more insidious "lliberal washer" for corporate America..

Sirota mourns the “liberal washing” done by labor leaders, as well, to sell out their union membership.  In Chicago they effectively “liberal washed” Rahm Emanuel right into the mayor’s office.  Emanuel had been an investment banker before entering politics.  Emanuel helped design NAFTA.  He publicly once called out liberals as being “fucking retarded”. No surprise he has launched a ferocious war on labor in Chicago since becoming mayor.  He has closed schools, privatized municipal services and rabidly gone after unions in the public sector.

In Rhode Island, financial exec turned Dem State Treasurer Gina Raimondo, Sirota declares, is “liberal washing” a program of “slashing retiree benefits” and diverting public pension funds into “risky hedge funds” as payoff to her Wall Street backers.  Retirees are now forced to pay excessive fees to Raimondo’s cronies.

Raimondo hides under the “progressive Democrat” label.  

Slashing retiree funds is thus equated with progressivism because a media-labeled “progressive Dem” is doing it.  Enron billionaire John Arnold is a big Raimondo backer.  Sirota discloses that Arnold tried to “liberal wash” himself with a big donation to Head Start.  

Even Andy Stern, leader of SEIU, Service Employees International Union, is backing the betrayer of retirees, Raimondo. He sees her as some kind of populist champion.  Hello?

Sirota writes:

Genuine liberals and progressives may behold all this and wonder: With friends like these, who needs Gordon Gekko? It’s a justifiable harrumph. But as depressing as the situation is, the rise of liberal washing should be anything but surprising.

Sure, it may seem counterintuitive that liberalwashing has come to prominence at the very moment American politics has become more partisan. But it is entirely predictable.

With politics more than ever becoming a mind-deadening video game between two principle-free teams, the oligarchy is no longer betting on one of those teams. Instead, it is employing liberal washing to hack the whole red-versus-blue operating system.

... corporate America knows that it has a better chance of getting its way if it can portray its goals as an apolitical agenda with support from both sides of the ideological spectrum. Liberal washing is the key to that formula; it helps depict the radical as mainstream, the ideological as pragmatic and the old-fashioned heist as an act of bleeding-heart altruism.

Until liberal washing becomes anathema to more of the genuine left, there is little chance of combating today’s plutocratic politics. It is a politics that manufactures the parameters of economic debates so that only corporate-friendly outcomes are possible.

It is a politics that relies as much on money and votes as on permissive semiotics — the kind that permits labels like “liberal,” “progressive” and “left” to include those who shill for the right.

Sirota calls on awakening and awakened progressives to help DE-FANG “liberal washing”.  That demands a serious capacity for critical thinking against the razzle dazzle of faux-progressives like Obama and Dem Congressional leaders along with that insidious 24/7 corporate-owned and -run media willing to disinform, to keep uninformed or to railroad corporate agenda friendly talking points into the heads of us harried and exploited Americans.

By this time we all must be at least haunted by the sirens of cognitive dissonance every time we hear the corporate, pimped out ones from the WH or Congress or the media open their mouths. Time to stop lying to ourselves. No one in the present corrupt political culture is going to help average and poor Americans. Time to stop waiting for bribed betrayers to grow a conscience and become decent. We only have ourselves and we need to get pro-active and organized.  

[cross-posted on open salon and correntewire]

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ah, Sirota. (5+ / 0-)

    Chased off this site before he could be bojoed from it.  

    Good times, good times.

    Thanks for reminding me of a voice of reason, sanity, and insight!

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:21:11 PM PDT

  •  HR'd for the (4+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    howarddream, Tortmaster, kefauver, fcvaguy
    Hidden by:
    Sandino

    "assassination" tag.  Can't find that it has a home other than in the tags.  Explain and I will remove.

    And there is a reason that Sirota doesn't post here anymore.  He was handed his ass more than a few times.

    "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." ~ Edward R. Murrow

    by CJB on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:25:58 PM PDT

    •  Obama's assassination list (8+ / 0-)
      Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will

      ... Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret “nominations” process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical. He had vowed to align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values; the chart, introducing people whose deaths he might soon be asked to order, underscored just what a moral and legal conundrum this could be.

      http://www.nytimes.com/...

      Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

      by The Dead Man on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:30:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Uh, "handing Sirota his ass" is not (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cslewis, corvo, Words In Action, CroneWit

      something any of us should be proud to highlight.

      What seemingly few of my Democratic brethren understand is that a dollar bill can't literally walk into the voting booth and pull the lever. Your only tool for exacting accountability is the casting, or withholding, of your vote. Don't be an enabler.

      by WisePiper on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:37:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He was a thinned-skinned (4+ / 0-)

        hit and runner who was shocked - SHOCKED I tell you! - that the masses didn't genuflect.  I was horrified on his behalf.

        "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." ~ Edward R. Murrow

        by CJB on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:42:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sirota was thin skinned, I agree. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, Sandino, Chi

          He didn't take criticism well. The truth, however, is that too many of us made his style the prime discussion point in the comment threads, as a convenient cover for not addressing the substance of his posts.

          What seemingly few of my Democratic brethren understand is that a dollar bill can't literally walk into the voting booth and pull the lever. Your only tool for exacting accountability is the casting, or withholding, of your vote. Don't be an enabler.

          by WisePiper on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:47:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  better: Sirota didn't suffer fools gladly. n/t (4+ / 0-)

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:51:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Okay, yes, you're right. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladasue, Geiiga, kefauver, Eyesbright

            But I watched time and time again as Sirota was as inflammatory as he could possibly be.  He did NOTHING but stir shit.  No means of action.  Nothing productive.  I came to see him as being about nothing but page hits and book sales.

            Has he had some points worth discussing?  Sure.  But his method sucks in light of what he purports to want to accomplish.

            "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." ~ Edward R. Murrow

            by CJB on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:52:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  consciousness-raising an unworthy achievement? (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WisePiper, Chi, CroneWit, chmood

              re Sirota?

              3 A's, awareness, acceptance, action

              without awareness we don't get to collective action.

            •  Most of the diaries posted by respected (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Chi, CroneWit, chmood

              contributors here at Daily Kos don't outline specific action plans. But, as libbyliberal points out in the comment above mine, raising awareness is the first vital step before action can be taken. It's not possible to enlist anyone in an action plan if they don't first understand the need for action.

              What seemingly few of my Democratic brethren understand is that a dollar bill can't literally walk into the voting booth and pull the lever. Your only tool for exacting accountability is the casting, or withholding, of your vote. Don't be an enabler.

              by WisePiper on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 11:11:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Sirota (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CJB, kefauver, Eyesbright

      The problem with Sirota's posts here is that they were always about Sirota. They were invariably, "My MSNBC appearance," or "My latest article."

      Being self-promotional is OK, up to a point, but Sirota really abused the privilege.

    •  assassination = extrajudicial killings (0+ / 0-)

      don't understand the prob and what is HR?

    •  I hr'd because the diarist ... (3+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      CJB, kefauver, Eyesbright
      Hidden by:
      Sandino

      ... is actively seeking to recruit for a third party. See here.

      Rand Paul is to civil liberties as the Disney Channel is to subtle and nuanced acting. Ron Paul thinks he's a wit, but he's only half right.

      by Tortmaster on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 03:00:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  it's the current "pie fight" in a nutshell (5+ / 0-)

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:26:54 PM PDT

  •  It Became a Conservative Party after LBJ. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cslewis, WisePiper, dreamghost, CroneWit

    The bulk of those portraying the party or particular members as liberal are rightwingers and their punditry.
    The Democrats have run screaming from the term liberal since long before Limbaugh hit the air.

    Politics is not electronics, the party that's not Republican is not automatically of the opposite political charge. A nation can have 2 conservative parties. Ours sure does.

    1978 called and wants these editorials published when they were needed and would have mattered.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:27:50 PM PDT

  •  How 'bout that? (5+ / 0-)

    Not 30 minutes has passed since publication, and we've got our first knee-jerk HR of the tip jar.

    What seemingly few of my Democratic brethren understand is that a dollar bill can't literally walk into the voting booth and pull the lever. Your only tool for exacting accountability is the casting, or withholding, of your vote. Don't be an enabler.

    by WisePiper on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:32:44 PM PDT

    •  Not a knee jerk, at all. (4+ / 0-)

      I have my reasons.  Happy to take them up with the diarist, if they interact.  With 39 comments since 2008, I have a feeling I'll be falling asleep to crickets.

      "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." ~ Edward R. Murrow

      by CJB on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:46:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lol. And it sorta cracks me up (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrybuck, howarddream, Tortmaster

    that I picked this particular fight.  What a waste of time.

    Nighty night.

    "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." ~ Edward R. Murrow

    by CJB on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 08:47:41 PM PDT

  •  Uprated to counter bogus HR. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino

    I got the tags completely.

    "The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression." - W.E.B. Du Bois Be informed. Fight the Police State.

    by Eternal Hope on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:18:39 PM PDT

  •  Only two flavors of one economic ideology (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, CroneWit

    I think we have been aware of that for some time.

    Candidates in my neck of the woods are dancing away from addressing populist economic policy by presenting themselves as the anti-republican.  Mark Schauer, for instance continues to slam Snyder; on education, on savaging the middle class, while only implying that he will be different, but then offering no discussion of policy.

    The Democratic candidates need to work for my vote.  Perhaps they want a lot more Tampa's when the base does not turn out.

  •  thanks for comments ... (0+ / 0-)

    relieved.

  •  'Even the Dems are Republican' has been (0+ / 0-)

    the political story of my life.  I live in Indiana, where the most recent and enduring embodiment of the ConservaDem ethos has been Evan Bayh, the poster-boy for 'the electable Dem' who placated his Dem base by taking the politically-correct stances on the social wedge-issues while glossing over his collusion with GOP positions as reasonable pragmatism.  He was one of the Dems who prolonged the Obamacare debate so he and his buddies could carve the bill into its current corporate'friendly shape -- while his wife socked away millions from the several corporate health-related boards she served on.  Bayh and wife were receiving lots of negative press about this self-enriching conflict of interest when the time came for Bayh to file for re-election, and Bayh chose a really under-handed way of exiting politics:  He waited until the very last minute -- the filing deadline -- to announce that he, the IN Party's anointed, was not going to run.  This late announcement meant that (1) no one else could file because Bayh had run out the clock so (2) the IN Party leadership had to appoint the new candidate (as required by law), making an even-more rightwing person (Donnelly) the IN candidate for Bayh's Senate seat.  This was, of course, and end-run that took away the voter's voice completely.

    Sirota is absolutely accurate when he says:

    [P]lutocratic politics . . .  is a politics that manufactures the parameters of economic debates so that only corporate-friendly outcomes are possible.
  •  Corporatist Dems = Rethugs (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Ipracticedissent
    Hidden by:
    Tortmaster

    Vote GREEN PARTY or Write In your choice.

  •  Sirota, never has anything good to say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver, Tortmaster

    Sirota was on local Denver progressive talk for a few years. He was always complaining about Dem politicians. He was mad that Obama did not get "don't ask don't tell repealed fast enough." He is the epitome of a liberal whiner. I agree we live in a plutocracy and that the ACA was a give away to big insurance. Still it's better than nothing.
    I just think Sirota's negativity is bad for getting people interested in voting, which is the only thing we can do to combat the moneyed interests that have hijacked both parties in Washington.  I prefer to listen to Stephanie Miller and Randi Rhodes on IHeart radio. Steph is funny and Randi is whip  smart about current events. In fact her website has a daily homework section that is spot on. See
    randirhodes.com

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