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Commentary :: Politics
31 Oct 2006

With about one week to go in the 2006 electoral cycle I am prepared to make my breathlessly awaited final line on the Congressional contests. Fortunately, as noted in an early October blog (see October 2006 archives, dated October 1), as an anti-capitalist militant I am able to keep a long, a very long, distance between myself and the fate of these parties and therefore am able to make a considered, in fact a most considered judgment, on the results. Unfortunately, the real loser in this years elections is the working class who along with its allies have for the umpteenth time taken a beating by being confronted with choices of elephants, donkeys and Greens whose programs do not come close articulating its historic needs. Hell, those parties do not even come close to meeting its immediate needs-, which is a party of its own- a workers party based on a working class program. Forget the Left Liberals, Forget the Greens- accept no substitutes.

Despite all the hoopla over the expected Democratic resurgence, especially in the House of Representatives, the number of races that count have been dramatically overblown in the media. Given Republican gerrymandering, base-building and a flat out cash flow advantage the real number of seats “in play”, as the conventional political pundits put it, is still in the 25 to 30 range that I indicated were up for grabs in early October. That and a certain narrowing of the numbers toward the Republicans down the final stretch leads me to one conclusion- even, take your pick. I will take all the action I can get on that proposition and feel it is a wise investment. Of course, in early October I was considering my bets as money found on the ground. Well, even disinterested leftists are capable of getting caught up in the moment. As for the Senate races I think the Democratic pundits have been smoking “something”. I will be damned if I can see their numbers. 3/2 Republicans retain the Senate.

These numbers point to the underlying problem the Democrats have faced all year. Despite a willfully ignorant President (who capacity for screwing up everything he touches, by the way, should make the Trustees of the Yale Corporation blush that they gave up a seat to a meritorious student in favor of the ‘tribe’s’ George W.), a barrelful of scandals that would make Boss Tweed blush and other assorted antics the Democrats have maintained a political position which they have carried over from the 2004 election campaign-Republican-lite. So be it. That is their problem, ours lie elsewhere. Below are a few final observations that make this writer very glad that he stands outside the bourgeois political parties.

* Last Spring Anne Coulter made a splash on the political scene by trashing widows in her latest book of political trivia. Now hot off the “de-tox” trail one Rush Limbaugh has aimed his blunted barbs at actor Michael J. Fox, a sufferer from Parkinson’s disease, who has been supporting the fight to increase stem-cell research. Apparently ever since last year’s obscene flap in the Terry Schrivo case every half-baked zany with access to a microphone is now capable of a tele-diagnosis of the ails of the world. Seemingly, this is the Republican prescription in lieu of a universal health care program. Last Spring I also mentioned that the Republicans should nominate, unopposed, Ms. Coulter as their nominee for President in 2008, as she represents the “soul” of that party. Now I have found her Vice Presidential running mate. At one time bourgeois politicians nurtured widows and orphans, the afflicted, the waifs of the world – even if they were not going to do anything about their plight. Now the “survival of the fittest” code of political warfare has rendered that point moot. In the year 2006 is it really necessary in the “interest of full and frank democratic discourse” to have these zanies running the mainstream political circus (or perhaps, asylum is a better choice of words).

* Make no mistake racism is a fact of life in American life, particularly of political life, in 2006 as always. Make all the paeans to racial integration that you want but the hard reality is down in the mud the “race card” is the coin of the realm. Cases in point. In Tennessee, black Democratic Senatorial candidate Harold Ford was the subject of a vicious television ad depicting a willowy white blonde woman coming on to him. Despite all the disclaimers his Republican opponent’s numbers jumped up after the hoopla over that ad died down. Some commentators have noted that the blatant aims of the ad- to fuel the fires over the taboo subjects of interracial sex and its adjunct the “preservation of the purity of the white race” evokes the memory of Emmett Till (see October 2006 archives for an article on Till’s case). True enough, but the really interesting thing about the ad not so much a certain assumption about a black man’s sexuality as much as that a white woman is coming on to a black man- now that is the nut of the whole racial cultural battle which drives the ‘gentile’ white crazy with anxiety. In Massachusetts black Democratic candidate for Governor Deval Patrick has also been attacked with a racially charged television ad that he is “soft” on rapists. Jesus, how low can these bourgeois politicians go just to get elected to a two-bit office? Even those hardened politicians the late Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon who were capable of the most gross political shenanigans to get in office would be blushing here.

· Recently Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, who is slated to take over the House Finance Committee chairmanship if the Democrats sweep into the majority there, gave a revealing interview which epitomizes the limits of the Democratic Party as a vehicle that working people can rely on. Now Congressman Frank is an intelligent, witting and knowledgeable politician, far from the worst of the lot- in fact probably one of the most liberal in bourgeois politics. Here is what he had to say. After paying the obligatory homage to the “free market” system Frank noted that this system contains an inherent inequality but that was essentially the overhead price one must pay for the system to function. The role of government is to regulate that inequality so that it does not become too oppressive. That, dear readers, in a nutshell is exactly what is wrong with capitalism and its defenders. The role of government should be to end government, to end exploitation of humankind by humankind and let the devil take the hinder post. Even the best liberal politician has a tin ear on this question.

* As we wind down on this bummer of a campaign season and begin the gear up to the real action-the presidential campaign of 2008 I refer back to an article written last summer when I first started to pay attention to the national political campaign (see June 2006 archives). This was an open letter to the late Doctor Hunter J. Thompson, political writer of blessed memory, to come back and give me some goddamn help- He liked this stuff. He liked to get down in the mud with this crowd. Thompson was a pro and took this weirdness in stride. Hunter-call me. Enough said.

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