Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Blue Dogs And Other DINOs, Part II



Yesterday's posting, "Blue Dogs And Other DINOs," a discussion copied from a "...reprint over at Truthout.org of an article that originally appeared at the Australian Options Magazine by Salvatore Babones called, "There Is No American Left,"...(that raised)...some intriguing questions about the direction of American Politics," we suggested the beginnings of some thoughts about the traitors in our ranks, the Democrats in wolves' clothing.  In today's posting, we print in toto, an essay by Ralph Nader at Commondreams.org, "Compare the 1912 Elections with the 2012 Elections," as another preface to a future analysis of the American DINOs:



"Before the electoral year of 2012 slinks into history, it is worth a comparative glance back to the electoral year of 1912 to give us some jolting perspective on how degraded our contemporary elections, voter performance and election expectations have become.

"One hundred years ago, workers were marching, picketing and forming unions. Eugene Debs, the great labor leader and presidential candidate that year, spoke to outdoor labor rallies of 100,000 to 200,000 workers and their families gathered to protest low wages and working conditions.

"Farmers were flexing their muscle with vibrant political activity in progressive parties and organizing farm cooperatives, through their granges, and pushing for proper regulation of the banks and railroads.

"On the presidential ballot were Republican incumbent William Howard Taft, Democrat Woodrow Wilson, and the Progressive “Bull Moose” Party’s choice former president Theodore Roosevelt. Taft would be repudiated for being far too populist and too critical of corporations by today’s Republican Party. He favored national, not state, charters for “national corporations.”

"The Democrats were committed to their platform of 1908 which asked 'Shall the people rule? Is the overshadowing issue which manifests itself in all the questions now under discussion.' The context was shaped by the giant corporations ('called the trusts') and their lobbies in Washington, which had to be curbed. The Supreme Court in 1911 had just ruled to break up the giant Standard Oil trust.

"Women’s suffrage, abolition of child labor, workers’ compensation; states adopting the initiative, referendum, and recall; the eight-hour work day, minimum wage laws (Massachusetts was the first in 1912), taxing corporate profits and the “inheritance of fortunes,” were some of the many hot issues of 1912.

"Taft, Wilson and Roosevelt fought over who was the most progressive. Theodore Roosevelt in an August 1912 speech declared that 'Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.'

"While Wilson repeatedly said that the country’s 'salvation required the dissolution of the evil partnership between the government and the trusts.'

"Apart from how deeply these candidates believed in what they said, they repeated their campaign pledges again and again because the people were rising and breathing down their necks with demands.

"Fast forward to 2012 to the far greater grip of big business on government and elections. So much so that both major parties offer no solution to the 'too big to fail' perch of the giant banks and additional corporate behemoths, other than to continue bailing them out with taxpayer dollars and under-regulating them to boot.

"Entrepreneur, lawyer, shareholder advocate, and author, Robert A. Monks wrote recently that 'American corporations today enjoy an absolute reign. They and they alone have the power to control the rules under which they function. Corporations, and the most powerful CEOs acting through them, have effectively seized authority over the United States without assuming any of the responsibilities of dominion.'

"Was corporate domination the theme of the recent Republican and Democratic conventions? Only to the extent to which hospitality parties put on by the drug, banking, insurance, energy and other industries had the best booze, food and other allurements.

"The Conventions, and their scripted speeches off the PAC-greased election trails, were congealed, b.s.

"The leader of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, was trotted out for a few minutes before a nationwide television audience to ignore mentioning both his own priority of legislating 'the card check' for union organizing and the needs of 30 million American workers making less than workers made in 1968, inflation-adjusted, due to a frozen minimum wage. Eugene Debs, one of Trumka’s heroes, not only made establishing the minimum wage one of his clarion calls, but he indefatigably ran for president in 1912 on the Socialist Party ticket garnering 900,000 votes (equal to about 5 million votes today) and pushing the major candidates and parties from the grass roots.

Eugene Debs, 1912


"In 2012, third-party candidates were blocked from the debates, given virtually no media, obstructed from access to the ballots and otherwise harassed by officialdom.

"The two major parties were like corporate lapdogs fed daily with corporate cash to shut up about corporate crime, corporate tax evasion, corporate control of government, corporate abuses of consumers, toxic chemicals and fossil fuels jeopardizing air, water, soil and the climate, corporate abandonment of American labor to fascist and communist regimes abroad, facilitated by the global trade agreements, drafted by their corporate lawyers, corporate corruption of electoral campaigns integrity, corporate fine-print contract servitude, corporate closing of courtroom doors to individuals wrongfully harmed, and the draining corporate-bred military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned about in his farewell address.

"The Democrats from Obama to the Congressional leadership and candidates took corporate oaths, they wouldn’t even raise the minimum wage issue to 'catch up to 1968' for 30 million Americans and their impoverished families laboring for Walmart, McDonald’s and other low-wage companies.

"Meanwhile, the clenched teeth Republicans with their vacuumed brains nominated Mitt Romney who, for years, led the Bain Consulting Group to, in Monk’s words, 'reap untold millions in profits by using borrowed capital to buy companies, then sucking them dry, leaving the remains for bankruptcy referees to sort through, and stashing vast profits in off-shore tax havens.' In 1912, such an aspiring oligarch would have been laughed away.

"Let’s face it, our country is in crisis and wallowing in disgust, discouragement and despair won’t turn it around. Nor will apathy, accepted powerlessness or preoccupation with those weapons of mass distraction we hold in our hands or watch on our screens just about everywhere.

"Only together can we make the difference, with far better modes of communication and transportation than our poor forebears, who still managed to rise up and show up more than 100 years ago to make their country better for them and us. (See www.seventeensolutions.com for my take on this patriotic mission of immediate renewal as well as respect for future generations.)"

As often happens with those who run for president on multiple occasions, Nader has lost some of his earlier luster as St. George Facing The Dragon, and taken on the appelation of a crank.  But we ignore his take on American party politics at our peril and we proceed along our present path to the Conservatives' goal of the New American Age of Feudalism, as we dig the dirt from the ground for our own graves.  Only the recognition of the quislings in our midst will hasten their loss at the polls and bring on the criminalization of Conservatism.

From Wikipedia: "Quisling is a term used in reference to fascist and collaborationist political parties and military and paramilitary forces in occupied Allied countries which collaborated with Axis occupiers in World War II, as well as for their members and other collaborators.

-- I am Quisling.
-- And the name?

"Audience with Hitler" by the Norwegian editorial cartoonist Ragnvald Blix (1882-1958), published
in the liberal Swedish newspaper Göteborgs Handels- och Sjöfartstidning, January 29 1944
"Etymology
"The term was coined by the British newspaper The Times in an editorial published on 19 April 1940, entitled 'Quislings everywhere' after the Norwegian Vidkun Quisling, who assisted Nazi Germany as it conquered his own country so that he could rule the collaborationist Norwegian government himself. The Daily Mail picked up the term four days later, and the BBC then brought it into common use internationally. The Times' editorial asserted: 'To writers, the word Quisling is a gift from the gods. If they had been ordered to invent a new word for traitor... they could hardly have hit upon a more brilliant combination of letters. Aurally it contrives to suggest something at once slippery and tortuous.'

"The term was used by the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill during an address to both houses of Congress in the United States of America on 26 December 1941. Commenting upon the effect of a number of Allied victories against Axis forces, and moreover the United States’ decision to enter the war, Churchill opined that; “Hope has returned to the hearts of scores of millions of men and women, and with that hope there burns the flame of anger against the brutal, corrupt invader. And still more fiercely burn the fires of hatred and contempt for the filthy Quislings whom he has suborned.” It subsequently entered the language, and became a target for political cartoonists.

"The noun has survived, and is still in current use, appearing during 2008 and 2009 in articles in The New York TimesDie Zeit and The Times. In contrast, the back-formed verb to quisle (pronunciation: /ˈkwɪzəl/), has largely disappeared from contemporary usage. The verb seems to have fallen out of use comparatively quickly, since by early 1944 there was evidence that H.L. Mencken — generally considered to be a leading authority on the common English usage in the United States — was not aware that it already existed. The back-formed verb to quisle also gave rise to a much-less common version of the noun: quisler.

"That Quisling's name should be applied to denote the whole phenomenon of collaborationism is probably due to the place of Norway on the list of countries occupied by the Third Reich.[citation needed] Unlike Poland, Norway was considered 'Aryan' in Hitlerian ideology, and unlike Denmark it was further off, nearer Britain, and did not share a land border with any territory under German control. Thus Norway was the first country where local, non-German, fascist parties took part in the conquest of their own country after the start of the war. The universality of the term in the English language may be due to the involvement of Britain in the battle for Norway so early in the war.

"In contemporary usage, Quisling is synonymous with traitor, and particularly applied to politicians who appear to favour the interests of other nations or cultures over their own. In American English, the term is less well known than the equivalent phrase Benedict Arnold. Nonetheless it appeared in the 1944 Warner Bros. cartoon Tom Turk and Daffy, uttered by a Thanksgiving turkey whose presence is betrayed to Porky Pig by Daffy Duck. Also, in a 1966 Peanuts comic strip, Linus tries to hide in Snoopy's doghouse only to have the beagle rat him out. 'Traitor! Quisling! Squealer!' Linus shouts at Snoopy as his sister Lucy drags him away.

Quisling was executed at Akershus fortress in Oslo, October 24 1945
Whether we accuse Blue Dog Democrats or any breed of Conservative Democrat formerly known as "Dixiecrat" of any of the synonyms above, "traitor," "wretch," or "quisling," it is obvious that they exist because they want to be elected.  Their excuse, that the "excesses" of the '70s led to their formation, is a weak one.  The truth is that they marketed their brand of Conservatism, knowing full well that Conservatism is the antithesis of the Democratic Party, and by extension, Democracy.

Again, this post and yesterday's will suffice as a prelude to a deeper analysis of the Quislings in our midst, and help us understand why they must be booted out of office as a beginning of the criminalizing of Conservatism.


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"Only the man who knows too little knows too much"

Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe


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