Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Con Job?

On the Iraq War and the rest, are Congressional Democrats too easily conned, as Rick Pearlstein writes in Maybe, though I suspect that, for explaining Democrats, strategic (mis)calculations about how to position the party for the 2008 elections matter more than con jobs. To the extent that Pearlstein is right, though, it is because, like all easy marks, the Democrats want to believe what Cheney and Bush want them to believe. They want to believe because, in the final analysis, they are of one mind with Cheney and Bush in promoting a neo-liberal economic order at home and an imperialist agenda abroad. This is the essence of Clintonism. If only for the sake of minimal political morality, the party ought to have purged itself of Clintonism long ago. It has not. Indeed, according to current polls, Democratic voters may well foist a Clintonite restoration upon us.

Over the Labor Day weekend, though, the United Mineworkers and the United Steel Workers endorsed John Edwards. He is looking increasingly like the best hope for a change of course – domestically. [On foreign policy, he is no worse than the others – Gravel and Kucinich excepted – but not qualitatively better either.] It would be a salutary development if organized labor would lead the way – not just in dispatching Hillary Clinton and Clintonism’s other “electable” avatars – but in keeping Edwards on-course thereafter. But organized labor has been off-course and enfeebled for decades and what Edwards offers may be too little too late. Still, between now and the early primaries, one can hope.

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