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Jack Rabbit

Jack Rabbit's Journal
Jack Rabbit's Journal
October 30, 2015

To those who call Hillary a progressive


[/center][font size="1"]from Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll.
I started describing myself as a progressive toward the end of the Bill Clinton administration when it was clear that he favored trickle-down economics and supported trade agreements that hurt most Americans, in addition to signing Republican laws like welfare deform, and the deregulation of the telecommunications and banking industry. It seemed to me that it was a wholesale embrace of Reaganomics, yet Clinton and his minions continued to call themselves liberals. OK, if liberals were such wimps, then I must be something else.

When, after acquiescing to Generalissimo Bush's and Vice Premier Cheney's coup d'etat of 2000, congressmen and senators who once described themselves as liberals, including Senator Hillary Clinton, began supporting his imperialist designs on Iraq, my view that liberals were wimps was reinforced. The Frat Boy's program for war included an assault on the due process of law and other constitutionally guaranteed freedoms as well as the explicit use of torture, the liberals went right along and voted for the USA PATRIOT Act, every special appropriation to fund the war the Bush Junta requested and, in 2006, more restrictions on civil liberties. Liberals, who I had long thought of as wimps, hardly seemed to be liberals any more; and I continued to call myself a progressive.

When Barack Obama ran for President, I thought this was a kindred spirit I could get behind. He opposed the war in Iraq and favored diplomacy over just sending in the Marines any time some dictator, or even an elected leader, became troublesome; he favored a more transparent government that would return to a guarantee of civil liberties for its common citizens, perhaps even protecting the powerless from the powerful. In the wake of the crash of 2008, he criticized the role of bankers and banking deregulation. And health insurance reform of some kind? I was in.

It would be wrong to say that he didn't mean a word of it. He did get us out of Iraq and now seems to be in the process of getting us back in to Iraq (and Syria and Jordan and Lebanon) without a clear plan of what to do there. He did prod congress into passing a watered down health insurance reform package that was less than a full-blown European style socialized medical program and still left unscrupulous health insurance companies in place to continue to prove why we really need full-blown European style socialized medicine. He has a personal dislike of war as a policy and would rather negotiate an agreement with a hostile state rather than go to war with it has paid dividends, such as the agreement with Iran. Beyond that, there's little good to say about the last six and a half years. That's not all President Obama's fault. The racist and misogynist Republican party has marched lock step against anything he proposes, except bad trade deals. They saw a successful black man and responded as racists have since emancipation: they tried to kill his mule and pour manure down his well. However, no Republican held a gun to President Obama's or Attorney General Eric Holder's head to get them to treat Wall Street criminals with kid gloves. Obama needed no encouragement from Republicans to negotiate the TPP, TTIP or TISA. No progressive would have entered such negotiations. The unprecedented secrecy in negotiating the the deals and the ridiculous procedures that members of Congress were made to go through just to read the damned thing indicates that there's something willfully opaque about the process and that there's something political/financial establishment doesn't want the common people to know. A progressive, of course, believes in transparency.

It used to be that Americans simply did not do as well under Republican administrations as under Democratic administrations. Nowadays. wages fall under Republicans and remain stagnant under Democrats. That may make Democrats better than Republicans, but it's nothing to write home about.

A progressive would not have negotiated free trade agreements; a progressive would not have been so nice to Legs Dimon and Pretty Boy Lloyd; a progressive would fight to undo banking deregulation; a progressive would not but boots on the ground in the Middle East or anywhere else with a clear idea of what military force is supposed to accomplish. Mrs. Clinton's present opposition to the TPP is unconvincing. She give no specific reason for opposing it. Mrs. Clinton takes a lot of money from Wall Street and cannot be expected to roll back banking deregulation. Reinstating Glass-Steagal is a progressive position; Alan Blinder, an aid to Mrs. Clinton, said that is something she would not do and Mrs. Clinton has said nothing to set the record straight. Mrs. Clinton, in word and deed, has supported a disastrous and unnecessary war in what can only be described as an anti-progressive political decision.

While Mrs. Clinton has a laudable record on civil rights for women, racial minorities and, perhaps belatedly, the LGBT community, her spotty record on issues of economic justice makes these bright spots on her career ring hollow. Social justice for traditionally persecuted minorities works hand-in-hand with economic justice for American workers. To support one and not the other leaves at best a watered down version of both. The two cannot be separated. So even here, Mrs. Clinton is not a progressive.

Please don't call Mrs. Clinton a progressive. It cheapens the word. It is an abuse of the English language.

Don't call Hillary Clinton a progressive.

October 22, 2015

I'm signing no loyalty oaths, even one proffered in jest

I will not vote Republican, I can assure you of that.

I will vote only very reluctantly for a corporatist. Hillary Clinton, like DLC/Third Way/New Democrats in general, is a corporatist. So is Barack Obama. So is Bill Clinton. This is a program that follows an economic theory called variously neoliberalism, Reaganomics, supply side economics or trickle-down economics. It is a fundamentally an unsustainable system and the results have been the transfer of wealth upwards. You may ask why almost all the income created since the crash of 2008 goes to a small class of people who own at least as much wealth than the bottom 50%. Yes, the fact that every president or either party we've had since 1980 has been a corporatist has a lot to do with it. The Free Trade pacts they have pushed have a lot to do with it. The fact that the middle class has evaporated during this time has a lot to do with it.

Capitalism is impossible to maintain without a market full of buyers. Without a large and thriving middle class, that will not be the case. My parents, who would both be over 100 today, saw that movie when they were young. It was called the Great Depression. They told me that I wouldn't want to see it. They told me what it was like.

I understand your point, Ms Vee. In spite of being a corporatist, Mrs Clinton has laudable views on equality before the law. She would be better than Jeb Bush, who, pathetic as it sounds, is the best the Republicans have to offer. There is a great deal of injustice afoot these days. Some of it is social injustice and some of it is economic injustice. Some of it seems more aimed at you, some of might be more aimed at me and quite a bit of it is aimed at both of us at once.

I'll close by saying that although we may agree on much, I still resent your post suggesting that possess some luxury or privilege that I can think about not voting for for a corporatist Democrat over a corporatist Republican. I have no luxuries. I'm a sick old man living on disability in ratty mobile home. I will turn 65 a few days before the 2016 election. I go into a panic whenever Paul Ryan, apparently soon to be Speaker of the House, tells me the country can't afford social security and medicare and that I am in a national hammock or when President Obama speaks warmly of the recommendations of the bipartisan catfood commission he appointed during his first term.

Even if Bernie is elected president, then I will still be hitting the streets in protest of what this country has become under the regime of neoliberalism or Reaganomics or whatever you want to call it. It will feel better, though, if the President is somebody who tells me that is exactly what good citizens should do in these times, rather than some mealy-mouthed pean about the virtues of law and order. And if the police shoot, I'll stand in front and make a pathetic effort to shield all I can. That, I think, would beat starving to death so that the rich can have more and more.

October 18, 2015

Even if this is a loyalty oath, I will not sign it; whether it is or isn't, I will not make promises

I've been watching Mrs Clinton for about a quarter-century now. She's been on my bad side more often than she has been on my good side. I'm tired of getting screwed, and the best thing I can say about the prospect of another New Democrat as president is that New Democrats don't screw us quite as bad as Republicans do.

I'll be 65 in a little more than a year. I'm a veteran. I made some mistakes and got some bad breaks. I'll probably die in poverty. I can deal with that, but I can't deal with the prospect of starving to death in a nation where no one should go hungry so that crooked banks can continue to rob the public and fossil fuel corporations can stay on life support while they poison the air and water and make the planet less habitable and then lie about it. I have major depression, which is probably showing through as I write this, but I didn't forget to take my last night. I don't think you have to suffer from mental illness to be upset about things as they are.

Democrats, that is New Democrats, are as responsible as Republicans for this state of affairs. Ronald Reagan's tenure in the White House was a disaster for America. Banking became the primary "industry" in America and deregulation and privatization took place under the dubious theory that successful businessmen are more rational than the rest of us and that a market regulates itself by nature. The result was mourning in America. We should know by mow that this is nonsense. Those who say they still believe it are either fools or political stooges looking for generous campaign contributions, better known as bribes, from corporate criminals like Legs Dimon and Pretty Boy Lloyd. Perhaps an even greater disaster was when some Democrats, blinded by the glitter and strobe lights of the propaganda from archconservatives about how good things were under Reagan, adopted Reaganomics as their own; they mayu call it something else, but it's still tricle down economics and it's still a failure. We ended up with Wall Street toads like Robert Rubin and Larry Summers pushing Republican policies in Democratic administrations. We got the deregulation of the communications industries, welfare deform and NAFTA. Those are not accomplishments in which any Democrat should take any pride.

We have an America that no New Dealer would recognize as spawning from the America they bequeathed to us. We fight imperialist wars to secure oil for western oil companies, a product we can replace and the sooner the better, widening income inequality and fascist leaders, some even passing a Democrats, who think the Fourth Amendment is dysfunctional and should be ignored. This is an America, and even a world, where bankers fixing interest rates manifests the blessings of liberty and workers organizing a union is subversive, even thuggish, activity.

I am supporting a candidate who very clearly wants to put a stop to this madness and reverse it. I am opposing a candidate who has been at the foundations of changing the Democratic party from a party of the people into Wall Street's go-to guys in government. Her recent populist pronouncements, at odds with her corporate-friendly past, are as murky and unconvincing as the pronouncement by oligarch-controlled media that she "crushed" all of her opponents Tuesday night.

Hillary Clinton is a hard pill for me to swallow. I will not make any promises I can't keep, so at this time I will not promise to vote for her in the general election if she is the nominee of the Democratic Party. I'll probably need every minute of the time between the close of the Philadelphia convention in August 2016 to when I vote on November 8 to make my final decision.

I will promise this: whoever is elected President, even if it is Bernie Sanders himself, then I will be in the streets demanding that the policies and programs he advocates today are enacted.

October 18, 2015


Well, we always said that the revolution will not be televised. The networks, broadcast and cable, are part of the oligarchy. They are part of the decadent aristocracy that needs to be removed from power, the sooner the better.

If you are getting your news from the MSM (by which I have never included FoxNews), then you are as misinformed as you would be watching FoxNews.

Kill your television set. Block ads on the internet. I'm mad as hell, and I'm not not going to take the oligarchs' fucking bullshit any more.

Who stands for the primacy of humanity over artificial persons? Who believes that life on a sustainable planet is more important than corporate profits? Stand up for the common people over the pretentious elites. We can run the world better than they can.

If this is socialism, let us make the most of it.

October 10, 2015

Let's stop this charade, shall we? We know quite a bit about what's in it

thanks to Mr. Assange and his organization. At least somedy is working to a the public informed in what is putatively a democratic state.

In addition, the fact that we "don't know" what's in it is reason enough to oppose it. We have every right to know what's in it, yet this agreement was negotiated by representatives of large corporations, major polluters and crooked banks.

Do we have any obligation to abide by an agreement not in our interest made in secret by enemies of the People and passed, as it will be, virtually without debate by corrupt politicians bought and paid for by the very polluters, banksters and union busters who stand to benefit at the expense of the public? I say we do not, and no court or militarized police force can make it so.

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Hometown: Sacramento Valley, California
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