Spank the Donkey

My friend Steve Perry has some somber thoughts on the Democratic Party:

You could say that times changed and the party changed with them, and you would be right so far as it goes. But it had nothing to do with the sentiments of the people. The party’s right turn was a move conceived from within and designed to make the Democrats a more appealing vehicle for major private and corporate donors. This past election notwithstanding, the strategy has been an enormous success. Cash receipts have grown mightily. The business wing of the party has generated a president who became the first Democrat since FDR to win re-election to the White House, and missed electing his successor by a handful of votes (one vote, really, in the Supreme Court). The business Democrats’ hold on the national party apparatus is complete.

The Reagan/Bush/Clinton years worked many changes in the political culture, and none was more profound than the market revolution. Over the past generation the American public has been relentlessly conditioned to believe that whatever is dictated by the market — in more guileless days, it was simply called the money power — is sensible, reasonable, necessary. Our values and aspirations as a society are now routinely subjected to the flummery of cost/benefit analyses in which it’s understood that the only thing that really matters is cost. Democrats, under cover of “realism,” are every bit as complicit in this shift as Republicans.

And where does it leave us? More than ever, the business of America is business (and its stepchild, war) and the business of Democrats is betrayal.