[Marxism] capitalists' two-party political system: a case study

Dayne Goodwin daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Sun Oct 4 05:17:25 MDT 2009

Dick Gephardt's Spectacular Sellout

By Sebastian Jones
The Nation magazine
October 19, 2009

. . .
Taken as a whole, Gephardt's success represents two distinct problems.
For Democrats, it raises the legitimate question of whether his
ideological shift from progressive populist to big business champion
is indicative of where the entire party is headed after two successive
electoral victories. For Washington, it exposes the rot at the core
and the insidious manner in which Gephardt has harnessed his
media-anointed, colleague-respected role as an expert on issues of
labor and universal healthcare to work against reforms for both.
While it is well within Gephardt's rights to make money representing
every anti-labor, anti-environmental, anti-universal healthcare client
he can find, the former Congressman cannot have it both ways. Neither
can the Democratic Party. In 2006 the top issue for voters was
Washington's "culture of corruption," epitomized by Tom DeLay's K
Street Project and Jack Abramoff's illegal excesses. Then, as in the
2008 campaign, Democrats were happy to decry the influence of
lobbyists and special interests at every turn. As an electoral
strategy, it worked brilliantly, but there has been little real reform
to match the rhetoric. So it is hardly surprising that men like
Gephardt continue to be welcome in polite progressive company, to be
treated as statesmen by the media and their Congressional colleagues,
and to serve as ostensibly neutral experts on issues they are heavily
invested in on behalf of their new employers. Progressives would be
fooling themselves to think the Gephardts of the Beltway are any
different from their Republican predecessors. In fact, when it comes
to cynically exploiting his reputation to profit his new employers,
Gephardt is worse.


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