[Marxism] Ralph Nader: The Democrats Are Unable to Defend the U.S. from the “Most Vicious” Republican Party in History

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jul 9 15:26:53 MDT 2018

JON SCHWARZ: I’m interested in the history of the Democrats caving, 
being more and more willing to do whatever the right wants, for the past 
40 years. Take the recent stories about Jared Kushner. Whatever the 
ultimate underlying reality there, I think it’s fair to say that if a 
Democratic president had appointed their son-in-law to hold a position 
of tremendous power in the White House – if Hillary Clinton had 
appointed Chelsea’s husband Marc Mezvinsky – and stories had come out in 
the Washington Post and New York Times about him trying to set up a back 
channel with Russia, he would have been out the door before the day was 

RALPH NADER: Do you want me to go through the history of the decline and 
decadence of the Democratic Party? I’m going to give you millstones 
around the Democratic Party neck that are milestones.

The first big one was in 1979. Tony Coelho, who was a congressman from 
California, and who ran the House Democratic Campaign treasure chest, 
convinced the Democrats that they should bid for corporate money, 
corporate PACs, that they could raise a lot of money. Why leave it up to 
Republicans and simply rely on the dwindling labor union base for money, 
when you had a huge honeypot in the corporate area?

And they did. And I could see the difference almost immediately. First 
of all, they lost the election to Reagan. And then they started getting 
weaker in the Congress. At that time, 1980, some of our big allies were 
defeated in the so-called Reagan landslide against Carter, we lost 
Senator [Gaylord] Nelson, Senator [Warren] Magnuson, Senator [Frank] 
Church. We had more trouble getting congressional hearings investigating 
corporate malfeasance by the Democrat [congressional committee] chairs. 
When the Democrats regained the White House [in 1992] you could see the 
difference in appointments to regulatory agencies, the difficulty in 
getting them to upgrade health and safety regulations.

The second millstone is that they didn’t know how to deal with Reagan. 
And the Republicans took note. That means a soft tone, smiling … You can 
say terrible things and do terrible things as long as you have [that] 
type of presentation.

[Democrats] were still thinking Republican conservatives were dull, 
stupid, and humorless. They didn’t adjust.


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