The following article, which I am reproducing whole here, came from a March 7 posting over at former Labor Secretary Robert Reich's brilliant blog "http://robertreich.org/". I have taken the liberty of bolding where I felt necessary. My own comments will follow this piece at bottom and will appear in bolded italic. Enjoy!
The Birth of the People’s Party
Monday, March 7, 2011
Look at the outrage in Madison, Wisconsin. Look at the crowds in DesMoines, Iowa. Look at the demonstrations in Indiana and Ohio and elswhere around America.
Hear what they’re saying: Stop attacking unions. Stop making scapegoats out of public employees. Stop protecting the super-rich from paying their fair share of the taxes needed to keep our schools running.
Stop gutting the working middle class.
Are we finally seeing average Americans stand up and demand a fair shake in an economy now grotesquely tilted toward the wealthy and the privileged? Are Americans beginning to awake to the fact that our economy now delivers a larger share of total income to the very top than at any time in living memory? That big corporations are making more money and creating more jobs ABROAD than in the United States?
That this concentration of income and wealth has so corrupted politics that corporations can extort whatever they want from the government — tax breaks, loan guarantees, subsidies — while the super-rich can take most of their income as capital gains (taxed at 15 percent), and the rest at the lowest top rate in 25 years? And that because of this our kids are crowded into classrooms, our streets and highways and bridges are falling apart, and our healthcare bills are out of control?
The Tea Party grew out of indignation over the Wall Street bailout — an indignation shared by the vast majority of Americans. But the Tea Party ended up directing its ire at government rather than at big business and Wall Street. Was this because billionaires Charles and David Koch and their like funneled money to the Tea Party through front organizations like Dick Armey’s Freedom Works, and thereby co-opted it?
Now we may be seeing the birth of a genuine populist movement. Call it the People’s Party. Like the Tea Party, the People’s Party doesn’t have a clear organization or hierarchy or single address. It doesn’t have lobbyists in Washington. It’s not even yet recognized by the mainstream media.
But the People’s Party seems to be growing in numbers and in intensity. And it’s starting to push elected officials — first at the state level — to listen and respond.
I WHOLEHEARTEDLY support this creation of a new PEOPLE'S PARTY! I say, let it become as powerful and influential a faction within the Democratic Party as the Tea Party has become in the Republican Party! Conservative Republicanism failed this country way back in the 1920s. Foolishly, today's reactionary Republicans stubbornly cling to those thoroughly discredited, unfair, and HARMFUL "supply-side" and "free market" CRAZY economic beliefs and practices! Blue Dog Democrats, too cowardly or too conservative to behave as REAL Democrats used to, (being a strong force for econpmic change and fairness), have dragged the Democratic Party down. They have saddled it with heretical corporatist ideology. They have undercut the President's more progressive planks and weakened him politically, forcing him to make unnecessary and damaging overtures to, and compromises with, the reactionary Repulicans.
People are understandably frustrated. I share that frustration.
NEITHER PARTY REPRESENTS THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION ANY LONGER. The Republicans are ALL bought-out, corporate shills and represent only the religious right, big business, and the wealthiest 2% of the country. Scott Walker and his reactionary Republicans' actions in Wisconsin prove that this miserable party is bound determined to attack American workers to aid the rich. The Democrats have become impotent and no longer represent the poor OR The middle class, either. They, too, have become plutocratic puppets who are completely compromised by the oligarchy this country has become. Only a handful of progressives, notably Vermont Senator BERNIE SANDERS, Minnesota Senator AL FRANKEN, Ohio Senator SHERROD BROWN, and Oregon Senator RON WYDEN have shown any gumption at all, by consistently voting in favor of "normal, everyday, working Americans" who make up most of the remaining 98% of the population.
Writing in www.forbes.com, in an article called "Is Wisconsin the Real Republican Waterloo?", E.D. Kain says, "In Wisconsin, Democrats are already promising to step-up recall efforts. But the recalls are only a small part of what is likely going to be a huge anti-Republican backlash across the nation, as working Americans finally realize what that party actually stands for: a playing field heavily tilted toward the rich and powerful, toward corporate power, and against worker rights...And now conservatives have chosen public-sector workers and teachers as their hill to die on. They have followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and elected Scott Walker, Rick Scott, and various other Tea Party candidates. Heavily funded by big campaign donors like the Koch brothers and other corporate interests, the Republican party has made a concerted effort across the country to take on unions, public pensions, and social services for the poor...Republicans have a long history of union-busting and anti-labor rhetoric, but taking on teachers and cops is a big mistake. This blatant effort to weaken the Democratic party will have precisely the opposite effect...Now Scott Walker has given progressives their chance. This is the Democrats' chance to recapture that narrative, to turn the discussion back to the dignity of the middle class, to the importance of policies that do not simply push power and capital ever upward. THIS is the Republican’s Waterloo." PRETTY ASTOUNDING OBSERVATIONS FOR ONE WRITING FOR FORBES.COM!
NOW IS THE TIME! People are fired up and are now starting to recognize the threat the conservative Republicans pose to us all. This country needs President Obama and ALL Progressives to wean Democrats away from the timid Blue Dog and conservative influencees and unite under a new, MUCH more responsive, pro-labor, and progressive PEOPLE'S PARTY. The time is ripe for all progressives to flood Democratic Party caucuses next year and slowly replace the corrupting influences within, eventually filling them with progressive-minded PEOPLE'S PARTY activists instead! This would not only ensure the President's re-election, but it would free him from the confines he's been forced to operate under. When this occurs, I'll bet we see an invigorated President who will actually be able to accomplish just what voters need and really want, and what they expected when they elected him in 2008. Remember, the President started out with a much more progressive agenda. After lukewarm Democratic support and no support at all from Republicans, he grew more timid in his approach. I believe that, with an overwhelming new Democratic majority composed of a strong PEOPLE'S PARTY faction, he will return to the form he showed right after he was first elected.
Like Robert Reich, I, too, believe this to be a growing, GENUINELY populist movement in dire need of an activist launching. Will you join me in this push for a truly progressive alternative to the phony, Koch brothers-financed ultra-conservative Tea Party? Will you attend next year's Democratic caucuses, write repeated letters to the editor of your local paper, TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS AND CO-WORKERS, and post info about what you're doing to attract others on Facebook and Twitter? By doing so, we may just be able to completely reverse this long downhill slide the conservative Republicans have had this country on for the past 30 years!
This is NOT a move to radicalize the Democratic Party. Rather, it is a way to RESTORE it to the party it once was: a party deserving of respect, which will again actually deliver for its constituents (and the entire country), as it should!
JOIN ME, PROGRESSIVES! THIS IS THE MOMENT WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR!
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