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Hillary’s “Big Tent” is Obama’s “Grand Bargain” on Steroids

Saturday, November 5, 2016 7:25
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by Glenn Ford, BAR

When Donald Trump took a wrecking ball to the Republican Party he provided the unexpected catalyst for completion of the corporate project begun by Bill Clinton, Al Gore and other white Democrats in the 1980s, with the founding of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). To counter relentless attrition of whites to the GOP in their home states, these beleaguered, mostly southern Democrats sought national corporate funding to turn their party decisively to the right. They reckoned, correctly, that a steady stream of corporate capital would allow them to control the new wave of Black voters and politicians that had been mobilized by Rev. Jesse Jackson’s two presidential campaigns, while strengthening the hand of the South in national Democratic Party calculations.

Bill Clinton became the first DLC president in 1992, and moved swiftly and methodically to narrow the ideological differences between the duopoly parties. He completed much of Ronald Reagan’s agenda, claiming it as his own; destroyed welfare “as we knew it”; vastly expanded the mass Black Incarceration regime; pushed NAFTA through Congress over the objections of majorities in his own party; engineered the corporate monopolization of broadcast media; and removed the last safety straps from Wall Street banks.

“Clinton arranged the deployment of thousands of foreign jihadists to Bosnia and Kosovo.”

In foreign affairs, Clinton initiated what was to become the doctrine of “humanitarian” military intervention, dismantling and partially occupying the socialist nation of Yugoslavia. In the process, Clinton arranged the deployment of thousands of foreign jihadists to Bosnia and Kosovo, thus keeping operational the network created by the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Pakistan during the previous decade in Afghanistan. In Africa, Clinton conspired with Uganda and exiled Tutsi rebels to overthrow the Hutu majority government in Rwanda, setting off a bloodbath in 1994, followed two years later by an invasion of Congo that has killed more than six million people — and still counting.

Barack Obama was the second DLC president (although he lies about his membership). He, too, moved with unseemly haste to reach a “Grand Bargain” with the GOP — not of necessity, since he had won a huge electoral mandate with the overwhelming financial backing of Wall Street, but as a matter of ideological principle. In January of 2009, before even taking the oath of office, Obama told the editorial boards of the New York Times and the Washington Post that all “entitlements,” including Medicare and Social Security, would be “on the table” for cutting in his administration. Obama’s first project, now considered the centerpiece of his legacy, was to resurrect the rightwing Heritage Foundation’s corporate health insurance scheme, adopted by Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole in 1996, and made into state law by Republican Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, in 2006. Obama’s Affordable Care Act was, literally, written by lobbyists for the insurance and drug industries, and is now collapsing like a poorly constructed house at the end of its mortgage.

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