Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Truest statement of the week II

Black Agenda Report has long understood the Democratic Party to be a graveyard for social movements in the United States. An online push led by Jimmy Dore and the Movement for a People’s Party to #Forcethevote only further confirmed the true function of the Democratic Party. The call was simple. So-called “progressive” Activists pushing #Forcethevote  asked “progressive” members of the Democratic Party to withhold their vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House in exchange for a floor vote on Medicare for All. Democrats have grown in number while the Democratic Party’s control of the House has shrunk, thereby making Nancy Pelosi’s path to Speaker of the House more precarious. 

Not one member of “the Squad” withheld their vote for Pelosi or made the demand of a floor vote for Medicare for All a subject of protest during the proceedings. What was revealed in the weeks leading up to the vote, however, was the ongoing Obama-fication of “the Squad.” Jimmy Dore and other activists demanding a Medicare for All floor vote were relentlessly attacked on social media. Benjamin Dixon, Sam Seder, Nomiki Konst, and other mouthpieces of the so-called “progressive” media accused Dore of being a federal agent , an Assad apologist,  and a “grifter.” Popular left-ish journalists Krystal Ball and Kyle Kulinski agreed with the tactic on principle but maintained their loyalty to “the Squad” as a viable leftwing political force. Activists in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) renounced Jimmy Dore publicly but avoided the political issue of the floor vote despite the demand being a key part of their organizing strategy toward Congress.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez insinuated on Twitter that Dore’s brash and profanity-laden criticisms amounted to “violence” toward her.

 The backlash against #Forcethevote is indicative of a hive mentality among so-called “progressive” Democrats that is eerily reminiscent of the period of Obama’s presidential reign. Obama’s eight years in the Oval Office were a lonely time for those at Black Agenda Report and anyone else who upheld the principles of Black self-determination, socialism, and class struggle. Nearly the ENTIRE left ignored or condemned criticisms leveled against Obama. Obama was the “chosen one and his status as the “first Black president” was beyond reproach. Critics of Obama from the Left were called racists and GOP apologists. Obama’s impact on the political consciousness of the Left was so immense that Black Americans, typically the most progressive constituency on issues of economic justice and war, had grown more economically optimistic  and pro-U.S. intervention than ever before by the end of Obama’s first presidential term.

 In 2016, I wrote a ten-part series on the Obama legacy and clearly delineated how the “first Black president” operated as the more effective evil of U.S. imperialism. Conditions for Black America worsened under Obama, with Black wealth placed on a collision course toward zero during his two terms. Obama refused to prosecute bankers and killer cops but found time to sip contaminated water in Flint, Michigan and call protestors “thugs” in Baltimore in the aftermath of the police murder of Freddie Gray . Furthermore, Obama’s “Grand Bargain” with the Republican Party included a non-stop regime of austerity that ballooned the war machine at a time when left critics of Obama were being marginalized and denounced at every turn. The political stagnation engendered by Obama’s sheer presence in the White House paved a smooth road for Donald Trump’s successful 2016 presidential campaign.

-- Danny Haiphong, "The Obama-fication of “The Squad” Strengthens the Right at the Expense of the Left" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).



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