Thursday, January 14, 2021

Truest statement of the week

The most volatile elements of “left” Democrats have finally understood that you can’t oppose corporate duopoly rule while living in the oligarchs’ (out)house. The former Sandernistas brought in the New Year loudly demanding that “The Squad” -- the handful of Democratic Representatives that style themselves as the “progressive” cutting edge of the Congress – refuse to support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House unless the 80-year old millionairess and corporate bag woman agreed to submit Medicare for All to a full House vote. “A vote on Medicare for All will prompt a national conversation on guaranteeing health care in the middle of a pandemic,” wrote  former Bernie Sanders press aide Briahna Joy Gray. A roll call tally “will show the country who really supports it, not just rhetorically, but in practice. Then we can hold our representatives accountable.” 

The goal of the exercise was to expose and embarrass those lawmakers that pretend to back legislation favored by nearly 90 percent of Democrats and 70 percent of all Americans, but who always buckle to Pelosi’s corporate discipline. Gray, Dr. Cornel West, Movement for a People’s Party national coordinator Nick Brana, NFL player Justin Jackson and podcasters Katie Halper, Krystal Ball, Kyle Kulinski and Jimmy Dore held a #ForceTheVote Town Hall  to compel The Squad to act as the people’s operatives in the legislative bowels of the beast. As it turned out, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and her leftish congressional cohorts chose to serve as the first corporate line of defense against the #ForceTheVote  strategy -- originally conceived by Jimmy Dore

AOC threw up flak like a veteran corporate dissembler, tweeting that she and her allies had won a great concession from Pelosi to exempt Medicare for All from the PAYGO (“pay-as-you-go”) House rule requiring big-money bills to identify enabling revenues before consideration for passage. PAYGO was put in place by Pelosi in 2019  to demonstrate that Democrats were “fiscally responsible,” continuing Barack Obama’s second term quest for a Grand Bargain with the GOP. “Progressives in the House have won a rules change that would allow Medicare for All, a Green New Deal or other big ticket agenda items to be exempted from paygo,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “This was a necessary step in opening the way for it.” 

But of course, the gesture was merely a reshuffling of marked cards. Jimmy Dore responded  to an AOC defender at The Intercept: “Unwittingly, what he’s doing here is making the case for #ForceTheVote, because now we’ve got rid of the hurdles that would stop it, so we can just go do it.” AOC was “pretending to be part of a movement," but was in reality still "running cover for Nancy Pelosi." 

Justin Jackson, the Los Angeles Chargers running back whose mother died from breast cancer when he was a child, unable to afford adequate treatment, refused to accept  the corporate logic. “You have politicians that are saying they are supporting us for a fight, but when we actually come up with a strategy to do it, now it’s ‘I can’t do that particular thing’…it doesn’t make any sense.  What other time than now? There’s a pandemic raging right now.”

-- Glen Ford, "The Squad Won’t Fight Pelosi and Corporate Power" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).




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