Pigs on Parade: Our Corporate Democrats

It was perhaps inevitable that once our political system was captured by corporate interests, there would come a time when virtually all the candidates available to us were hypocrites. We’re looking at that time now on the national level. All three candidates still standing are corporate conservatives. Two of them have flip-flopped so many times they could be IHOP icons featuring pancakes instead of faces. The third is your standard political hypocrite, saying what people want to hear but voting and supporting very opposite policies to the ones he claims to be championing.

I shouldn’t have to tell you at this point which is which. The NYT helped today by breaking down the Democratic hypocrites, particularly Hillurary.

First, they note that in a recent speech, TweedleShe seems to be attempting to channel John Edwards.

Mrs. Clinton, speaking on the eve of the Wisconsin primary but looking forward to primaries in Ohio and Texas on March 4, issued a 12-page compendium of her economic policies that emphasizes programs aiding families stressed by high oil prices, home foreclosures, costly student loans and soaring health care premiums.

In public appearances here and in her economic booklet, she took aim at hedge fund managers, oil company profits, drug company subsidies and trade agreements that she says encourage companies to export jobs.

Then they reminded readers (something they’ve rarely if ever done with Bush) that she hasn’t always been such a “champion of the people”. That in fact, it’s all pretty new to her.

But she has also sought, often successfully, to win support and campaign contributions from an array of business leaders, including John J. Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley and one of the Republican Party’s biggest fund-raisers. And she infuriated many liberals last year when she told an audience at the Yearly Kos convention of bloggers that she would continue to take contributions from lobbyists because they “represent real Americans.”

Obama, rightfully, doesn’t come off much better. First, the New and Improved Obama, sounding a populist theme he stole from Edwards:

Campaigning in Ohio before flying to Wisconsin for an election-eve rally, Mr. Obama said the wealthy had “made out like bandits” under the Bush administration and called for an end to tax breaks for companies that move jobs overseas.

“In the last year alone,” Mr. Obama said, “93 plants have closed in this state. And yet, year after year, politicians in Washington sign trade agreements that are riddled with perks for big corporations but have absolutely no protections for American workers. It’s bad for our economy; it’s bad for our country.”

Better late than never? Perhaps. Until this graf brings the truth home in startling style: it’s all just campaign guff.

Mr. Obama has laid out an economic agenda that is broadly similar to Mrs. Clinton’s. But until recently, he was the target of criticism from some liberals for not being more outspoken about what they see as the deficiencies in the nation’s trade policies. For the last week, though, facing tough battles in the Midwest, Mr. Obama has been emphasizing the economic upheaval that trade deals have brought to communities in Wisconsin and Ohio, and he has sought in particular to put Mrs. Clinton on the defensive over Nafta, the North American trade pact signed into law by Mr. Clinton.

(emphasis added)

About the only way one can read the bolded part is as a bad joke. Not that long ago, TweedleBam voted for two Bush trade deals – with Panama and Peru – that were worse than the NAFTA fiasco. The Panama deal is little more than a corporate scam to escape both US taxes and US law. The Peru deal is a deliberate trick wherein corporations evade workers’ rights and enmvironmental standards by appearing to refer to a strong document for its legal basis but in fact use a much weaker one that gives almost all the control over deciding what is or isn’t a “right” or an “environmental benefit” to the corporations themselves. And we all know what happens when they’re allowed to decide such things without outside oversight. (BP explosions, anyone?)

Both these deals are abominable giveaways to corporate interests. Obama voted for both of them. So, to their everlasting shame, did many Democrats, but Barack is the candidate for president, not Charlie Rangel. For him to be trumpeting a populist message and haranguing TweedleShe on her trade policies after helping the corps get illegal and unethical trade powers with his votes sends Democratic hypocrisy soaring to whole new levels.

It isn’t that Obama “lacks substance” that’s the problem. He lacks honor. He’s selling us a pig-in-a-poke, and because it’s in a pretty bag we haven’t bothered to look inside at an extraordinarily ugly pig.

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