Many years ago, when I was a young reporter at the Toronto Star, I was assigned to interview Teamsters Union boss Jimmy Hoffa (photo at right). Canada’s New Democratic Party was just a gleam in the eyes of that nation’s labor leaders back then, and I asked Hoffa what he thought about the idea of unions forming their own political party. He pondered the question for a minute or two and replied that he thought it was a stupid idea because it would be much easier for the unions to take over one of the existing parties.
Reading reports of the opposition that President Obama is facing within his own political ranks, I wonder if the leaders of America’s conservative movement shares Hoffa’s view and are trying to take over the Democratic Party. As the old saying goes, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
With the growing influence of Blue Dog Democrats in Washington, I wonder how many of these politicians are plants. After all, how hard would it be to join the Democratic Party even if you don’t share its goals or ideals? To be a Democrat, all you have to do is register as one. Joe Liberman (right) was once a Democrat and Al Gore even chose him as his presidential running mate. Lieberman later showed his true loyalty by championing Republican candidate John McCain. Yet he is back in the Democratic caucus, with President Obama’s blessing.
Political “conservatives” must resort to deception because if voters knew what they really stand for they would have no chance of winning elections. Their primary goal is to help the rich get richer. This platform would never win in a general election because there are a lot more poor voters than rich voters.
So a group of very rich conservatives invest heavily in public relations campaigns, “think tanks,” smear tactics, dirty tricks, voter machine manipulation and other underhanded tactics to achieve their political ends. They have traditionally supported the Republican Party (as in the Swiftboat character assassination commercials) but I wouldn’t be surprised if they are infiltrating the Democratic Party in order to undermine – or at least control – it from within.
That suspicion was reinforced recently when I read an item in the Huffington Post about Ellen Tauscher (above, left), who is head of the New Democrat Coalition. She is attacking President Obama’s plan to help homeowners facing foreclosure. The plan would allow bankruptcy judges to write down mortgages to reflect fair market housing values, and Tauscher is working hard to stop it from happening. Why? According to writer Jane Hamsher, it’s because of her close ties to Adam Pase, the executive director of the New Democrat Coalition, which Tauscher chairs. Pase is is a former lobbyist with links to sub-prime lenders.
And Tauscher is just one example of the way so-called Democrats are obstructing the President’s attempts to avert an economic collapse. In Congress, for example, there are obstructionists not only among Republicans but also among the 49 “Blue Dog” Democrats who object to spending on social programs and who are dedicated to policies that favor big business. President Obama is obliged to work around these roadblocks to get his programs enacted.
Given their views, what are those conservative Blue Dogs doing in the Democratic Party? Surely they would be more at home as Republicans? My suspicion is that at least some of them are deliberate plants who have infiltrated the Democratic Party with the intention of frustrating its programs and eventually taking it over.
True Democrats have an obligation to oppose Blue Dogs in primary elections and ensure the nomination of candidates who share the party’s true goals. You can find a list of Blue Dogs and the areas they represent here: