I would like the Democratic party to become the sort of anti-Republican party, to give Newark’s mayor, Cory Booker, a reason to become Republican (where he could become Mitt Romney’s VP pick). It’s not just about branding and choosing an ideology that can deliver a victory. Unfortunately, it’s about money. And, Democrats are really good at getting Wall Street – and Bain Capital – largess.
…[T]his was not some aberrational outburst from Booker; to the contrary, as Mayor of Newark, home to numerous Wall Street executives and firms, “financial support from Wall Street and, more broadly speaking, the investor class has been key to Booker’s rise, and remains key to his future dreams.”
But there’s nothing unique in that regard about Booker, who has long been regarded as a rising star in the Party. The same can be said of the Democratic Party generally. There was more or less a conscious decision in the early 1990s that the Party would transform itself into a servant of Wall Street and corporatism. It became the party of Robert Rubin and Larry Summers as it presided over massive de-regulation of the financial industry. And in response, the corporate money poured into the Party’s coffers and hasn’t stopped pouring in.
But wait, Wall Street donors are liberal on social issues? What would the United States gain if over the long term if it went green, recognized same-sex marriages, and established a marketplace of religions instead of a theocracy, IF unions were busted and Wall Street lobbyists became regulatory fixtures? Bust-and-boom-let cycles, with ever more black swan events, and social pressures boiling until mass protests hit the streets? It’s an equality of misery, not progress.
The Democratic party wouldn’t need “pragmatists”, like Harold Ford, Jr. or Corry Booker, if it took a strong stand on campaign finance. To his credit, Booker did oppose Citizens United. Booker’s spirited self-defense also highlights the weakness of a campaign against Romney with Bain in the cross-hairs: Bain spreads it around to all the political animals, elephants and donkeys alike.
That anti-Dubya, “Romney is another reactionary in moderate’s garb” strategy looks even more like a winner.
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