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02-11-13 Here's Why Plutocrats Control Our Politics

02-11-13 Here's Why Plutocrats Control Our Politics

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Published by William J Greenberg
American politics has been inexorably lurching to the right... There are...many factors that contribute to that sad reality... One factor... stands out for how it so destructively shapes the assumptions that define our political discourse. That factor can be called "liberal washing."
American politics has been inexorably lurching to the right... There are...many factors that contribute to that sad reality... One factor... stands out for how it so destructively shapes the assumptions that define our political discourse. That factor can be called "liberal washing."

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Published by: William J Greenberg on Nov 07, 2013
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12/09/2013

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Here's Why Plutocrats Control Our Politics
By David Sirota, Salon02 November 13
 Here's why plutocrats control our politics: Corporate America knows both  parties are up for sale
What is most striking about the present is not the virtues of moderation but of the potential poer of !onvi!tion" #ne dete!ts, behind all the an$iety about %e$tremists,% %radi!als,% and %militant minorities,% a degree of envy" #n the &ight there is a group ith enough !ommitment to a shared pro'e!t that is illing and able to disrupt the ordinary fun!tioning of government" (f only the )eft had su!h hereithal" We might, at the very least, get something more than than the e!onomi!ally stagnant, politi!ally oppressive *ugumpery of the Demo!rati! +arty" - .a!obin%s /le$ ourevit!hhis tren!hant passage about liberals% rea!tion to the ea +arty summaries a hugely signifi!ant yet little dis!ussed truism /meri!an politi!s has  been ine$orably lur!hing to the right not only be!ause of the e$tremism of the ea +arty, but also be!ause of a la!k of ea +arty-like !ohesion, organiation and energy on the left" here are, of !ourse, many fa!tors that !ontribute to that sad reality in!luding a su!!essful ar on the labor movement4 a !ampaign finan!e system that makes !onservative oligar!hs even more poerful than they already are4 and a mediasphere that ignores prin!iples and tells liberals everything must be seen e$!lusively in partisan red-versus-blue terms" #ne fa!tor, though, stands out for ho it so destru!tively shapes the assumptions that define our politi!al dis!ourse" hat fa!tor !an be !alled liberal ashing"Similar to green ashing or so-!alled gay ashing5rainbo ashing,liberal ashing is all about rapping !orporate /meri!a%s agenda in the veneer of fight-for-the-little-guy progressivism, thus portraying pluto!rats% radi!al rip-off s!hemes as ideologi!ally moderate efforts to res!ue the proles")iberal ashing has alays been around, of !ourse" But it has really risen to  prominen!e - and dominan!e - in modern times" (ndeed, one of the most reliable  politi!al a$ioms of the last 30 years is this (f !orporate /meri!a !ooks up a
 
s!heme to rip off the middle !lass, &epubli!ans ill provide the bulk of the !ongressional votes for the s!heme - but enough establishment-!redentialed liberals inevitably ill endorse the s!heme to make it at least appear to be mainstream and bipartisan" 6es, it seems no matter ho venal, underhanded or outright !orrupt a heist may be, there alays ends up being a group of i!ons ith liberal billing ready to drive the getaay !ar"he most reliable ay to liberal-ash something is to get a famous Demo!rat to support it" his is be!ause even though many Demo!rati! politi!ians, party offi!ials, operatives and pundits are neither liberal nor progressive, the media nonetheless usually portrays all people affiliated ith the Demo!rati! +arty as uniformly liberal on all issues"he famous e$amples of liberal ashing !ome from the White 7ouse" / fe de!ades ago, Demo!rati! +resident Bill 8linton liberal-ashed !orporatist s!hemes like N/9/ and finan!ial deregulation" oday, it is Demo!rati! +resident Bara!k #bama liberal-ashing the insuran!e industry%s health!are initiatives and no  'oining ith a handful of Demo!rati! legislators to liberalash - and legitimie - the right-ing !rusade to slash So!ial Se!urity benefits"But, then, as eviden!ed by 'ust the last fe months of nes, liberal ashing also operates 'ust as poerfully in other politi!al arenas"(n the 8ongress, for e$ample, the NS/ surveillan!e programs that so enri!h private !ontra!tors erefranti!ally liberal-ashed by :among others; 8alifornia Sen" Dianne 9einstein :D"; (n that !ase, the liberal ashing served as a handsome  payba!k for the private surveillan!e !ontra!ting industry that bankrolls the 8alifornia lamaker%s ele!tion !ampaigns and her family" )ikeise, in the think tank se!tor, the 8enter for /meri!an +rogress :here ( on!e orked many years ago; is ne$t eek liberal-ashing oldman Sa!hs 8<# )loyd Blankfein and another oldman e$e!utive" hat%s right /!!ording to the Beltay%s most prominent liberal think tank, the bailed out bank isn%t the reat =ampire S>uid that helped destroy the e!onomy" (t is, instead, a!!ording to 8/+, an i!on of shared so!ial goals in areas like housing, !lean energy and - most re!ently -  preventive so!ial servi!es" Su!h liberal ashing is a !lear +"&" !oup for oldman Sa!hs - one it as probably hoping for hen, a!!ording tothe Nation magaine,
 
oldman Sa!hs be!ame one of 8/+%s many !orporate donors no doubt looking to  be liberal-ashed"#ut on the !ampaign trail, it is often the same kind of liberal ashing" /s 'ust the most famous e$ample, then-Neark *ayor 8ory Booker used his billing as a liberal hero to famously liberal-ash the private e>uity industry%s predatory  business model and its anti-publi! s!hool agenda" (n return for his efforts, he as shoered ith Wall Street !ash, hi!h helped him then buy his state%s Demo!rati! nomination for ?"S" Senate - and, ultimately, the ?"S" Senate seat itself"/t the muni!ipal level, this kind of thing !an be even more shameless, and it involves not only Demo!rati! politi!ians but also leaders of traditionally liberal organiations" / fe years ago, for e$ample, some :but not all;  prominent union leaders helped liberal-ash &ahm <manuel" hose union leaders endorsed the former investment banker  in his run for 8hi!ago mayor, despite <manuel being the ar!hite!t of the union-!rushing N/9/ and !alling liberals fu!king retarded" #n!e ele!ted, <manuel used his manufa!tured liberal !redentials to then liberal-ash a full-s!ale ar on organied labor" hat ar has in!luded s!hool !losings andefforts to privatie muni!ipal servi!es - aka poli!ies designed to undermine publi!-se!tor unions"/ similar story is no playing out in &hode (sland, here finan!ial e$e!utive-turned-Demo!rati! State reasurer ina &aimondo is liberal-ashing a Wall Street rip-off plot of truly epi! proportions" 8hampioning a s!heme that enri!hes the same finan!ial industry that bankrolls her !ampaigns, &aimondo has used her publi! offi!e to slash retiree benefits and divert more of the state%s publi! pension funds into risky hedge funds" Not surprisingly, the latter move for!es retirees to pay the e$!essive fees to the same finan!ial industry that laun!hed &aimondo%s !areer"/s if unders!oring the devious liberal-ashing ob'e!tives, &aimondo has made sure to publi!ly bill her pension-slashing re!ord as proof that she is a progressive Demo!rat" Su!h language is the epitome of liberal ashing, as it e>uates  progressivism ith slashing retiree benefits" 9or her efforts, &aimondo has been supported by <nron billionaire .ohn /rnold - ho re!ently tried to liberal-ash himself  ith a high-profile donation to 7ead Start after he as outed as the

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