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imperialism & war

Cindy versus Hillary: Holding the Democrats Accountable

"Sheehan isn't stopping her critique with Bush. On the contrary, she has begun to set her sights on Congress and the Democratic Party as well.
In a move that is sure to send fissures through the Democratic party "leadership," antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan is squaring off against Hillary Clinton:

"Sheehan isn't stopping her critique with Bush. On the contrary, she has begun to set her sights on Congress and the Democratic Party as well. When she spoke in Brooklyn on the night before, she took note of the fact that Senator Hillary Clinton voted to authorize Bush to use force in Iraq and- like most Senate Democrats-has done little to bring the troops home. Clinton, in fact, has filed legislation calling for more troops.

"In an interview after her speech, Sheehan told the Voice she was 'so frustrated' by leading Democrats like Clinton 'who should be leaders on this issue, but are not.' Already, she has set up a future meeting with New York's junior senator this weekend. And she plans to sit down with the state's senior senator, Chuck Schumer, too. 'It's time for them to step up and be the opposition party,' she said. 'This war is not going to end unless the Democrats are on board with us.'"

Good luck with those meetings, Cindy -- especially the one with Hillary -- but if I were you I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the Democratic party to step up to the plate. You'll remember that the legislation authorizing U.S efforts to intervene in Iraq, the "Iraq Liberation Act," was sponsored by Hillary's hubby, the Great Pants-Dropper, and Senator Schumer was one of the more vociferous in supporting the bill.

Yes, it's true that a great many rank-and-file Democrats are opposed to this war, and, unlike Hillary and her fellow Hillary-crats, don't want to send additional troops to Iraq to "finish the job." However, they don't control the Democratic party, which has slavishly tied itself to neoconservative foreign policy goals -- albeit with a slightly different emphasis than the Republicans.

This is a learning process that the anti-war left is going through, and it will be interesting to see how it develops. We can, in any case, be sure of this: Cindy and her admirers will come away from this looming confrontation with the Democratic party leadership with a far more realistic view of "who should be leaders on this issue" -- and, more importantly, who are their friends, and who qualifies as an enemy.

UPDATE: According to my sources, the meeting with Schumer did not go well, to begin with, because he refused to meet with her, and instead sent an aide. She asked the aide if Senator Schumer would help in the effort to bring this war to an end, and the aide replied that: "Senator Schumer thinks this war is good for America." According to the source, Sheehan walked out, remarking "Wel, I guess this means Schumer thinks my son's death was good for America." Or words to that effect.
cindy, they're gonna naderize you 20.Sep.2005 17:57

?

when you forcefully & truthfully criticize the democratic party, they will bring out the sledge hammers. nader can personally attest to this fact.

they're probably starting to realize you're not willing to be their puppet

your so called friends /supporters like code pink, michael moore, & the rest of the democrtic party front organizations & shills are going to start distancing themselves from you. their main goal is not to end the war, but to elect democrats.

You think so? 20.Sep.2005 19:27

jac

You do realize that Code Pink is part of the out NOW crowd don't you? Code Pink members I know are just as disgusted with the Dems as Cindy is, and say so often and loudly. Code Pink was with Cindy in the ditch in Crawford and in front of the Federal Building in Portland EVERY DAY for 3 weeks in solidarity with Cindy! You think they are going to walk on her because she is calling for strong leadership? Hell no, they are calling WITH HER.

I do not know where you get your info, but Code Pink is no more a "Dem front org" as you say, than the John Birch Society.

hillary who? 20.Sep.2005 20:34

maslauskas

want some dirt on hillary? well, her you go:

 http://prorev.com/hillary.htm

And neither is Micheal Moore 20.Sep.2005 21:33

Clark

Micheal Moore is not a "dem front group". If you have read his books, you would know he is almost more annoyed by dems who pretend they are for the people then go ahead and vote for every repug legislation there is. Micheal Moore is just a normal guy like you and me who has taken heat from everyone. He wants to end the war and the only dems he wants to elect are REAL dems.

RE: You think so? & And neither is Micheal Moore 21.Sep.2005 04:00

?

"Code Pink members I know are just as disgusted with the Dems as Cindy is, and say so often and loudly"

" He wants to end the war and the only dems he wants to elect are REAL dems."

then why did code pink/medea & michael moore endorse & shill for johnnie " i'm talking about winning in iraq" kerry"?

Important to remember 21.Sep.2005 07:08

Mike stepbystpefarm <a> mtdata.com

When we say "the Dems" or "the Republicans" we are pretending that we have a political system resembling a parilamentary democracy with it's "strong" parties. We do not. Our parties have a national existence only because of the need to coordinate for presidential elections and caucuses in Congress.

What DOES make sense (usually) is to speak of "the Oregon Democratic Party" and the "Oregon Republican Party" or substitute the state of commonwealth of your choice. That's because our widest elections (acutally) are on a statewide basis. It does make sense (nowadays) to assume that wherever you are the Dems are to the left of the Republicans but ..........

a) You have no reason to suppose that the Democrats of state A are to the left of the Republicans of state B.

b) That the candidates run for statewide office always reflect the left right divisions. After all, there are multiple dimensions to "left-right", economic, big v small capitalism, social, environmental" etc. When Bill Weld (running as a Republican*) first won the governorship of Massachusetts his Democratic opponent was far to his right on social issues. You could not properly say that Truman was to the left of Dewey to look at an election from the past.

c) Historically there have been other elements assoicated with our parties than now. That's why I put that * becuase somebody like Bill Weld is really descended form one of those "other" tradions of the Republicans, one that lost out in a fight for the soul of the party almost a hundred years ago. Yes, "environmantalism" was once associated with the Republicans and "big business" wasn't (though it won the fight to take the party over) and back then "labor" was not yet associated with the Democrats.

We all think of "the New Deal" as being a Democrat thing but its ideas come from the LaFolllet type Republicans. I'm old enough to remember the "Solid South" (Democrats) but we now call these same people conservative Republicans and it's just the party affiliation that changed, not their politics. Likewise here in my own Massachusetts which like the rest of New England used to be solid Republican -- but not the sort of politics we now assoicate with that party.

WHY AM I SAYING ALL THIS? We will fail as long as we try to understand politics here in the US as if it were a "strong party parliamentary" system. Our goals SHOULD be to bring about a realignment such as historically taken place in American politics. Our problem is that currently there is a "ruling coalition" of "big business capitalists", "strong centralists", and "scoial conservatives". We do not seem to be able to put together an opposiiton coalition of interests and many siginificant components of traditional US politics are currently "out in the cold".

Back to the primaries again , here we go... 21.Sep.2005 09:08

me

Yeah, that is why Michael Moore endorsed Wesley Clark, an ex general who ordered bombs dropped on civilians. If Moore was really supposedly for the people he would've stood with Nader.

The only opposition... 21.Sep.2005 14:06

Marik marik@aracnet.com

There is no opposition party in america. The only opposition to the war is ordinary average people. Activists who work tirelessly to spread information and protests throughout our communities and nations. People like Cindy Sheehan are what we need. People who are sick and fucking tired of the ruling class selling us out. I often wonder how anyone can still say the Dem's are an opposition party...I have yet to see ANY evidence that we are moving toward a full removal of U.S. presence in Iraq. Take Michael Moore for example. I've been a subscriber to his farce of a mailing list for about 2 or 3 years...it took Hurricane Katrina to break his silence. I still have yet to hear him promote the Sept 24th mobilizations...although Cindy Sheehan has been at all of her speeches. The only time I ever see Hillary speak about Iraq is when she's giving the 'progress' a thumbs up. Now the Democrats are sponsoring a ridiculous "Exit Strategy" that includes 'moving all U.S. troops to the borders of Iraq and maintaining U.S. military bases in Iraq.' Is this truly what we want to sponsor? There is no exit involved!

Only when we, those who tire of seeing the rulers of this country killing innocents in another country on the foundation of lies, turn our backs from these rulers - Democrats and Republicans alike, will we find a resolution to end the Iraq war. It's been 3 years now, and we still rely on the Democrats to form some sort of opposition...how much longer will we wait?

See you on September 24th.


Which comes first? 21.Sep.2005 16:08

Mike stepbystpefarm <a> mtdata.com

Marik, of course there is no effective "opposition party".

You need to ask WHY that is so. You need to stop to reconsider what an effective party is. I assume you are talking about MORE than a contesting "power faction" within the same general coalition.

A political party cannot be an effective opposiiton party unless it represents a significant coalition of interests which are oppsed to the coalition of interests in power. The problem is NOT that there aren't a lot of interests which are individully opposed to the ruling coalition. The problem is that these interests are unable to come together into a coalition.

We see here rather silly proposals for a solution to this difficulty, namely that the various opposiiton interests should give up their particular interest in favor of some other upon whcih all of them could agree -- even thoguh they didn't much of a damn about it. THIS IS SILLY. If there is nothing in it for them that they cafre about, if their interest isn't icluded in the coalition platform, they have no reason to fight for it. Stop thinking people should get involved "for somebody else's interests". When the going gets tough, the allies you want to have by your side are those who have some of their own "flesh" at stake, not allies who are doing it "for you".

Here's the challenge. Think of this problem in SOCIAL terms. Take a look at US society and try to picture all the various interests groups currently outside the ruling coalition. Now try to come up with a "platform" that a significant number of these groups (with a significant total population) can ACTIVELY support. Understand? There has to be a plank in there that each interest really wants badly -- not just minor preferences that would trade away like shot the whole bunch of for what they REALLY want.

You can't, can you? And that's why there is no "opposition party" right now.

Opposition continued 21.Sep.2005 18:11

Marik Marik@aracnet.com

Mike said:

'A political party cannot be an effective opposiiton party unless it represents a significant coalition of interests which are oppsed to the coalition of interests in power. The problem is NOT that there aren't a lot of interests which are individully opposed to the ruling coalition. The problem is that these interests are unable to come together into a coalition.'

This comment points out the problem with the anti-war movement. It is exactly true, people cannot come together to form some sort of opposition. I however, don't think that it's because there's no platform that exists to stand on. Many many people flock to anti-war demonstrations because they firmly believe that the U.S. doesn't have the right to invade and occupy another country. I believe that it is current anti-war leadership which prevents these 'coalitions' you describe from forming.

You want a platform? I've got one for you, how about the 'remove Imperialism from the U.S.' platform? Imperialism is the root cause of the Iraq war, and indeed most wars in the last century or so. Are you a pissed off immigrant, tired of working for substandard wages? Well, Imperialism is the root of that too! Tired of Wal-Mart destroying our communities...well once again, the ruling coalition" of "big business capitalists", "strong centralists", and "scoial conservatives", as you put it, is to blame. Environmental destruction, police states, etc etc, this is all the result of the way our society functions. And it's an Imperialist society.

And this is why we need to move further and further away from the Democrats as an opposition party. We need to regain control of the anti-war movement from Democratic shills like ANSWER and UFPJ. Only when we do this, will we see these types seperating themselves from the 'ruling coalitions'.

We can unite simply because we are not members of the ruling coalition, if you want another example.


As far as Republicans and Democrats go, I smell "good cop" vs. "bad cop" games 23.Sep.2005 00:53

Hans Scholl

They really don't appear to be in opposition at all. For instance, Clinton signed RICO, some effective death penalty "anti-terrorism" act, and so on without vetoing them or anything. They're all in the CFR and there were a number of Dem signatories to PNAC statements, and so on. The whole Kosovo shenanigan was all about drug running, pipelines, and so on.

The two-party system is little more than a charade to defuse popular will and deceive the populace AFAICT. What's ongoing now is little more than the trap finally slamming shut.