Three Styles of Washington Democrats- Where Do You Fit, and What About the President?

by Andrew Markoff on Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 3:44am


You need to know about three styles of Democrats in the US Congress, and
you need to be aware that our President may or may not fit in where you
think he does amongst his Democratic colleagues in the Federal
government. Here’s a few things you need to know about the Democratic
Party and its players in Washington:


Being a Democrat most
certainly does not mean that you are on the left, and being on the left
these days does not necessarily mean that you’re a progressive. The
needle on the political gauge in the United States has been moved so far
to the right due to the success of billionaire funded right-wing media
machines and think tanks (The Heritage Foundation, for example,
which pretends to be academic in nature), as well as persistent and
unrelenting talking points that filter throughout every news and talk
broadcast in the country. Even the President has engaged in right-wing
talking points just this past week, including referring to “entitlement”
programs as a cause of national debt that need to be fundamentally


In Congress and amongst the Democrats, we have the New Democrat Coalition, to which Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz belongs, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, to which her neighboring congresswoman in my district, Frederica Wilson, belongs. Then there are the dwindling “Blue Dog
Democrats, who coalesce around a “Republican-lite” (often none too
‘lite’) meme that had been fostered by Rahm Emmanuel and basically got
some Democrats elected from heavily Republican districts until the last
election. After the mid-term elections, many of them fell to either real
Republicans or to more progressive candidates as the right and the left
moved farther apart at the behest of the Tea Party movement.


The New Democrats
are aligned with the Clinton-esque “third way” style of politics, which
appeases big business in order to get campaign financing from Wall
Street so that some legislative benefits might eventually trickle down
to the rest of us. During the national health care debate a couple of
years ago, Bill Clinton announced that progressives in America should
“be willing to accept less than half a loaf.” Of course, you can guess
where the rest of the more-than-half of that loaf should go (yes, big
corporations). New Democrats are more likely to be pro-war, pro-insurance companies, pro Wall Street and pro-big banks. The New Democrat Coalition is far smaller than the  Congressional  Progressive Caucus,
yet it is far more powerful because  of our system of  campaign
financing from multi-national corporate  interests and the  super-rich.


The Congressional Progressive Caucus
is by far the largest coalition in Congress, and yet its members are
the most inconsistent as they struggle to appease their own campaign
financiers amongst the special interests. Sadly, the CPC is too often the weakest coalition despite having around 80-plus members inside of the Democratic Party’s “big tent.” CPC
members include Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, Frederica Wilson- as I had
mentioned, and Bernie Sanders, an Independent senator from Vermont who
is the only senator in the caucus.  Raúl Grijalva of Arizona and Keith
Ellison of Minnesota are its co-chairs.


Barack Obama had some time ago before being elected President referred to himself as more in the model of a “Blue Dog Democrat.” He had always been a “moderate” in the Senate, and in his book, “The Audacity of Hope,”
he was far less than audacious in many of his positions on both social
and economic issues. Despite being labeled “the most liberal politician
in the US Senate” by the Republicans- as Kerry had been when he had run
for President against George W. Bush- Obama could barely have been
legitimately labeled as a ‘liberal.’ Just a couple of weeks ago, John
Kerry stood with John McCain to announce their mutual support for
continued military intervention in Libya. There’s a couple of liberals
for ya, huh?


Rather than being any kind of political
radical, Barack Obama’s talent for inspiring and soaring rhetoric during
his campaign was all that had really set Obama apart from any of the
other moderate candidates, which included everyone in the ’08
presidential primary campaign other than Dennis Kucinich and Mike
Gravel. John Edwards had been the only candidate to continually talk
about the poor and the disintegrating middle class, but I don’t think
that he had truly been a liberal politician, either. He saved his
genuinely radical liberalism for his home life, and its destruction


We may see a more boldly progressive agenda from
President Obama should he be elected to a second term, but I believe
that a template of the Obama  administration has been to mimic the
success of Clinton’s “welfare  reform” by moving along from health care
reform to then “reforming” Social Security.  It is not the current
fiscal  crises that is instigating that effort, however. It has likely
been Obama’s  intention to reveal his plan to reform Social Security
during his second term. He seems to me to be  convinced that his own
version of the “Third Way” and his continuation  of its principles is
through fundamentally altering the Social Security program.


President may pursue appeasing both the right as well as those
Democrats he believes are convinced that the fundamental structures of
the Social Security program are causing the nation unnecessary fiscal
strain. The reality is that the failure to appropriately tax wealth and
to consistently fund the program as it had been designed upon its
implementation has been continually ignored. Nevertheless, President
Obama has a choice to pursue reforms via aggressively funding Social
Security or through dismantling its basic structure so that increasing
taxes and truly restricting raiding its funds for pork projects and war
can be avoided. We’ll see which, if any, approach he decides upon, but
conventional politics and President Obama’s template thus far lean
towards that latter option.


That latter approach would be a
profoundly flawed template for winning the middle and thus securing
further Democratic electoral successes, but I think  that Obama is a
true believer in that “third way” that Clinton’s administration had so
proudly brought into full fruition. President Obama has not as yet been
dissuaded from  pursuing what he perceives to be his version of
Clinton’s success in  appeasing corporate interests while duping
progressives and the middle  class. It certainly seems to me that he has
taken Clinton’s approach, however, to new and terrifying heights.


believe that the crux of the problem with Barack Obama  and his
administration is that he believes that the only way to get things done
is to continually attempt to work with the other side, to compromise on
major, structural fiscal dynamics in America, and to always give the
Republicans either a little or even a hell of a lot. Many of his
supporters insist that he has to, and that he wouldn’t have to otherwise
but for the disasters wrought by the previous administration and its
Wall Street cronies. I think, however, that he and those in his
administration think that they’re just very smart and very clever- and
that true progressives like myself are just totally  unrealistic.


he doesn’t seem to get until perhaps right now- as “debt ceiling” talks
have completely broken down- is that even if  he gives them everything
that they want, still nothing gets done. They are not  Republicans in
Congress today- they are extremists– purely venal extremists
cruising the men’s room stalls for billionaire hedge fund managers
seeking ‘special services’ from their Congressional lackeys. There are
female Republican lackeys for Wall Street and big business that are also
boldly strutting into that old boy’s room, including congresswoman
Michelle Bachmann from Minnesota, who persists with the fascistic “don’t
believe your lyin’ eyes” style of religious nuttiness in order to
distract her followers from any kind of nefarious, corporatist


Our campaign financing system is what is
leading this  nation to  give everything to the super rich, and the
Republicans are not becoming venal only as they feel is necessary in a
panic to fund their campaigns. They all seem to believe, as Eric Cantor
seems to me to exemplify and John Boehner has far more skillfully
practiced, that venality should be the acceptable norm in
American politics. Although I’m certain that they think far more highly
of themselves, a lot of these entrenched and powerful politicians in
Washington- mostly Republicans- would otherwise be used car salesmen in
their rural or suburban districts if they had been unable to trick their
voters with their outrageous hucksterism.


It isn’t simply
Wall Street’s largess or   billionaire industrialists that politicians
in Washington are clamoring after. It is also the latest breed of
billionaire hedge fund managers they are attempting to appease- a newer
and different strain  of  ignorance and greed. We have entered into an
era of political venality on steroids. Billionaire industrialists, heirs
to vast fortunes and hedge fund hucksters are a very few in America,
and yet they have politicians  as their  captives. The American people,
however, want leadership, not simply electoral successes… thus our
radical swings in elections. If you  take a steadfast position and you
are determined about it, you can bring people  along with your thinking-
eventually. The Republicans know this well, and they have the
financiers funding their think tanks and media machines now and over the
previous four decades to aid in that effort. The Democrats during that
same period have been pre-occupied with their little matter of having
peed in their pants.


Americans like toughness and
determination. American voters love a good and comical insult from one
political candidate to another. American voters too often vote for the
politician who is simply far better at verbally humiliating the other
guy. Obama’s politeness and gentlemanly nature have been greatly
appreciated across this land as a refreshing change from eight years of
George W. Bush, even in more reddish territories, but that only goes so
far. I don’t  believe that there will be any kind of deal on raising the
debt ceiling, for example. Obama  will have it lifted by executive
order, or we may experience something next month that very few living
Americans can even anticipate.


What we are seeing is the
implementation of a  plutocracy with less and less “trickle down” to
ordinary Americans, but  it will not ultimately succeed. Eventually,
there will be a global  effort to stop this creep of plutocratic
oligarchy, no matter how many  people are jailed in private prison
systems in America and how much access to  voting throughout the states
is suppressed. Eventually, there will be a way for the poor, the
working poor and other ordinary workers and the unemployed to thwart the
consolidation of wealth and power into the hands of the few, and a
successful effort to do so may begin outside of not only the United
States but outside of the first world nations as well. We’ve seen an
inkling of that in some Arab states, and even some protests in the UK
and in France have been far more vociferous that what may be expected in
America, where output from the entertainment industry is basically our
mother’s milk.


While I complain a lot about the radical
right, however, I just hate it when some people refer to the “far left”
and “extreme” positions from progressives. To  assert that we have in
America an “extreme” progressive left is  disturbingly absurd. We don’t
have movements and coalitions and lobbies  for some kind of shocking,
frightening and outrageous progressive  positions, unless you perceive
legal abortions instead of back-ally  abortions; a livable minimum wage;
worker protections; a right to  collective bargaining and unionization;
a viable social safety net;  universal health care; fair and reasonable
immigration reforms; a  significant reduction in the
military-industrial complex and continual  war; publicly financed and
limited political campaigns as well as a  right to same-sex marriage
equality as “extreme.”


We could certainly  refer to the efforts of the Koch Brothers and the US Chamber of  Commerce as “extreme,” as well as ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council,
which is  just now being exposed in mainstream media as an organization
that  creates “model legislation” on behalf of multi-national corporate
interests with the participation of Republican politicians, including
Nan Hayworth’s latest effort to ban the forced disclosure of outrageous
CEO salaries compared to those of ordinary workers). Bargaining with
corporate and plutocratic  extremists should be seen as disturbing, not
petitioning for the interests of ordinary workers and American families.
Instead, aggressively lobbying  for the rights and the political access
for ordinary Americans and for  the basic human rights for anyone who
stands within our borders, let  alone around the world is disparaged as
“extreme” and- in the words of a  Democratic congressional aide I spoke
with last week about peace  activists in my district- “nuts.”


financial powers who successfully lobby  to consolidate public money
into the private hands of the powerful and  eliminate regulations that
should protect a true concept of a “free  market” have become normalized
in America. People and politicians who are oriented to the “third way”
style of Democratic politics too often perceive such  financial
extremists as a normal consideration when implementing policy. Jobs,
labor, worker rights, ordinary Americans uninvolved with  the political
processes- those should be a perfectly normal  consideration in our
political debates. Instead, all we’re hearing about are the
extraordinary burdens that ordinary people are inflicting upon  the
oligarchs. Politicians like Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Allen West of
Florida refer to ordinary Americans, both employed and unemployed who
earn below the bracket that encompasses the federal income tax, as
“parasites.” That word references terminology espoused in the writings
and pronouncements of America’s great menace, the late Ayn Rand.


progress we’ve achieved by having Barack  Obama in the White House is
mainly a product of having a Democrat there  instead of a Republican.
That makes him neither a champion  nor a leader for progressive causes,
however. Skepticism and criticism are  healthy factors of our political
dynamics as long as they are based on  facts and not on propaganda and
the plutocratic agenda to deceive  ordinary voters. That said, here’s
some healthy skepticism for you: Barack Obama does not want what the
vast majority of  those who had voted for him want. The sad  fact of the
matter is that there is a concerted effort underway to  ensure that
those voters matter less and less. It is the financiers of  our
political system and its campaigns that truly matter, and for New  Democrats
and other “third way” political players in the party, along with far
worse political hacks both within the party and on the other side, big
financiers calling the shots seems just as it should be.


where do you fall in? If our President doesn’t appear to be aligned
with your style of politics and progressive leadership, that shouldn’t
mean that you won’t vote for him again should he be the Democratic
nominee in the next general election. Remember, even though the Congressional Progressive Caucus
is the largest amongst Washington legislators, and even though the vast
majority of Americans want investment and consideration for our basic
needs over the demands of the military industrial complex and other
multi-national corporate interests, the right-wing and the “third way”
style of Democrats are winning. We’ve got a long and complicated road
ahead of us to alter that.


Obama had spoken out against Citizens United,
the Supreme Court decision that had unleashed unlimited campaign
financing from corporate coffers, but  he is also enamored with that
style of cronyism and the big financiers, and I don’t think that  there
is anyone who had anticipated that other than perhaps a handful of
political analysts. Barack Obama has little more than zero interest in
changing the American  political dynamics and our system. That is what
has been so surprising about  him to most observers, both the political
experts and to the rest of us. Yes, he was always a “moderate” who
leaned towards being a “blue dog,” but his administration’s
appeasement to the financial sector and to other big business interests
despite some clearly criminal endeavors has been extraordinary.


things stand right now, what crumbs Obama has gradually offered us are
still a hell of a lot better than whatever the Republicans are offering.
Just know where you stand, and understand where the President stands,
and don’t fool yourself by believing that he’s entirely on your side or
that your side can otherwise triumph over our entrenched political
system. Let’s be realistic. You may believe in that “third way,” or you
may believe in true and consistent progress for ordinary Americans of
all ilks, or you may believe in fearfully coalescing amongst the old
guard (a la the mostly male white working class), but wherever
you stand, you need to know it. And where your representatives stand as
well as your President- you need to know that, too. Amongst Democrats in
Washington there’s the New Democrat Coalition, the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Blue Dogs.
Don’t fool yourself about where you fit in, and don’t let any of ’em-
including the President- fool you about where they fit, either.


Michele Bachmann


We feel you Michele

We have the most comprehensive resources, links and information on Michele Bachmann, on the Internet.

Bachmann was born Michele Amble on April 6, 1956, and grew up in Apoka, Minnesota.  She graduated from Anoka High School in 1974, and attended Winona State College and graduated in 1978 with a degree in Political Science and English. she met her husband Marcus Bachmann while attending college and they married in 1978. That same year they moved to Tulsa Oklahoma where Michelle enrolled at the Bible-based Colburn school of law, an affiliate of Oral Roberts University. She earned a juris doctorate at Colburn in 1986 a post-doctorate degree from William and Mary Law school in Virginia in 1988.

From 1988 to 1993, Bachmann was a US Treasury Department attorney in St. Paul Minnesota, representing the IRS against people who underpaid or fail to pay their taxes. In 1993, she left her job to become a full-time mother and eventually took over twenty foster children under her care.

Minnesota Elected Offices:

In 1999, Bachmann ran as one of a slate of GOP candidates for the Stillwater, Minnesota school board, normally a non-partisan election. She and the other GOP-endorsed candidates did not win.

In 2000, Bachmann won election to the state Senate, unseating a fellow Republican, Gary Laidig who had been in office for 28 years. Bachman managed to obtain the GOP endorsement and beat Laidig in the primary election.

In 2002, Bachmann faced a 10-year incumbent, DFL state senator Jane Krentz, after district lines were redrawn following the 2000 census. Bachmann won the election by 9 percentage points.

Congressional Career:

Bachmann defeated Democrat Patty Wetterling 50% to 42% in the 2006 congressional elections to replace Rep. Mark Kennedy, who vacated the seat to run for the U.S. Senate.

We would kindly add this lost soul to the Hit List, but we have to dedicate several pages. Quite frankly, it would be a waste of effort because this person walks to a different tune. A tune that has never been written and never will. It is amazing why some people get elected and you wonder about those who voted for them.


Michele Bachmann official congressional site:

God sanctioned her bid to run for congressional office 10-18-2006

Below is a direct quote of  Bachmann explaining the message she received from the Almighty.

“And in the midst of that calling, God then called me to run for the United States Congress. And I thought, what in the world would that be for? And my husband said “You need to do this.” And I wasn’t so sure. And we took three days, and we fasted and we prayed. And we said “Lord, is this what you want? Is this Your will?” And after — along about the afternoon of day two — He made that calling sure. And it’s been now 22 months that I’ve been running for United States Congress. Who in their right mind would spend two years to run for a job that lasts for two years? You’d have to be absolutely a fool to do that. You are now looking at a fool for Christ. This is a fool for Christ.”

A humorous history of Bachmann

The doctorate of science, Michele Bachmann attempts to educate the Congress that carbon dioxide is not really harmful to human beings. Do you ever wonder about people of the utterly embarrassed themselves, especially when the entire nation in the United States Congress is watching, and it simply has no effect on them. Minnesota, what are you doing?

1. Michele Bachmann embarrasses herself before Congress, stating carbon dioxide is a natural non-harmful gas. 4-23-2009 Video

2. Michele Bachmann teaches Congress the science of carbon dioxide 4-24 2009 Video

On a recent testing the waters to run for the presidency, Michele Bachmann gives the people of Manchester New Hampshire a history lesson on where the first shot was fired of the Revolutionary War. On the YouTube video, when told of her mistakes, her only response is that New Hampshire should be proud too. Someone help this woman. I don’t think her district in Minnesota has anybody alive.

5-27-1011-Bachman feels a “calling” to seek the Republican nomination

1.Michele Bachmann educates the people of Manchester New Hampshire on the shot heard around the world. 3-12-2011

2.A video of the Bachmann disaster in Manchester New Hampshire 3-14-2011

3.Another video of the Manchester disaster 3-14-2011

4-2009–Was Backmann ever dealt a full deck? When the Swine flu emerged at the beginning of the Obama presidency, she alluded to the fact that the last time it occurred was also during a Democratic presidency. Actually, the last outbreak was during the presidency of Gerald Ford. below is an excerpt and a link to the March 24, 2011 Daily Beast.

Then there was that “interesting coincidence” she professed to discover during the swine flu scare at the beginning of Obama’s term–“that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter.” 4-28-2009

Bachmann rather generously insisted that she’s “not blaming this on President Obama” or the Democrats. It was just sort of you know, “interesting.” Thing is, the last outbreak had taken place not under Carter, but under Republican Gerald Ford. (To be fair to Bachmann, you need to be in about ninth grade to have gotten that far in American history.)

The Daily Beast 3-24-2011

Bachman on Abortion: Are her statistics correct? In this link, the misuse of facts and figures is displayed by Michele Bachman on the topic of abortion.

Bachman on Abortion: 3-26-2011

Bachmann a hit In Iowa: So They Say

On the trail to the 2012 presidential campaign, Bachmann is a big hit before the Iowa Teabag Party.

In Iowa March 2011 3-31-2011

Bachmann’s 2012 passion play.

Michele Bachmann hires former Mike Huckabee political director for Iowa  4-4-2011

Republican presidential debate — June 13, 2011:   When Will Michele Bachman get it right? During the Republican the Bates on Monday, June 13, Michele Bachman stated that because of the health care plan, 800,000 Americans would lose their job. According to fact check.org, her statement is factually incorrect. Because of the health care bill, 800,000 people will either quit working or work less because health insurance coverage would be more affordable. In reality, it actually will free up jobs for those currently unemployed. How can anybody vote for someone it constantly misrepresents the facts and in this case most likely had no idea what she was talking about.

Think progress .org states that the health-care bill will reduce the labor supply by 800,000 and and the jobs.

Bachman on 800,000 lost jobsThinkProgress