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Democratic Party: Expanded Profile

By Lowell Ponte
Discover The Networks
2005


The Democratic Party is presently the second largest political party in the United States. On the right-left political spectrum it currently is to the left of the larger, governing Republican Party, and well to the left of the party of Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy.

As a shrinking minority party in both houses of Congress that lost the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, the Democratic Party is trying to redefine itself, in voter perception but also in its political ideology – goals that may or may not be compatible with each other.

The words “Democracy” and “Democratic” come from the Greek roots demos, “the people” and kratein, “to rule.”

The Democratic Party used to describe itself as the political party of “the People.” In recent years it has instead become a coalition of special interests and elitist constituencies who share mostly a belief in using government to promote their own special agendas or privileges.

 

As a result of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reforms, a group of private “527” political funding organizations have become a “shadow party” that now has more influence over Democratic campaigns than the Democratic National Committee, which heads the formal party apparatus.

This “shadow party” gets its money largely from wealthy leftwing ideologues, organized by billionaire international financier George Soros. Soros wrote explicitly that one reason he sought to defeat Republican President George W. Bush was that the United States was “too strong” relative to other nations such as France and Germany and ought to be made weaker, more on a par with such nations. (Soros has been indicted for insider trading in France, is known as the speculator who “broke the Bank of England” by undermining the British Pound for his own profit, and in 2003-04 was engaged in international manipulations that weakened the U.S. dollar.)

The leaders of one of these shadow party organizations, MoveOn.org, jointly said of the Democratic Party following the 2004 election: “Now it’s our Party: we bought it, we own it….”

In February 2005 the party’s ruling Democratic National Committee selected as its new Chairman former Vermont Governor and failed 2004 presidential primary candidate Howard Dean, who days before his election had declared: “I hate Republicans and everything they stand for.”

Dean is an outspoken anti-war Northeastern left-liberal who employed MoveOn.org Internet specialist and former Ruckus Society radical Zack Exley at the highest levels of his campaign. MoveOn.org in turn worked enthusiastically for Dean, who now heads the DNC. Dean’s ascent apparently erases any differences between the Shadow Party and control of the Democratic Party.

Dean supporters, sometimes called “Deaniacs,” make up one sub-faction of today’s Democratic Party. They tend to be young, left-liberal, against the war in Iraq and pro a host of politically-correct issues such as unrestricted abortion rights. “Deaniacs” are part of today’s ruling Democratic Party faction, whose members include the Shadow Party ad its constituent elements and call themselves progressive Democrats.

These Democrats themselves have a leftwing faction in the House of Representatives which is formally organized into the Progressive Caucus. The Caucus was founded in 1991 by newly elected Representative Bernie Sanders, a nominally independent Congressman who votes with Democrats. Sanders is the former socialist mayor of Burlington in Howard Dean’s Vermont.

Like several others in the Progressive Caucus, Sanders is an open member of the radical group Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which describes itself as “the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International.” Many of the biggest European “social democrat” parties of the left, such as the British Labour Party, are also members of the Socialist International.

Most of the Democratic members of Congress who called for United Nations ballot monitors from Communist Cuba and other undemocratic nations to oversee America’s 2004 elections were members of the Progressive Caucus, a fact never reported to its audience by the establishment media, which normally functions as an echo chamber for the progressive political world.

As Republicans defeat and replace Democratic officeholders in moderate districts, the self-described progressive Democrats from safely gerrymandered districts are a growing force. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-California) is a member of the Progressive Caucus.

These Democrats use the word “progressive” because it causes a less negative reaction than calling themselves leftists, liberals or socialists, terms which have come to be fairly synonymous in current political terms.

Other Democratic Party factions include the following:

Southern Democrats by seniority used to chair most House and Senate committees, thereby wielding even more power than their numbers. All were white during the past era of Democratic dominance, owing to Democrat success in suppressing African-American voting rights in segregated states, and most tended to be strong supporters of military spending. In the enlightened modern South, however, the majority of white voters have become conservative Republicans, and Democratic politicians are increasingly African-American and politically far to the left (an exception is the moderate Harold Ford of Tennessee. Yellow Dog Democrats are a shrinking bloc that once described 30 mostly-Southern members of Congress who often took the Republican side on issues.

During the primaries, Howard Dean stereotypically described the South, once the pillar of the New Deal, as a land whose people had gun racks and Confederate flags in their pickup trucks.

Since the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, every elected Democratic President except the narrowly-elected John F. Kennedy has come from the South or border South. President Harry Truman came from Missouri, President Lyndon Baines Johnson from Texas, President Jimmy Carter from Georgia and President Bill Clinton from Arkansas. The last Democrat elected President with more than 50 percent of the popular vote was Mr. Carter, who won with 50.3 percent in 1976. If Democrats concede the Southern states to the Republican Party, their chances of regaining the presidency are greatly diminished.

“In Southern and Western states, we have to start by showing up,” New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson told Democrats who elected Dean as chairman. According to the wire service Reuters, Gov. Richardson also urged his fellow Democratic leaders “to listen for a change to input from west of the Potomac River” that borders Washington, D.C.

New Democrats are centrists associated with the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). The best known of these is Bill Clinton. Others would include Senators Joseph Lieberman and Evan Bayh. President Clinton supported the death penalty, signed legislation that ended welfare as an entitlement, and signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) favored by business. New Democrats believe that the future survival and success of the Democratic Party depends on its being perceived as returning from the left to the political center.

“Bill is a moderate who pretends to be a liberal,” the Clintons’ former chief political advisor Dick Morris has said, but “Hillary [Clinton, at present a U.S. Senator from New York] is a leftist who pretends to be moderate.”  Democrats who identify with and support either Bill or Hillary Clinton are sometimes referred to by their conservative detractors to as “Clintonistas.”

Other Democratic factions orbit specific special interest groups such as organized labor and the Black Caucus. These auxiliaries, which usually work in concert with the Progressive Caucus, also tend to behave as if they own (or are owned by) the Democratic Party.

As one example, a major problem in African-American inner city communities is the poor quality of public schools. Up to 70 percent of black parents want the option of school vouchers, essentially government provided scholarships that would allow them to send their children to private schools.  The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Black Caucus however, oppose vouchers because powerful teacher unions in the labor bloc of the Democratic coalition do. Even though NAACP opposition to parental choice vouchers betrays and dooms millions of black children, this group’s first loyalty is to the Democratic Party and to unions such as the National Education Association (NEA) that provide money and power to NAACP leaders.


 

History of the Democratic Party

The Democratic Party traces its ancestry to the original Republican Party (also known as the “Democratic-Republican Party”) founded in 1794 by Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809). The U.S. Constitution never mentions political parties because the Founders saw them as generators of division or “faction.” But as the young Republic polarized between the urban, big government centralized politics of Alexander Hamilton, John Adams and their Federalists and the rural, small government, states rights ideals of Jefferson, Americans coalesced into these factions and formalized coalitions.

By the 1820s even Adams’ son President John Quincy Adams had become a Democrat, albeit one who favored a strong national government. He was opposed by Tennessee Democratic-Republican President Andrew Jackson (1829-37), a slave-owner whose anti-National Bank faction became the core of the Democratic Party. The Federalist Party disintegrated, replaced as America’s opposition party from 1833 until 1856 by the new party co-founded by Adams, the Whigs, dedicated to high tariffs and protectionism. Democratic President James Polk led America into and through the Mexican-American War that added today’s Southwestern states to America’s map.

In 1856 the new Republican Party mobilized around opposition to slavery and ran its first presidential candidate, trailblazer and California U.S. Senator John C. Fremont. Four years later, owing to a party schism that put two rival Democrats on the ballot, Republican Abraham Lincoln was elected President by a plurality and led the Union during the War Between the States, also known as the Civil War.

The Democratic Party was the party of Southern slave owners, such as Jefferson and Jackson  (who also brutally forced Native Americans onto the Trail of Tears). It became the party of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), Jim Crow and Bull Connor. Democratic President Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) praised the racist, pro-KKK film The Birth of a Nation. At its 1924 National Convention the Democratic Party voted against a resolution condemning the Klan.

The New Deal would be built on the cornerstone of Southern segregationist Democrats, and its architect President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-45) not only tacitly accepted anti-black racism but also exploited racist attitudes to send Japanese-Americans to camps such as Manzanar during World War II. President Harry Truman was a member of the KKK who quit not because it preached hatred of blacks but because it preached hatred of Catholics. The senior Democratic member of the Congress in 2005, Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, is a former Grand Kleagle of the KKK who in 2005 tried to block President Bush’s nomination of Condoleezza Rice to be the first African-American female Secretary of State. Democratic Party leaders continue to celebrate annually with Jefferson and Jackson Day banquets, and to use race as a way to divide and conquer voters.

Republicans won most of the presidential elections between 1864 and 1912, when a schism between President William Howard Taft and former progressive Republican President Teddy Roosevelt split the Republican vote and led to the election and re-election of Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Republicans returned to power following World War I, but during the Great Depression, beginning in 1932, were beaten in four elections by Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who built his New Deal coalition of liberals and Southern segregationists. In the “solid South,” Democrats for generations grew up in one-party states whose voters would “rather vote for a yellow dog” than any candidate of the party of Lincoln. Roosevelt died in office in 1945 and was succeeded by his Vice President Harry Truman (1945-53), who won election on his own in 1948.

In 1960 Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy (1961-63) was elected President in a close vote decided by Texas and Illinois, where historians agree that Democratic ballot fraud was extensive. Kennedy withdrew promised air support from Cuban freedom fighters as they engaged Communist dictator Fidel Castro’s Soviet-armed troops at the Bay of Pigs. But Kennedy, whose brother and Attorney General Robert F. “Bobby” Kennedy had been a lawyer working for anti-Communist Senator Joseph McCarthy, sent the first 16,000 armed U.S. troops into South Vietnam, something his predecessor Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower had refused to do.

Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963 and was succeeded by his Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-69). LBJ defeated Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election, but Goldwater carried several traditionally-Democratic Southern states, a crack in the Democratic cornerstone that was a harbinger of huge change. Johnson signed landmark civil rights legislation, passed in Congress with a higher percentage of Republican than Democratic votes. Johnson also launched a massive expansion of FDR’s New Deal welfare state that LBJ called the Great Society, which by 2000 would transfer more than $7 trillion from productive earners to a non-working welfare-dependent underclass. These subsidies promoted a tremendous expansion of this underclass.

Johnson greatly expanded JFK’s war in Vietnam and military conscription. Bobby Kennedy ran for the Democratic nomination but was killed by Palestinian assassin Sirhan Sirhan in Los Angeles the evening he won the California primary. The 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago became a propaganda stage for leftwing anti-war protests and reflected a growing fissure in the Democratic Party and the nation over Democratic policies.

LBJ’s pro-war Vice President Hubert Humphrey, a Minnesota liberal, was defeated in 1968 by the Republican whose election JFK may have stolen in 1960, former Eisenhower Vice President Richard Nixon. In 1972 the Democrats nominated anti-Vietnam War candidate George McGovern, who ran on the slogan “America Come Home” and lost 49 of the 50 states to Nixon, with Massachusetts as the lone hold out. But just as Goldwater had made the Republican Party conservative, McGovern and the anti-war radicals who flocked to his campaign moved the Democratic Party dramatically to the left, where it remains today.

A break-in at the Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate complex by operatives connected to the White House led to a scandal that the Democrats and pro-Democrat media, led by the Washington Post, escalated into a political coup d’etat forcing Nixon’s resignation. Eight of the eleven special prosecutors who toppled Nixon were members of the Kennedy brothers’ inner circle and had served on their staffs. Ted Kennedy was the chair of the Judiciary Committee that prosecuted Nixon, who resigned in 1974 to avoid formal impeachment by the Democrat-controlled House. Nixon’s appointed successor, Vice President Gerald Ford, was defeated in the 1976 presidential election by Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter (1977-81), a “progressive” product of the liberal media who as an obscure Southern governor favored by the left had been featured on four Time Magazine covers.

Carter’s single term presidency would be among the worst in American history. The incompetent Democrat allowed inflation to soar to double-digit levels, stealing half the life savings’ purchasing power of every American family. Carter withdrew American support from the Shah of Iran (whose government had given rights to women and was a U.S. ally) on the grounds that he was a human rights violator.

President Carter’s destabilization of the Shah’s regime led in 1979 to the theocratic and radical Islamist regime of Ayatollah Khomeini, to the execution of tens of thousands of Iranians and to the Iran-Iraq War that slaughtered half a million people and turned Saddam Hussein into a major military threat to the region. The Carter-induced toppling of the Shah also precipitated the Soviet invasion of adjacent Afghanistan, that same year, which empowered Osama bin Laden, the Islamist leader of the anti-Soviet guerrilla group al Qaeda; bin Laden would later plan and fund the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center towers. Today’s war on terror and U.S. incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq are among the fruits of the Carter Administration’s leftist policies.

In 1980 the American people ejected President Carter and elected Republican Ronald Reagan, who served two terms and was succeeded by his Vice President George H.W. Bush, father of President George W. Bush. During the Reagan Administration the voters also, for the first time in four decades, elected a Republican majority in the House of Representatives where all spending and taxing bills must originate.

Reagan, a former union president of the Screen Actors Guild, had been a passionate New Deal Democrat. But after fighting the radical left in Hollywood, he would say: “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me.” Millions of “Reagan Democrats” have followed his migration away from a Democratic Party that continues to move left.

This erosion in Democratic power had been slowed by gerrymandering. In 1974, e.g., congressional Democratic candidates received only 125,000 more votes in the entire nation than did Republicans – but because Democrats had drawn and rigged the boundaries of congressional districts, this near-tie vote produced 41 more Democratic Members of Congress and solid control over the House of Representatives. By the 1980s the rising tide of voter disgust was overcoming this rigged game and sweeping Democrats from power.

In 1992 President Bush was defeated by three factors. One was the liberal national media that conspired to depict the economy as worse than it actually was. Second was a Southern Governor of Arkansas named Bill Clinton who ran using Republican rhetoric, saying he would “end welfare as we know it” and calling himself a “New Democrat.” The third was a Texas eccentric named Ross Perot (who became a billionaire through government contracts) who ran as a third party candidate and siphoned more votes from Bush than from his Democrat opponent.

Investigative reporter Lowell Ponte has set forth a circumstantial case that Perot acted as a stalking horse for Bill Clinton. What Perot had to gain, suggested Ponte, was that the Clintons promised to funnel the contracts for their national health plan through Perot companies – thereby raising him from the 44th richest person in America to the richest. Perot ran for president by bashing incumbent Bush. When polls showed that Perot might defeat both Bush and Clinton, Perot dropped out of the race and threw his support to the Democratic candidate. Then, when in a two-way race Bush pulled ahead in the polls, Perot re-entered the race and re-doubled his attacks on the Republican incumbent. Perot’s behavior, argues Ponte, was not that of a candidate who wanted to become President but that of someone trying to help Clinton win.

In 1992 Clinton was elected with 43 percent of the vote. Bush received 37 percent and Perot 20 percent.

Thomas Jefferson, father of the Democratic Party, had warned that “great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities.” President William Jefferson Clinton (1993-2001) ignored this wisdom. Having won the White House with one of the smallest pluralities of voter support in history, Clinton immediately forced into law the largest tax increase in history, and made it retroactive. Clinton also attempted to force socialized medicine into law – in order (as critics charged) to “nationalize one-seventh of the nation’s economy.” Even the restored Democratic majority in Congress balked at this high-handed health scheme and refused to pass it.

In 1994 the voters swept Democrats out of power in both the House and Senate. For the next six years the Clinton Administration governed largely through executive orders, recess appointments and the use of emergency powers, even though no emergency existed.

In 1996 Clinton eked out a less-than-50-percent re-election with the help of liberal allies in the media and another Perot candidacy that again attacked Republicans and drew about nine percent of the vote. Clinton’s second term was hobbled by scandal and perjury that made him the first elected President in American history to be impeached by the House of Representatives.

Democrats in Congress debated whether to defend Clinton or remove him from office, choosing at last to defend him. Had Clinton been removed from office by the U.S. Senate, he would have been succeeded by Democrat Vice President Albert Gore, who as the incumbent President would almost certainly have won the 2000 Presidential election and been re-elected in 2004.

As the Democratic candidate for President in 2000, Gore was tainted by his embrace of an obviously corrupt and immoral President Clinton and lost to Republican George W. Bush. The Green Party candidacy of left-liberal activist Ralph Nader carried enough votes in key states such as Florida to deny Gore victory. Gore, however, also failed to carry his home state of Tennessee, where the voters who knew him best rejected him. Democrats for 18 months reclaimed control of the U.S. Senate, but only because a Vermont Senator chose to switch parties weeks after his re-election, and threw his support to Senate Democrats. Republicans regained Senate control in the 2002 election.

In 2004 Democratic candidate John F. Kerry of Massachusetts lost by more than three million popular votes. During the campaign Kerry described himself as a military hero, then refused to sign Form 180 that would allow the press to see his official military record, which became a matter of controversy.

Democratic Party politicians, in a maneuver almost unrivaled for its cynicism, demanded that President Bush enact Campaign Finance Reform to reduce the influence of wealthy contributors. But these Democrats included in the legislation a tiny provision for so-called “527” organizations that allowed ultra-wealthy radicals such as their ally George Soros to circumvent new campaign finance rules that restricted and silenced ordinary Americans. Despite astronomical amounts of money from leftwing “shadow government” activists spent to support Kerry, the Democratic ticket went down to defeat.

The leaders of one of these shadow party organizations, MoveOn.org, jointly said of the Democratic Party following the 2004 election: “Now it’s our Party: we bought it, we own it….”

The party of any President seeking re-election usually loses seats in the House and Senate, but in 2004 the incumbent Republican Party made strong gains in both houses of Congress.

Republicans also held a majority of state legislative houses and state governorships, including the governorships of Texas, Florida, New York and California. For the first time in generations, polls found that more Americans described themselves as Republicans than as Democrats, and that nearly twice as many described themselves as conservatives than as liberals.

In 2005 the Democratic National Committee selected as its new Chairman former Vermont Governor and failed 2004 presidential primary candidate Howard Dean, who days before his election had declared: “I hate Republicans and everything they stand for.”

Dean is an outspoken anti-war Northeastern left-liberal who employed MoveOn.org Internet specialist and former Ruckus Society radical Zack Exley at the highest levels of his campaign. MoveOn.org in turn worked enthusiastically for Dean. Dean’s ascent as DNC head apparently erases any differences between the special interest shadow party and control of the Democratic Party.

During the primaries, Dean described the South, once the cornerstone on which the New Deal was built, as a land whose people had gun racks and Confederate flags in their pickup trucks.

Since the death of FDR, every elected Democratic President except narrowly-elected John F. Kennedy has come from the South or border South. Truman came from Missouri, Johnson from Texas, Carter from Georgia and Clinton from Arkansas. The last Democrat elected President with more than 50 percent of the popular vote was Jimmy Carter, who won by 50.3 percent in 1976. If Democrats concede the Southern states to the Republican Party, their chances of regaining the presidency are greatly diminished.



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