Moyers on the Failing Democrats, Corporate Money & Health Care Reform

Moyers on the Failing Democrats, Corporate Money & Health Care Reform August 31, 2009

These words already appeared in Michael Iafrate’s Vox Nova video post of the Bill Moyers-Bill Maher interview a day or so ago. They are making their rounds in printed form at numerous places today, including Salon and dotCommonweal.  I think that they so cut to the chase and are on the mark that they bear repeating in print, here and now:

MOYERS:  I don’t think the problem is the Republicans . . . .The problem is the Democratic Party.  This is a party that has told its progressives — who are the most outspoken champions of health care reform — to sit down and shut up.  That’s what Rahm Emanuel, the Chief of Staff at the White House, in effect told progressives who stood up as a unit in Congress and said: “no public insurance option, no health care reform.”

And I think the reason for that is — in the time since I was there, 40 years ago, the Democratic Part has become like the Republican Party, deeply influenced by corporate money.  I think Rahm Emanuel, who is a clever politician, understands that the money for Obama’s re-election will come from the health care industry, from the drug industry, from Wall Street.  And so he’s a corporate Democrat who is determined that there won’t be something in this legislation that will turn off these interests. . . .

Money in politics — you’ve had in the last 30 years, money has flooded politics . .. the Supreme Court saying “money is free speech.”  It goes back to the efforts in the 19th Century to give corporations the right of personhood — so if you as a citizen have the right to donate to campaigns, then so do corporations.  Money has flowed in such a flood into both parties that the Democratic Party gets a lot of its support from the very interests that — when the Republicans are in power — financially support the Republicans.   

You really have essentially — except for the progressives on the left of the Democratic Party – you really have two corporate parties who in their own way and their own time are serving the interests of basically a narrow set of economic interests in the country — who, as Glenn Greenwald, who is a great analyst and journalist, wrote just this week:  these narrow interests seem to win, determine the outcomes, no matter how many Democrats are elected, no matter who has their hands on the levers of powers, these narrow interests determine the outcomes in Washington, even when they have to run roughshod over the interests of ordinary Americans.  I’m sad to say that has happened to the Democratic Party.

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